Loxocemidae

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Loxocemidae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Infraorder: Alethinophidia
Family: Loxocemidae
Cope, 1861
Genus: Loxocemus
Cope, 1861
Species: L. bicolor
Binomial name
Loxocemus bicolor
Cope, 1861
Synonyms
  • Loxocemi - Cope, 1861
  • Loxocemina - Boulenger, 1879
  • Loxoceminae - Romer, 1956
  • Loxocemidae - McDowell, 1975[1]

  • Loxocemus - Cope, 1861
  • Plastoseryx - Jan, 1862[1]

  • L[oxocemus]. bicolor - Cope, 1861
  • Plastoseryx Bronni - Jan, 1862
  • Loxocemus Sumichrasti - Bocourt, 1876
  • Loxocemus Sumichrasti - Bocourt, 1876
  • Loxocemus bicolor - Boulenger, 1896
  • Loxocemus bicolor bicolor - Woodbury & Woodbury, 1944
  • Loxocemus bicolor sumichrasti - Woodbury & Woodbury, 1944[1]
Common names: Mexican python,[2] Mexican burrowing python,[3] Mexican burrowing snake.

The Loxocemidae are a monotypic family[2] of snakes created for the monotypic genus Loxocemus[4] that contains the species L. bicolor found in Mexico and Central America. Loxocemidae is the smallest snake family, having just one species and one genus. No subspecies are currently recognized.[5]

Description[edit]

Being the sole member of its family, its relation to other snakes is not known. It resembles members of the Pythonidae in several respects, but since that group is not found in the Americas, it is believed to be unrelated. According to Noonan & Chippindale (2006), it is most closely related to the pythons from the Australian/New Guinean region (Morelia and Aspidites).

Adults grow to a maximum of 1.57 m (62 in) in length.[6] On average this snake grows to roughly 91 cm (3ft). The body is stout and very muscular. The snout is shovel-shaped, with a narrow head and small eyes to facilitate burrowing. The species is described as terrestrial and semi-fossorial,[6] which makes them hard to observe and study. The color pattern is usually dark with patches of white scales, although occasionally after shedding all pigment will disappear, resulting in a white snake with only a small dark patch on its head.

Geographic range[edit]

Found along the Mexican Pacific versant at low to moderate elevations in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Morelos, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. From there its range extends south through Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua to Costa Rica. The type locality given is "La Unión, San Salvador" (in El Salvador).[1]

Habitat[edit]

They are found in a variety of habitats including tropical, moist, and dry forests. In Honduras and Guatemala, they also occur in dry inland valleys that drain into the Caribbean.[1]

Feeding[edit]

The diet is believed to consist of rodents and lizards. It has also been observed eating iguana eggs.

Reproduction[edit]

They are oviparous, laying small clutches of 2-4 eggs.[6]

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b "Loxocemidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Species Loxocemus bicolor at The Reptile Database. Accessed 17 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Loxocemus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "Loxocemus bicolor". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c Loxocemidae at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 3 November 2008.

Noonan, B. P. & Chippindale, P. T. (2006): Dispersal and vicariance: The complex evolutionary history of boid snakes. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 347–358.

External links[edit]