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The venomous coral snakes of the genus leptomicrurus serpentes elapidae of south america with a description of a new subspecies

The venomous coral snakes of the genus leptomicrurus serpentes elapidae of south america with a description of a new subspecies

Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Bollettino 5(2): 573-608

ISSN/ISBN: 0392-758X

Among the venomus coral snakes (serpientes corales, cobras coraes) of the family Elapidae of South America is a group of species included in the genus Leptomicrurus whose taxonomic definition recently has undergone several changes. In order to establish a better base for characterizing these species their generic status we studied about 90 specimens that represent all the species that have been included in the genus Leptomicrurus. In continuation we offer a historical and taxonomic summary of the genus, a brief morphological analysis and distributional data that enable us to conclude that Leptomicrurus is a valid genus and distinct from Micrurus Wagler (1824) and Micruroides Schmidt (1928). The most apparent characteristic that separates Leptomicrurus from the other two genera of neotropical coral snakes is the contact of the first pair of geneials with the mental which separates the first right infralabial from the left. Leptomicrurus is distributed in the central and northern part of South America. It contains the following species: L. collaris (with two subspecies, L. c. collaris and L. collaris breviventris ssp. nov., described in this paper), L. narduccii (with the subspecies, L. n. narduccii and L. n. melanotus) and L. scutiventris.

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Accession: 006792231

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