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Systematics of neotropical gastropod-eating snakes: the sartorii group of the genus Sibon

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Sibon sartorii, S. annulifera and S. zweifeli are more closely related to each other than to any other species of Sibon, and together they comprise the sartorii group. The sartorii group is distinguished by the shared characteristics of: 1) cylindrical body; 2) dorsal scales of equal size; 3) dorsal pattern of black bands alternating with light bands of red, orange, yellow, beige, cream or white; 4) 6-12 maxillary teeth; 5) 10-16 dentary teeth; and 6) non-protruding eyes of small to moderate diameter. Geographic and non-geographic variation in the species are analyzed. Colors of light bands and collars of S. sartorii cannot be used as a characteristic to diagnose subspecies because of the tremendous variation throughout its range. S. sartorii has two valid subspecies, the nominate form and S. sartorii macdougalli. Data are presented for inclusion of Tropidodipsas sartorii annulata in the synonymy of S. s. sartorii. S. annulifera is monotypic, and S. zweifeli is known from only two specimens.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology and Physiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-1725, U.S.A


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