When the tail shakes the snake: phylogenetic affinities and morphology of Atractus badius (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), reveals some current pitfalls on the snake's genomic age
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Atractus badius has a long and controversial nomenclatural history due to both its antiquity and the brevity of its original description. This species was described based on two syntypes from Java. Later, a lectotype was designated and the distribution range restricted to the Guiana Shield. Although this species has been repeatedly recorded throughout Amazonia and the Andes, these records have been erroneously assigned to A. badius because of a considerable level of confusion in the literature. We found 13 additional specimens of this poorly known snake, expanding our knowledge on its morphological variability, phylogenetic relationships and distribution. In this paper, we report new localities and data on meristic, morphometric, coloration, scales micro-ornamentation, osteology and hemipenial morphology to A. badius. We also determine the phylogenetic position of A. badius as nested in a composite Guiana Shield clade. In addition, we discuss recent advances on the systematics of Atractus and comment on some 'new arrangements' with respect to previously recognized species groups and available morphological evidence. Finally, we highlight the importance of accurate voucher identification before promoting taxonomic changes or implementing nomenclatural acts derived from new phylogenetic hypotheses, and notably propose the synonymy of the recently described A. pyroni with A. roulei.
Passos P, Melo-Sampaio PR, Ramos LO, Grazziotin FG, Fouquet A, Torres-Carvajal O. When the tail shakes the snake: phylogenetic affinities and morphology of Atractus badius (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), reveals some current pitfalls on the snake's genomic age. An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 2022 Jan;94(1):e20191254. doi:10.1590/0001-3765202220191254.
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