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Description of two new species from Venezuela in the highly diverse dipsadine genus Atractus (Serpentes: Colubridae)

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Two new species of Atractus are described from Venezuela uplands and highlands on two northern Andean cordilleras. Atractus acheronius, known only from Sierra de Perijá, can be distinguished from congeners by having 17 dorsal scale rows, presence of preocular scales, seven upper and lower labials, seven maxillary teeth, 166 ventrals in the single female, 23 subcaudals, dorsum brown with small dark brown dots, large body size, huge body diameter, and small tail size. Atractus multidentatus, known only from north versant of the Cordillera de Mérida, can be distinguished from congeners by having 17 dorsal scale rows, eight upper and lower labials, 18 maxillary teeth, 153 ventrals in the single female, nine subcaudals, dorsum reddish brown with five longitudinal dark brown stripes, small body size, small body diameter, and small tail size. Additionally, a discussion concerning the species description of Atractus based on unique specimens is provided.

Affiliations: 1: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Quinta da Boa Vista, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil;, Email:; 2: Museo de Biologia, Facultad Experimental de Ciencias, La Universidad del Zulia, Apartado Postal 526, Maracaibo 4011, Maracaibo, Venezuela; 3: Fundación AndígenA, Apartado Postal 210. 5101-A. Mérida, Venezuela


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