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FEBRUARY 6, 1932
Boston Society of Natural
FIVE NEW SUBSPECIES OF THE
BY OLIVE GRIFFITH STULL
In the course of a revision of the family Boidae
the examination of large series of specimens has revealed examples of what are apparently
five new subspecies representing four genera of that group.
It seems advisable to describe these forms before the presentation of the
I wish to express my indebtedness for the
opportunity of studying this group to the National Research Council, under whose grant as
a Fellow in the Biological Sciences the revision has been made, and to give my sincere
thanks to Dr. Thomas Barbour, under whose direction the work was done in the Museum of
Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.
Four of the described forms are represented
by types in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. A
new subspecies of the genus constrictor is named in honor of Dr. Afranjo do
the collector of the type and several of the paratypes.
constrictor amarali, subsp. nov.
Comparative Zoology no. 16700, collected by Dr. A. do Amaral.
Type Locality.---Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Paratypes.---University of Michigan Museum of Zoology nos. 63009-63011, Sao Paulo Brazil,
collected by Dr. A. do Amaral, and no. 68005, Buena Vista, Dept. Santa Cruz, Bolivia,
collected by Dr. Jose Steinbach; Field Museum of Natural History no 9197,
Matto Grosso, Brazil, collected by Dr. Karl P. Schmidt; and no. 9198, Urucum, Matto
Grosso, Brazil, collected by Dr. K. P. Schmidt; American Museum of Natural History no.
14549, Brazil, collector unknown.
Diagnosis.---This form may be distinguished
from the related subspecies as follows: from
the more northern South American form Constrictor constrictor constrictor (Linne)
by the lower number of scale rows (71-79 instead of 85-89), the lower average number of
ventrals (226-237 (average 232) instead of 234-250 (average 242)), the lower average
number of caudals (43-52 (average 48) instead of 49-62 (average 54)), and the grayer
coloring and differently shaped dorsal spots; from the Argentinean C. c. occidentalis
(Philippi) by the smaller number of ventrals (242-251 in the latter) and the coloration;
from the Mexican and Central American C. c. imperator (Daudin) by the lower number
of ventrals (235-253 (average 243.4) in the latter), the lower number of caudals (47-69
(average 59.7) in the latter), and the coloration; from the Saboga Island C. c. sabogae
(Barbour) by the lower number of ventrals (241-245 in the latter), the lower number of
caudals (68 in the latter), and the coloration; and from the Mexican C. c. mexicanus
(Jan) by the higher number of scale rows (71-79 instead of 55).
Description.--- Male. Squamation: scale rows 53-75-37; ventrals 237;
caudals 50; supralabials 22, separated from the suboculars by a series of scales;
infralabials 23 on the right side, 24 on the left; 17 scales in the right ocular ring, 19
in the left. Anal spurs present.
mandibular teeth 18; maxillary 17; palatine 5; pterygoid 10.
ground color of both dorsum and belly uniformly heavily gray-speckled;
dorsal series of 22 median spots on the body, 5 on the tail, the spots of the midbody
region being saddle-shaped but each with a definite tapering process extending anteriorly
in the vertebral line and another extending posteriorly; the dorsal spots connected by a
dark dorso-lateral streak on either side, bearing each a pale elongate spot at the lateral
edge; a series of alternating dark spots, usually with light centers, on the sides;
posteriorly and on the tail the spots are larger and quadrangular in shape. Total length 495 mm.; tail length 51 mm. or 10.3
percent of the total.
Variation.---The seven paratypes show the
following variation: scale rows 53-61 at the
neck, 71-79 in the middle of the body, 37-43 anterior to the vent; ventrals 226-237;
caudals 43-52; supralabials 20-24; infralabials 23-27; oculars 15-20; anal spurs much
smaller in females than in males; maxillary teeth 17-18; pterygoids 10-11; tail length
from 8.3 to 13.8 percent of the total length, the largest specimen (field no. 9197)
measuring 1570 mm.
Remarks.---Of the eight specimens examined
two have the mental shield as broad as long, three have it longer than broad, and three
broader than long. This form is thus
intermediate between C. c. constrictor and C. c. occidentalis in this
character as well as geographically, and the latter should therefore be considered a
subspecies rather than a full species, as hitherto.
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