Description and phylogeny of three new species of Synophis (Colubridae, Dipsadinae) from the tropical Andes in Ecuador and Peru

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Abstract

The discovery of three new species of Synophis snakes from the eastern slopes of the tropical Andes in Ecuador and Peru is reported. All previous records of Synophis bicolor from eastern Ecuador correspond to Synophis bogerti sp. n., which occurs between 1000-1750 m along a large part of the Amazonian slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. In contrast, Synophis zamora sp. n. is restricted to southeastern Ecuador, including Cordillera del Cóndor, between 1543-1843 m. Synophis insulomontanus sp. n. is from the eastern slopes of the Andes in central and northern Peru, between 1122-1798 m, and represents the first record of Synophis from this country. All three new species share in common a large lateral spine at the base of the hemipenial body. A molecular phylogenetic tree based on three mitochondrial genes is presented, including samples of Diaphorolepis wagneri. Our tree strongly supports Synophis and Diaphorolepis as sister taxa, as well as monophyly of the three new species described here and Synophis calamitus. Inclusion of Synophis and Diaphorolepis within Dipsadinae as sister to a clade containing Imantodes, Dipsas, Ninia, Hypsiglena and Pseudoleptodeira is also supported. ResumenSe reporta el descubrimiento de tres especies nuevas de serpientes Synophis de las estribaciones orientales de los Andes tropicales en Ecuador y Perú. Todos los registros previos de Synophis bogerti del oriente ecuatoriano corresponden a Synophis bogertisp. n., la cual ocurre entre 1000–1750 m a lo largo de gran parte de las estribaciones amazónicas de los Andes ecuatorianos. En contraste, Synophis zamorasp. n. se restringe al suroriente de Ecuador, incluyendo la Cordillera del Cóndor, entre 1543–1843 m. Synophis insulomontanussp. n. es de las estribaciones orientales de los Andes del centro y norte del Perú, entre 1122–1798 m, y representa el primer registro de Synophis para este país. Todas las tres especies nuevas comparten en común una espina lateral larga en la base del cuerpo del hemipene. Un árbol molecular filogenético, basado en tres genes mitocondriales es presentado, incluyendo muestras de Diaphorolepis wagneri. Nuestro árbol apoya fuertemente a Synophis y Diaphorolepis como taxa hermanos, así como la monofilia de las tres especies descritas y de Synophis calamitus. La inclusión de Synophis y Diaphorolepis dentro de Dipsadinae, como hermanas a un clado que contiene a Imantodes, Dipsas, Ninia, Hypsiglena y Pseudoleptodeira también es apoyada.

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Torres-Carvajal, O., Echevarría, L. Y., Venegas, P. J., Chávez, G., & Camper, J. D. (2015). Description and phylogeny of three new species of Synophis (Colubridae, Dipsadinae) from the tropical Andes in Ecuador and Peru. ZooKeys, 2015(546), 153–179. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.546.6533

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