Leptophis ahaetulla ssp. - Giant Parrot Snake / Lora / Azulão-Boia (Linnaeus, 1758)
Reptilia: Squamata: Toxicofera: Ophidia: Serpentes: Alethinophidia: Colubroidea: Colubridae: Colubrinae: Colubrini
Data: 15 de Julho, 2018 às 10:19:15
Local: Brazil, Ceará, Caucaia (Lat: -3.71, Long: -38.64)
Leptophis ahaetulla is a snake in the class Reptilia, order Squamata, subdivision Toxicofera, subdivision Ophidia suborder Serpentes, infraorder Alethinophidia, superfamily Colubroidea (containing over 85% of all the extant species of snakes), family Colubridae and subfamily Colubrinae. The tribe is a bit challenging, but I found this part in an article which mentions three groups and that Leptophis ahaetulla is currently inside Colubrini: "Species currently recognized as colubrine colubrids form a single group (Fig. I; Table I). This group (I) is comprised of three clades. A small, poorly-resolved clade (A) consists of two Neotropical colubrines, Pseustes poecilonotus and Leptophis ahaetulla, each of which possesses one unique and one rare allele." - Further down the text the mention of Colubrini is written. You can find the article here:
10 subspecies are currently recognized in the species and distributed in Central and South America. The subspecies are:
Leptophis ahaetulla ahaetulla (Linnaeus, 1758)
Leptophis ahaetulla bocourti Boulenger, 1898
Leptophis ahaetulla bolivianus Oliver, 1942
Leptophis ahaetulla chocoensis Oliver, 1942
Leptophis ahaetulla liocercus (Wied, 1824)
Leptophis ahaetulla marginatus (Cope, 1862)
Leptophis ahaetulla nigromarginatus (Günther, 1866)
Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis (Günther, 1859)
Leptophis ahaetulla ortonii Cope, 1876
Leptophis ahaetulla praestans (Cope, 1868)
Distribution as follows (endemic):
Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, southern Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama.
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
They may reach a total length of approximately 1720mm.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptophis_ahaetulla (including scientific references)
Semiarboreal in nature, the whole genus is made of slender, elongate species with a distinct head from the neck. The coloration is mainly green, golden or copper in most subspecies. A dorsal, distinct longitudinal stripe is usually used as an identification trait but may not be present. Narrow transversal bands are present or absent. Extreme variations in coloring, external morphology and teeth are common in L. ahaetulla.
They prey on Anura - mainly arboreal Hylids -, lizards, birds and any small vertebrate animal that can turn into a target prey.
The whole genus is diagnosed with 18 to 36 maxillary teeth with the last two or three teeth being larger and gapless. They are not separated from the previous teeth by a diastema. Posterior vertebrae lacking hypapophysis. 15 rows of dorsal scales in the middle of the body that usually have an apical fossa present. First row strongly keeled and smooth on each side. They should not be mistaken with the morphologically similar Philodryas. At a glance, the black transversal stripes crossing the laterals of the head, reaching and surpassing the eyes, are defining diagnosing characters for amateurs. However, Leptophis' scales are different than those of Philodryas, the eyes are large and round, a distinctive longitudinal dorsal pattern with a darkened coloring may be present and the snake sports different overall coloring. The tail is also long, with smooth keels. Keels are smooth on the neck as well. Further traits are the absence of the loreal scale and the possible extension of prefrontals that contact with the 8 or 9 upper labials.
They usually found in wetlands in bushes and on trees in tropical and subtropical forests. L. ahaetulla are oviparous and lay from one to five eggs at a time that hatch during wet seasons (from May to November) after incubating for approximately 89 days (Solórzano 2002, op. cit.; Savage 2002). They can also be found in semi-urban areas on the ground, bushes and trees. The male slowly approaches the female until the bodies are aligned. The male begins rolling over the female in caudocephalic waves. This behavior can take 12 minutes or, perhaps, more. Once that is over, they proceed to climb to a higher place and coil around each other. They whip their tails with pausing lapses of around three times in a coordinate fashion but never leaving the same position. The process can last around 8 minutes or, perhaps, more. Mating season may happen at the start of the driest season in the region. The study above can be found here: http://www.academia.edu/3893143/Leptophis_ahaetulla_Giant_Parrotsnake_._Reproduction
The epithet of the genus comes from the Greek, with "leptus" meaning "delicate or thin" and "ophis" meaning "snake".
They were believed to be non-venomous but, apparently, that is not the case. The venom is weak and symptoms last for just a few hours. Symptoms include local pain and swelling. The feeling of pins entering the skin may also be present.
http://bdtd.ibict.br/vufind/Record/P_RS_107773f90495f3c055c360b27f38de5d (old, from 2008)
''Leptophis ahaetulla'', commonly known as the lora or parrot snake, is a species of medium-sized slender snake of the Colubridae family. It is endemic to Central America and northern South America.