Revisão taxonômica e variação geográfica do gênero Erythrolamprus Boie, 1826 (Serpentes, Xenodontinae) / Taxonomic revision and geographic variation of the genus Erythrolamprus Boie, 1826 (Serpentes, Xenodontinae)




The genus Erythrolamprus (Serpentes, Xenodontinae) includes six species presently recognized, widely distributed in South and Central America and showing a complex taxonomic history. Due to general uniformity in overall pholidotic patterns, diagnostic features of such taxa are mostly associated to coloration and have never been tested in a comprehensive approach of the variation and geographic range of the group. Nonetheless, literature suggests that populational variation in color patterns of Erythrolamprus might be strongly associated to simpatry with poisonous coral snake species of the genus Micrurus. This study brings a taxonomic revision of the species included in Erythrolamprus based on a sample of 1786 specimens covering the wide distributional range of the genus. External (scale counts and coloration) and internal (hemipenis and teeth) morphology provided the main sources of characters used herein; the continuous variables were submitted to detailed statistical treatment. The final taxonomic decisions were based in comparison with type material (whenever possible), along with an investigation of the taxonomic history of the group. The results of the present revision support the recognition of 12 full species of Erythrolamprus, three of which still lacking available names. Additionally, the analysis of tooth morphology suggests an ontogenetic change form the aglyphous pattern (juveniles) to the opistoglyphous condition, present in the adults of most species. A preliminary comparison of the color patterns shown by the Erythrolamprus species with the ones of sympatric taxa of Micrurus supports previous indications of the existence of mimicry complexes, pointing out to the tendency of monadal typed populations of Erythrolamprus occurring in areas where similar poisonous coral snakes are apparently common. Finally, general patterns of geographic differentiation are suggested to the group and must be tested in future studies of explicit phylogenetic approach.


taxonomy erythrolamprus erythrolamprus taxonomia serpentes xenodontinae xenodontinae serpentes

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