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Reptilia, Colubridae, Drymarchon melanurus : Filling distribution gaps

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Here I report some new provincial records that fill gaps in the distribution of Drymarchon melanurus between the previously known localities in Ecuador.
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Check List 2(1)
ISSN: 1809-127X
NOTES ON GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION
Reptilia, Colubridae, Drymarchon melanurus:
Filling distribution gaps
Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia
College of Biological and Environmental
Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de Quito,
Casilla Postal 17-12-841, Quito, Ecuador. E-mail:
diegofrancisco_cisneros@yahoo.com
Drymarchon melanurus is distributed from
Mexico across Central America southward into
South America to western Ecuador and extreme
northwestern Peru (Amaral 1929; McCranie 1980;
Uetz 1995-2005; Wuster et al. 2001; Köhler
2003). The taxon D. melanurus (Dumeril, Bibron
and Dumeril) has been generally regarded as a
subspecies of Drymarchon corais (Boie)
(Stejneger 1899; Amaral 1929; Peters and Orejas-
Miranda 1970; McCranie 1980). Recently, it was
elevated to a full species status by Wuster et al.
(2001), although some authors still recognize D.
melanurus as a subspecies of D. corais (e.g.,
Köhler 2003). Drymarchon melanurus has been
reported in Ecuador from the provinces of
Esmeraldas, Guayas, El Oro, Imbabura,
Pichincha, and Azuay (Pérez-Santos and Moreno
1991, Meza-Ramos and Yánez-Muñoz 2003;
Figure 1). Herein I report some new provincial
records that fill gaps between the previously
known localities.
A specimen of Drymarchon melanurus (FHGO
1247) was collected at the San Sebastian de
Pichincha - Solanillo road (79º53’W, 01º02’S,
200 m) on 15 August 1995. Another individual of
the species (FHGO-alive 333) was collected from
“La Sabana”, between San Antonio and Tosagua,
on 21 January 1991. Those records correspond to
the first localities for the species in the province
of Manabí (Figure 1).
Two specimens of Drymarchon melanurus were
collected at Malacatos (FHGO 735) (79º15’W,
04º12’S, 1480 m) on 01 May 1993, and at
Reserva Natural El Tundo (FHGO 1661) (ca.
79º51’W, 04º18’S, 1400 m) on 30 August 1997.
Those specimens along with one male individual
(FHGO-alive 2475) from Cañaverales, Quebrada
El Faique, Cantón Zapotillo (ca. 80º16’W,
04º03’S, 560 m), collected on 28 April 2001, and
two specimens cited by Wuster et al. (2001),
represent the first localities of the species from the
province of Loja (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Map of Ecuador showing the new
localities of Drymarchon melanurus and
provinces mentioned in the text: 1 = La Sabana, 2
= San Sebastian de Pichincha - Solanillo road, 3 =
Cañaverales, Quebrada El Faique, 4 = Reserva
Natural El Tundo, 5 = Malacatos, E = Esmeraldas,
M = Manabí, G = Guayas, EL = El Oro, L = Loja,
A = Azuay, P = Pichincha, I = Imbabura.
The localities herein reported in central Ecuador
(Manabí) and southern Ecuador (Loja) fill the gap
between localities in northern Ecuador and
extreme northern Peru. Based on records
presented herein, and those from other sources
(McCranie 1980; Pérez-Santos and Moreno 1991;
Wuster et al. 2001; Meza-Ramos and Yánez-
Muñoz 2003), Drymarchon melanurus inhabits
the following vegetation formations in Ecuador:
Lowland Evergreen Forest, Lowland
Semideciduous Forest, Lowland Deciduous
Forest, Foothill Evergreen Forest, Foothill
Semideciduous Forest, Montane Dry Thorn and
Scrub, and Low Montane Semideciduous Forest.
Drymarchon melanurus is certainly more
widespread than the present range suggested by
20
Check List 2(1)
ISSN: 1809-127X
NOTES ON GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION
the few available records, and it must inhabit
other provinces like Los Ríos and Bolívar.
Acknowledgments
I thank Jean-Marc Touzet and Ana María Velasco
for allowing access to the collection of the
Fundación Herpetologica G. Orcés (FHGO). To
Mario Yánez-Muñoz, curator of the Division of
Herpetology, Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias
Naturales, for information on additional records of
Drymarchon melanurus. To Jesús Sigala and
Ricardo J. Sawaya for their comments on the
manuscript. My gratitude to María Elena Heredia
and Laura Heredia for their continuous support in
various ways. Universidad San Francisco de Quito
provided institutional support.
Literature Cited
Amaral, A. do. 1929. Estudos sobre Ophidios
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Instituto Butantan IV: 3-11.
Köhler, G. 2003. Reptiles of Central America.
Offenbach: Herpeton. 367 p.
McCranie, J. R. 1980. Drymarchon corais.
Catalogue of American Amphibians and
Reptiles 267: 1-4.
Meza-Ramos P. and M. Yánez-Muñoz. 2003.
Nuevos registros de distribución y adición
para la herpetofauna de Ecuador. Pp. 145-
146. In C. E. Cerón and C. I. Reyes. (eds.),
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de Biología "Pedro Núñez Lucio". Quito.
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Peters, J. A. and B. Orejas-Miranda. 1970.
Catalogue of Neotropical Squamata Part I.
Snakes. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian
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Stejneger, L. H. 1899. Reptiles of the Tres Marías
and Isabel islands. North American Fauna
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Uetz, P. 1995-2005. The EMBL Reptile Database.
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database.org. EMBL Heidelberg, Germany.
Captured on November 2005.
Wuster, W., J. L. Yrausquin, and A. Mijares-
Urrutia. 2001. A new species of Indigo Snake
from North-western Venezuela (Serpentes:
Colubridae: Drymarchon). Herpetological
Journal 11: 157-165.
Received November 2005
Accepted March 2006
Published online March 2006
21
... (Köhler et al. 2006). Although Köhler et al. (2006) continued to recognize D. corais for Salvadoran populations of Drymarchon because molecular data remain lacking, D. melanurus has gained common acceptance as a valid species (e.g., Cisneros-Heredia 2006;McCranie et al. 2005). ...
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