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New record of Corallus cropanii (Boidae, Boinae): a rare snake from the Vale do Ribeira, State of São Paulo, Brazil

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The boid genus Corallus Daudin, 1803 is comprised of nine Neotropical species (Henderson et al. 2009): Corallus an­ nulatus (Cope, 1876), Corallus batesii (Gray, 1860), Co­ rallus blombergi (Rendahl & Vestergren, 1941), Coral­ lus caninus (Linnaeus, 1758), Corallus cookii Gray, 1842, Corallus cropanii (Hoge, 1954), Corallus grenadensis (Bar-bour, 1914), Corallus hortulanus (Linnaeus, 1758), and Corallus ruschenbergerii (Cope, 1876). The most conspic-uous morphological attributes of representatives of these species are the laterally compressed body, robust head, slim neck, and the presence of deep pits in some of the la-bial scales (Henderson 1993a, 1997). Species of Corallus are distributed from northern Central American to south-ern Brazil, including Trinidad and Tobago and islands of the south Caribbean. Four species occur in Brazil: Corallus batesii, C. caninus, C. cropanii, and C. hortulanus. Hoge (1954) originally described Corallus cropanii as Xenoboa cropanii based on a single specimen (adult male, IBSP 15.200, snout–vent length (SVL) = 1080 mm; tail length (TL) = 195 mm; head length (HL) = 60.6 mm; Fig-ure 1) from Miracatu, Vale do Ribeira, State of São Paulo, Brazil (24°17' S, 47°28' W, 51 m elevation) (Figure 2). Un-fortunately, this holotype was probably lost in the recent fire in the herpetological collection of Institute Butantan (Kumar 2010) on March 15 th , 2010. Based on osteologi-cal characters, Kluge (1991) regarded Xenoboa as a junior synonym of Corallus, and C. cropanii as a sister species of C. caninus. According to the literature, this species is vi-viparous, semi-arboreal, and preys upon small mammals, similar to other members of the genus (Henderson 1993b, Marques & Cavalheiro 1998, Marques et al. 2004). Corallus cropanii shows in vivo an olive-beige dorsal col-ouration, with dark brown rhomboidal spots that appear from the neck as far as the tail (Hoge 1954). The ventral shields are yellow with the borders being stained with dark brown; these stains progressively become larger, darkening the abdomen, towards the tail. Until recently, only four specimens (including the above mentioned holotype) of C. cropanii were deposited in her-petological collections: three in the Coleção Herpetológica "Alphonse Richard Hoge", Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, Figure 1. Holotype of Corallus cropanii (adult, male, IBSP 15.200) from the Miracatu municipality, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Alphonse R. Hoge.
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SALAMANDRA 47(2) 112–115 20 May 2011 ISSN 0036–3375
New record of Corallus cropanii (Boidae, Boinae):
a rare snake from the Vale do Ribeira, State of São Paulo, Brazil
P R. M-F, M R. D, L F.  C
F L. F
1) Laboratório de Herpetologia, Instituto Butantan, Av. Vital Brazil, 1500, São Paulo, SP, CEP: 05503-900, Brazil
2) Departamento de Agroindústria, Alimentos e Nutrição. Escola Superior de Agronomia “Luiz de Queiroz” – ESALQ/USP,
Av. Pádua Dias, 11 C.P.: 9, Piracicaba, SP, CEP: 13418-900, Brazil
Correspondig author: F L. F, e-mail: franco@butantan.gov.br
Manuscript received: 9 December 2010
e boid genus Corallus D,  is comprised of nine
Neotropical species (H et al. ): Corallus an-
nulatus (C, ), Corallus batesii (G, ), Co-
rallus blombergi (R  V, ), Coral-
lus caninus (L, ), Corallus cookii G, ,
Corallus cropanii (H, ), Corallus grenadensis (B-
, ), Corallus hortulanus (L, ), and
Corallus ruschenbergerii (C, ). e most conspic-
uous morphological attributes of representatives of these
species are the laterally compressed body, robust head,
slim neck, and the presence of deep pits in some of the la-
bial scales (H a, ). Species of Corallus
are distributed from northern Central American to south-
ern Brazil, including Trinidad and Tobago and islands of
the south Caribbean. Four species occur in Brazil: Corallus
batesii, C. caninus, C. cropanii, and C. hortulanus.
H () originally described Corallus cropanii as
Xenoboa cropanii based on a single specimen (adult male,
IBSP ., snout–vent length (SVL) =  mm; tail
length (TL) =  mm; head length (HL) = . mm; Fig-
ure ) from Miracatu, Vale do Ribeira, State of São Paulo,
Brazil (°’ S, °’ W,  m elevation) (Figure ). Un-
fortunately, this holotype was probably lost in the recent
re in the herpetological collection of Institute Butantan
(K ) on March th, . Based on osteologi-
cal characters, K () regarded Xenoboa as a junior
synonym of Corallus, and C. cropanii as a sister species of
C. caninus. According to the literature, this species is vi-
viparous, semi-arboreal, and preys upon small mammals,
similar to other members of the genus (H b,
M  C , M et al. ).
Corallus cropanii shows in vivo an olive-beige dorsal col-
ouration, with dark brown rhomboidal spots that appear
from the neck as far as the tail (H ). e ventral
shields are yellow with the borders being stained with dark
brown; these stains progressively become larger, darkening
the abdomen, towards the tail.
Until recently, only four specimens (including the above
mentioned holotype) of C. cropanii were deposited in her-
petological collections: three in the Coleção Herpetológica
Alphonse Richard Hoge”, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo,
Figure 1. Holotype of Corallus cropanii (adult, male, IBSP 15.200)
from the Miracatu municipality, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Photo:
A R. H.
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Brazil (IBSP), and one in the American Museum of Natu-
ral History, New York, United States of America (AMNH).
All specimens of Corallus cropanii in both collections
are from the Atlantic Forest domain, a bioma that has by
now been reduced to just  of its original expanse, and
its remnants are very fragmented. Nevertheless, it still ac-
commodates a high degree of biodiversity and is consid-
ered a conservation hotspot (G-L  C
). e Ribeira de Iguape River basin and the Estuary
Complex Lagoon of Iguape, Cananéia and Paranaguá, also
known as Vale do Ribeira, has an area of . km² cov-
ered by well-preserved Atlantic Forest (EPM ) (Fig-
ure).
e second known specimen (adult male, AMNH
, ex IBSP , SVL =  mm; TL =  mm; HL =
 mm; Figure ) came from Padre Anchieta Railway Sta-
tion (°’ S, °’ W,  m elevation) (Figure ), Pedro
de Toledo municipality, State of São Paulo. A doubtful col-
lection locality is attributed to the third specimen (adult
male, IBSP ., SVL =  mm; TL =  mm; HL =
. mm; Figure ), received from the Santos railway sta-
tion (Figure ) in the state of São Paulo. Due to its being a
central economic covered hub of importance, Santos City
used to receive a lot of snakes from the southern coast of
São Paulo, including the Vale do Ribeira, and sent them
on as parcels to IBSP via the railway. Given that all other
specimens were from Vale do Ribeira, it is more likely this
specimen was originally from that area and only shipped
from Santos. is specimen was saved from the re and is
still in the IBSP collection.
Aer thirty years without records of this species, a
fourth specimen (head, tail and body’s skin – adult female,
Figure 2. All known records of Corallus cropanii – Holotype: Miracatu; 2nd specimen: Pedro de Toledo, Padre Anchieta railway
station; 3rd specimen: Santos railway station (doubtful locality); 4th specimen: Eldorado, Aboboral district; and 5th specimen: Sete
Barras, Guapiruvu district.
Figure 3. Second specimen of Corallus cropanii (AMNH 92997,
ex IBSP 19.663) from the Padre Anchieta Railway Station, Pedro
de Toledo municipality, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: L
P.
Figure 4. ird specimen of Corallus cropanii (adult, male IBSP
41.510) allegedly from the Santos railway station, State of São
Paulo, Brazil (doubtful locality).
IBSP ., SVL =  mm; TL =  mm; HL = . mm;
Figure ) (M et al. ) was found on  May 
in the Eldorado municipality, Aboboral district (°’ S,
°’ W,  m elevation, Figure ), at the base of a moun-
tain ridge called Serra do Aboboral, near the Ribeira de
Iguape River. e snake was crossing an unpaved road be-
tween a preserved forest area and a banana plantation, at
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Correspondence
  h. Unfortunately, this specimen was also lost in the
re, although the skull is still preserved.
In January , ca. : h, a h specimen of Coral-
lus cropanii was killed by farm workers, but fortunately re-
corded by them with a photograph (Figure ). is adult
snake (ca.  m in total length and of indeterminate gen-
der) is from Guapiruvu (approximately °’ S, °’ W,
 m, Figure ), a district of Sete Barras, close to the El-
dorado municipality, located in Eta River basin, a tribu-
tary of the middle portion of the Ribeira de Iguape Riv-
er. e snake was crossing an unpaved road near a small
unnamed stream, close to a forest reserve and cultivated
elds (banana-nanica Musa cavendishii (L ex P-
, ), papaya Carica papaya (L, ), and
juçara palm tree Euterpe edulis (M, )). ese
crops grow under the forest canopy (cabruca). is system
is apparently not so hard on the environment, since culti-
vation is done among existing native trees and preserves
the canopy. e same system is also used in cocoa planta-
tions in southern Bahia (northeastern Brazil), where diver-
sity is apparently not aected (A ).
Today, Corallus cropanii is included in the Red List of
the State of São Paulo (SMA ) and regarded as en-
dangered, according to the International Union for Con-
servation of Nature (IUCN , MMA ). e rar-
ity of this species, the rapidly advancing deforestation of
the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, and the re tragedy that de-
stroyed about  of snake specimens, including two C.
cropanii, housed in one of the largest snake collections in
the world (with more than , specimens), made ex-
plicit the need of this scientic publication reviewing all
the data and knowledge available for this species. Not sur-
prisingly, this threatened species inhabits the most repre-
sentative preserved area of Atlantic Forest in southeastern
Brazil, and we strongly recommend that eorts to preserve
and interconnect the remaining natural areas of theVale do
Ribeira be stepped up.
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to V J. G, L A. C. C (In-
stituto Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil), V C. T (Museu
de Zoologia, USP, São Paulo, Brazil), F F. C (Instituto
de Biociências, USP, São Paulo, Brazil). P P (Instituto
Butantan), R C. G (Instituto Butantan), C
H, T A M, and the anon-
ymous referees for suggestions and their critical reviews of the
manuscript. We are also grateful to G O.  O,
H Z (Museu de Zoologia, USP), A R. H
(Instituto Butantan, in memoriam), P B (Museu de
Zoologia, USP), L P.  P (e University of Sydney,
Sydney, Australia), and O A. V. M (Instituto Butan-
tan) for photos, and to L P.  P for taking the meas-
urements of four voucher specimens.
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... With a sampling effort of 168 days of fieldwork, including 558 person-hours of visual search, we found 255 individuals of 17 species of snakes (14 genera, four families) at the Etá Farm region. Additionally, we included Corallus cropanii to our study because it was found previously by other researchers in our study area (Machado Filho et al. 2011). Species richness was similar between forests (13 species) and disturbed areas (banana plantation, peach palm plantation, roads, pastures, and around houses; 16 species; Table 1). ...
... Besides the 17 species we found during our fieldwork at Fazenda Etá region and C. cropanii (Machado Filho et al. 2011), eight additional species are known to occur in the Sete Barras municipality: Chironius bicarinatus, Chironius foveatus, Clelia plumbea, Dipsas albifrons, D. alternans, Echinantera undulata, Tropidodryas serra, and Tropidophis paucisquamis (Nogueira et al., 2019). Furthermore, eight additional species occur in neighbouring regions (Cananéia Island, Iguape, Registro, and Pariquera-Açu) and thus could also occur in the Fazenda Etá region: Corallus hortulanus, Dipsas indica, D. variegata, Echinanthera cynopleura, Imantodes cenchoa, Siphlophis pulcher, Taeniophallus persimilis, and Thamnodynastes nattereri (Sena 2007;Pereira et al., 2007;Nogueira et al, 2019). ...
... Corallus cropanii (Hoge, 1953) This large species (maximum SVL = 1510 mm; Marques et al. 2019) is rare in the Etá Farm region. Although not sampled during our study, an individual of C. cropanii was found by Machado Filho et al. (2011) in the agricultural settlement north of the Etá Farm (Fig. 2). The holotype was found on vegetation at 1.5 m above the ground; in captivity, it remained perched on branches for most of the time (Marques and Cavalheiro 1998). ...
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Approximately 140 snake species are known to occur in the Atlantic Forest with nearly half being endemic to this ecoregion. However, the Atlantic forest is one of the most threatened tropical ecoregions, with only 16% of its original area remaining as forest. This extensive habitat loss must have had a negative effect on its snake fauna. Indeed, 53% of the threatened snakes of Brazil occur in the Atlantic forest. Therefore, basic natural history information that can potentially contribute to the conservation of Atlantic forest snakes are urgently needed. Here the natural history of a snake assemblage at Etá Farm region, Sete Barras municipality, south-eastern Brazil is described, and a visual guide and an identification key provided that can be used by researchers and local people to identify snakes from this region. Most of the species found in the field use both open areas and forests, are primarily terrestrial, present diurnal activity, and include frogs in their diet. A higher number of enlarged follicles, eggs, and/or embryos were recorded during the warm and rainy season. Seventeen different types of defensive tactics were recorded in the species found in the field. This study provides useful information for understanding the structure of snake assemblages of the Atlantic Forest and is potentially useful for conservation assessments and for designing conservation plans
... With a sampling effort of 168 days of fieldwork, including 558 person-hours of visual search, we found 255 individuals of 17 species of snakes (14 genera, four families) at the Etá Farm region. Additionally, we included Corallus cropanii to our study because it was found previously by other researchers in our study area (Machado Filho et al. 2011). Species richness was similar between forests (13 species) and disturbed areas (banana plantation, peach palm plantation, roads, pastures, and around houses; 16 species; Table 1). ...
... Besides the 17 species we found during our fieldwork at Fazenda Etá region and C. cropanii (Machado Filho et al. 2011), eight additional species are known to occur in the Sete Barras municipality: Chironius bicarinatus, Chironius foveatus, Clelia plumbea, Dipsas albifrons, D. alternans, Echinantera undulata, Tropidodryas serra, and Tropidophis paucisquamis (Nogueira et al., 2019). Furthermore, eight additional species occur in neighbouring regions (Cananéia Island, Iguape, Registro, and Pariquera-Açu) and thus could also occur in the Fazenda Etá region: Corallus hortulanus, Dipsas indica, D. variegata, Echinanthera cynopleura, Imantodes cenchoa, Siphlophis pulcher, Taeniophallus persimilis, and Thamnodynastes nattereri (Sena 2007;Pereira et al., 2007;Nogueira et al, 2019). ...
... Corallus cropanii (Hoge, 1953) This large species (maximum SVL = 1510 mm; Marques et al. 2019) is rare in the Etá Farm region. Although not sampled during our study, an individual of C. cropanii was found by Machado Filho et al. (2011) in the agricultural settlement north of the Etá Farm (Fig. 2). The holotype was found on vegetation at 1.5 m above the ground; in captivity, it remained perched on branches for most of the time (Marques and Cavalheiro 1998). ...
... With a sampling effort of 168 days of fieldwork, including 558 person-hours of visual search, we found 255 individuals of 17 species of snakes (14 genera, four families) at the Etá Farm region. Additionally, we included Corallus cropanii to our study because it was found previously by other researchers in our study area (Machado Filho et al. 2011). Species richness was similar between forests (13 species) and disturbed areas (banana plantation, peach palm plantation, roads, pastures, and around houses; 16 species; Table 1). ...
... Besides the 17 species we found during our fieldwork at Fazenda Etá region and C. cropanii (Machado Filho et al. 2011), eight additional species are known to occur in the Sete Barras municipality: Chironius bicarinatus, Chironius foveatus, Clelia plumbea, Dipsas albifrons, D. alternans, Echinantera undulata, Tropidodryas serra, and Tropidophis paucisquamis (Nogueira et al., 2019). Furthermore, eight additional species occur in neighbouring regions (Cananéia Island, Iguape, Registro, and Pariquera-Açu) and thus could also occur in the Fazenda Etá region: Corallus hortulanus, Dipsas indica, D. variegata, Echinanthera cynopleura, Imantodes cenchoa, Siphlophis pulcher, Taeniophallus persimilis, and Thamnodynastes nattereri (Sena 2007;Pereira et al., 2007;Nogueira et al, 2019). ...
... Corallus cropanii (Hoge, 1953) This large species (maximum SVL = 1510 mm; Marques et al. 2019) is rare in the Etá Farm region. Although not sampled during our study, an individual of C. cropanii was found by Machado Filho et al. (2011) in the agricultural settlement north of the Etá Farm (Fig. 2). The holotype was found on vegetation at 1.5 m above the ground; in captivity, it remained perched on branches for most of the time (Marques and Cavalheiro 1998). ...
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Approximately 140 snake species are known to occur in the Atlantic Forest with nearly half being endemic to this ecoregion. However, the Atlantic forest is one of the most threatened tropical ecoregions, with only 16% of its original area remaining as forest. This extensive habitat loss must have had a negative effect on its snake fauna. Indeed, 53% of the threatened snakes of Brazil occur in the Atlantic forest. Therefore, basic natural history information that can potentially contribute to the conservation of Atlantic forest snakes are urgently needed. Here the natural history of a snake assemblage at Etá Farm region, Sete Barras municipality , southeastern Brazil is described, and a visual guide and an identification key provided that can be used by researchers and local people to identify snakes from this region. Most of the species found in the field use both open areas and forests, are primarily terrestrial, present diurnal activity, and include frogs in their diet. A higher number of enlarged follicles, eggs, and/or embryos were recorded during the warm and rainy season. Seventeen different types of defensive tactics were recorded in the species found in the field. This study provides useful information for understanding the structure of snake assemblages of the Atlantic Forest and is potentially useful for conservation assessments and for designing conservation plans. A peer-reviewed open-access journal Bruno F. Fiorillo et al. / ZooKeys 931: 115-153 (2020) 116
... El presente trabajo fue desarrollado en el barrio Guapiruvu, perteneciente al municipio de Sete Barras, estado de Sao Paulo, es escogido debido a la realización de un proyecto científico en la región, con el propósito de colectar datos sobre una especie de serpientes altamente amenazada, la Corallus cropanii Hoge, 1953. En Guapiruvu fue registrado el quinto espécimen de esta especie y hasta la actualidad el último, encontrado por pobladores de la comunidad (Machado-Filho, et al., 2011). Por todo lo anteriormente expuesto, esta investigación tuvo como objetivo, colectar informaciones sobre el conocimiento que los pobladores del barrio Guapiruvu tienen sobre serpientes y accidentes con estos animales, además de registrar aspectos de la cultura oral, como leyendas, costumbres y relatos de casos. ...
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... El presente trabajo fue desarrollado en el barrio Guapiruvu, perteneciente al municipio de Sete Barras, estado de Sao Paulo, es escogido debido a la realización de un proyecto científico en la región, con el propósito de colectar datos sobre una especie de serpientes altamente amenazada, la Corallus cropanii Hoge, 1953. En Guapiruvu fue registrado el quinto espécimen de esta especie y hasta la actualidad el último, encontrado por pobladores de la comunidad (Machado-Filho, et al., 2011). Por todo lo anteriormente expuesto, esta investigación tuvo como objetivo, colectar informaciones sobre el conocimiento que los pobladores del barrio Guapiruvu tienen sobre serpientes y accidentes con estos animales, además de registrar aspectos de la cultura oral, como leyendas, costumbres y relatos de casos. ...
... It has obvious shared similarities with C. batesii and C. caninus (MBC, HW, HL, VENT), but even fewer subcaudals than either of those two species and the mean number of dorsal scale rows is less than half the number for C. batesii and C. caninus, and the fewest for any species in the genus. Corallus cropanii might not be as arboreal as other members of the genus (Pizzatto et al., 2007; Machado-Filho et al., 2011 ), possibly spending substantial time on the ground. The larger heads and greater mid-body circumferences in C. batesii and C. caninus, along with the higher number of dorsal scale rows (characteristic of species that exploit large prey; e.g. ...
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The arboreal boa Corallus caninus is widely distributed across northern South America (the Guianas and Amazonia). We examined geographic variation based on examination of 192 specimens from throughout the range, and revised its taxonomy on the basis of quantitative and qualitative analyses of morphological characters (meristics, morphometrics, and color patterns). Based on the high number of lateral blotches on the body and the high number of scales across the snout, populations south of the Rio Amazonas and west of the Rio Negro are identified as a species (or, potentially, a species complex) separate from C. caninus, and the name Corallus batesii is resurrected for those populations. The distribution of Corallus caninus is restricted to the Guiana Shield (north of the Rio Amazonas and east of the Rio Negro). La boa arbó rea Corallus caninus presenta una distribució n amplia en el norte de Amé rica del Sur (las Guyanas y la Amazonia). Obtuvimos datos de la variació n geográ fica utilizando 192 especimenes procedentes de varias localidades a los largo de su distribució n. Revisamos su taxonomía utilizando caracteres morfoló gicos cuantitativos y cualitativos (merísticos, morfometría y patrones de coloració n). Las poblaciones distribuidas al sur del Río Amazonas y al occidente del Río Negro fueron identificadas como una especie aparte de C. caninus, esto basá ndonos en una alto nú mero de manchas laterales del cuerpo y de escamas del hocico. Se resucitó el nombre Corallus batesii para estas poblaciones. La distribució n de Corallus caninus queda restringida al escudo de las Guyanas (al norte de Río Amazonas y al oriente del Río Negro).
Elaboração de planos de manejo espeleológico dos Parques Estaduais Intervales, turísticos do Alto Ribeira e Mosaico de Ucs de Jacupiranga
EPM (2010): Elaboração de planos de manejo espeleológico dos Parques Estaduais Intervales, turísticos do Alto Ribeira e Mosaico de Ucs de Jacupiranga. -http://www.ekosbrasil.org/ cavernas/default.asp?siteAcao=mostraPagina&paginaId=21, 14 October 2010.
Corallus cropanii. – Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. – Reptilia
  • R W G Henderson
  • Puorto
Henderson, R. W. & G. Puorto (1993): Corallus cropanii. – Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. – Reptilia, 575.1–575.2.
Boine snake phylogeny and research cycles. – Miscellaneous Publications Museum of Zoology
  • A G Kluge
Kluge, A. G. (1991): Boine snake phylogeny and research cycles. – Miscellaneous Publications Museum of Zoology, 178: 1–58.