Full length paper

Fossorial snake genus Apostolepis from South America (Serpentes: Colubridae: Elapomorphinae)

Cuadernos de Herpetología 15 (1): 29-43, 2001 crothales@pucrs.br


An update commented list of the snake genus Apostolepis from South America, with keys for identification of the species. They are fossorial snakes that present different coloration according their distribution: (a) 7 to 3 dark stripes coloration, without light nuchal collar (if present, vestigial), with snout not projected beyond jaws - in Amazonian and enclaves within Caatinga domain; (b) 5 dark striped dorsal pattern, snout projected, usually without white nuchal collars — from region of contact between Cerrado and Chaco domains; (c) dorsal pattern coloration uniformly red, with nucho-cervical collars, snout usually projected — in Cerrado with dispersion to Chaco and Caatinga; (d) 2 or none dark stripes dorsally, venter immaculate or with black blotches, snout projecting: (e) an aberrant pattern with oblique black dorsal stripes, without collars, head black and snout projecting — one species in an enclave within Caatinga, with 17 rows of scales instead of 15.

Key words:

Apostolepis; distribution

Received: Nov. 28, 2000 ▪ Accepted: Jul. 09, 2001

De Lema, T. 2001. Fossorial snake genus Apostolepis from South America (Serpentes: Colubridae: Elapomorphinae). Cuadernos de Herpetología 15: 29-43.