Friday, 12 August 2016

Geophis lorancai: A new species of Earth Snake from southern Mexico.

Earth Snakes of the genus Geophis are found across central and southern Mexico, Central America and northern and western Columbia. The genus is a specious group of Colubrid Snakes, with over 40 described species, though they are not always easily detected or identified, as they are small ground-dwelling Snakes and tend to be dark in colour and lacking in markings.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 11 August 2016, Luis Canseco-Márquez and Carlos Pavón-Vázquez of the Museo de Zoología and Departamento de Biología Evolutiva at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Marco Antonio López-Luna of the División Académica de Ciencias Biológicas at the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, and Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca, also of the Museo de Zoología and Departamento de Biología Evolutiva at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, describe a new species of Earth Snake from Veracruz and Puebla states in southern Mexico.

The new species is named Geophis lorancai, in honour of Miguel Ángel de la Torre Loranca, a biologist who collected most of the specimens from which the species is described. It is a distinctive Snake, reaching about 30 cm in length and having a black head and tail and black and orange stripes along its body. The species was found in the the Sierra de Zongolica of west-central Veracruz and Sierra de Quimixtlán of east-central Puebla in cloud forest at altitudes of between 1210 and 1700 m. All of the specimens observed were found either in leaf litter or under fallen logs.

 Geophis lorancai, adult male specimen. Miguel Ángel de la Torre Loranca in Canseco-Márquez et al. (2016).

See also... pigment cells reveal the colour of a Colubrid Snake from the Miocene of Spain,                                                           The fossil record reveals a lot about the skeletal... ernstmayri: A new species of Worm-eating Snake from the Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea.                        Worm-eating Snakes, Toxicocalamus, are Elapid... of all modern Snakes more likely to have been a burrower than a swimmer.    Snakes are one of the most successful groups of living vertebrates, with over 3000 living species found in all but the very coldest environments on Earth. Modern snakes exhibit a wide range of habitat...
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