Ninia teresitae , Angarita-Sierra, Teddy & Lynch, John D., 2017

Angarita-Sierra, Teddy & Lynch, John D., 2017, A new species of Ninia (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Chocó-Magdalena biogeographical province, western Colombia, Zootaxa 4244 (4), pp. 478-492: 481-488

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Ninia teresitae

sp. nov.

Ninia teresitae  sp. nov.

Fig. 2 View Figure

Cresonyms. Ninia atrata  (ICN 10661) and Ninia maculata  (ICN 6906): Castaño-M, O. V., Cardenas-A, G., Hernádez-R, E. & Castro, F, 2004, Reptiles  en el Chocó biogeográfico-catálogo, p. 613, 619. In: Rangel-Ch, J. O. (Ed.), 2004.

Holotype. Adult male, ICNAbout ICN 12527, collected by Lucas Barrientos on April 9 2010 at Santa Helena oil palm plantation (01°37´30”N, 78°44´20”W; 20 m asl), municipality of Tumaco , Km 28 of the Tumaco–Llorente road, 1 km S of Tumaco, department of NariñoGoogleMaps  , Colombia.

Paratypes. Nine specimens: adult female ( ICNAbout ICN 10661) collected at La Cabaña (6°3’7.82”N, 76°15’4,7”W; 1404m asl), near Calles River, Parque Natural Nacional Las Orquideas, municipality of Urrao and adult female ( MHUAAbout MHUA 14860View Materials) collected at the Hydroelectric dam San Carlos (06°12’39.00”N, 74°50’26.00”W; 740 m asl), vereda Juarez, municipality of San Carlos, both of department of AntioquiaGoogleMaps  ; adult male ( ICNAbout ICN 7927View Materials) collected between vereda La Cristalina and Dosquebradas near the Police station of Puerto Romero (05°54’41.83”N, 74°21’8.65”W; 704 m asl), municipality of Puerto Boyacá, department of BoyacáGoogleMaps  ; five specimens all from the municipality of Tumaco, department of Nariño, male ( ICNAbout ICN 12528) same provenance as the holotype, females ( ICNAbout ICN 12523–25View Materials) and male ( ICNAbout ICN 12526) collected at Santa Fé oil palm plantation (1°24´8.5”N; 78°33´30” W; 105 m), Km 63 of the road Tumaco – Llorente, 4 km west near Llorente; and adult female ( ICNAbout ICN 6906View Materials) from corregimiento de Santa Cecilia (5°11´25.22”N, 76°24´16.41”W), municipality of Pueblo Rico, department of RisaraldaGoogleMaps  .

Diagnosis. Ninia teresitae  can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: ventral surfaces of head and body spotted without regular pattern ( Fig. 3 View Figure ), subcaudal surface homogenously black or dark brown; two nasal scales; bilobed hemipenis (50¯74% respect to hemipenial body); centrifugal, bifurcation of the sulcus spermaticus proximal to midpoint of the hemipenial body; lateral projection ornamented with a large basal hooked spine that is larger than any other spine on the hemipenial body.

Comparisons. Ninia teresita  was previously identified as N. atrata  and N. maculata  by Castaño-M et al. (2004). Nevertheless, conspicuous characters distinguish it from both these species, such as the uniformly black or dark brown dorsal ground color (vs. dark body bands in N. maculata  ), ventral surfaces of head and body spotted without regular pattern, chin surface black or dark brown (vs. ventral surfaces of head and chin homogeneously cream in N. atrata  or arranged in checkered patterns in N. maculata  ); subcaudal surface homogenously black or dark brown (vs. subcaudal surface cream in N. atrata  , or arranged in checkered pattern in N. maculata  ), hemipenis with a lateral projection ornamented with a large basal hook-shaped spine that is larger than any other spine on the hemipenial body (vs. hemipenial body without lateral projection), and two nasal scales (vs. one nasal scale in N. atrata  ) ( Table1).

Description of the holotype. Adult male, 429 mm TL; 105 mm CL; 324 mm SVL; CL/SVL ratio 0.32; head distinct from body; HL 11.72 mm; HW 7.14 mm; rostral wider than high; internasals wider than long (1.64 x 1.12 mm); internasal suture 0.88 mm; prefrontals longer than internasals, longer than wide (3.38 x 2.72 mm; suture 2.68 mm); frontal cordform and slightly longer than wide (3.64 x 3.4 mm); parietals longer than wide (6.28 x 3.42 mm); interparietal suture 3.44 mm; supraoculars 1/1, each longer than wider (1.78 x 0.88 mm), entering orbit and contacting postocular; nasal scales 2/2 where proximal nasal scale contacts internasal, rostral, first supralabial, and posterior nasal in contact with loreal, prefrontal, internasal, first and second supralabials; loreal single, longer than high (2.16 x 1.8 mm), entering orbit and in contact with 2nd and 3rd supralabials; postoculars 1/1; temporal formulae 1+2, anterior temporal scale two times longer than lower posterior temporal; anterior temporal in contact with 5th and 6th supralabials; supralabials 7/7; 4th and 5th supralabials entering orbit, 5th in contact with postocular; infralabials 8/8, 1– 5 in contact with two pairs of chin scales; small tubercles present on mental scale, all infralabials, and chin scales; dorsal scales in 19/19/19 rows, keeled, strongly striated, lacking apical pits; ventrals 145; divided subcaudals 65; cloacal plate undivided.

Dorsal surface uniformly dark brown, without nuchal band; ventral ground color creamish white with ventral scales heavily marked with black pigment; edged of the ventral scales uniformly black or dark brown; ventral surfaces of head and gular region black or dark brown; subcaudal surface homogenously black or dark brown. ( Figs. 2 View Figure , 3 View Figure B, 4B).

Color pattern variation. The ventral coloration in some specimens are faintly pigmented with small irregular spots ( ICNAbout ICN 7927,12522–23, 12528); however, other specimens are strongly pigmented with large, irregular, randomly dispersed spots ( ICNAbout ICN 6906, 12525, 12528). The nuchal band, when present, resembles the pattern exhibited by trans-Andean Ninia atrata  populations ( ICNAbout ICN 6906, 7927, 12522–23, 12528).

......continued on the next page Hemipenial morphology (n = 3). Hemipenes in situ extends to the level of 7th or 8th subcaudal; organ bilobed and semicaliculate; sulcus spermaticus centrifugal and bifurcated, bifurcation point always proximal to midpoint of hemipenial body; sulcus spermaticus branch runs to tip of lobes; intrasulcar region densely covered with calyces; capitation plane just below the bifurcation point; sulcus spermaticus walls robust and well defined; sulcus spermaticus edges ornamented with numerous spinules. In sulcate view, basally, hemipenial body covered with small hook-shaped spines; laterally, ornamented with two oblique rows of hook-shaped spines and only one lateral projection ornate with a large basal hook-shaped spine larger than any other spine on the hemipenial body; globular lobes, conspicuously differentiated from hemipenial body and homogenously ornamented with calyces. In asulcate view, basally, hemipenial body has a pocket-shaped structure ornate with a small hook-shaped spine in the center and covered by small hook-shaped spines; basal region of spines followed by a region shallowly ornamented or nude. Medially, three or four oblique rows of hook-shaped spines arranged in an inverted “V” pattern; capitation clotch located just above the bifurcation point of sulcus spermaticus (sulcate side); region between capitation groove and the forked point of lobes covered with numerous and dense rows of spines organized in an inverted “V” pattern ( Fig. 5 View Figure ).

Distribution and natural history. Ninia teresitae  is known to inhabit in the Chocó-Magdalena biogeographic province of Colombia ( Hernández-Camacho et al. 1992) between 50–1400 m asl, and occurs in sympatry with N. atrata  ( McCranie & Wilson 1995; Angarita-Sierra 2009, 2014). This province extends from southwestern Ecuador through the Chocoan region to eastern Panamá, including the western margin of the lower Cauca River Basin in Antioquia, the upper San Jorge and Sinu River Basins and reaching the middle Magdalena River Basin ( Rangel-Ch & Arellano-P, 2004). During the past twenty years, this region has been deforested for cultivation more than 150,000 hectares of oil palm plantations (Fedepalma 2014). The holotype of Ninia teresitae  was collected hidden under piles of leaves palm at the Santa Helena oil palm plantation during morning hours ( Fig. 6 View Figure )

Etymology. The specific epithet teresitae  represent the Latin translation of the nickname from the Spanish “ Teresita  ” and is given in honor to the grandmother of the first author, Maria Teresa Guerrero (1915¯2013). “ Teresita  ” was one of the most influential persons in her grandson’s life, who never failed to support him and encouraged his endless passion for snakes.

TABLE 1. Lepidosis and comparison of cephalic characters used in the MDS analysis. The abbreviations represent the following variables: SVL = snout ventral length; HL = head length; HW = head width; PL = parietal length; PW = parietal width; FL = frontal length; FW = frontal width; PFL = prefrontal length; PFW = prefrontal width, INL = internasal length; INW = internasal width; SPL = supraocular length; SPH = supreocular height; LH = loreal height; LL = loreal length; INS = internasal suture; PFS = prefrontal suture; PS = parietal suture.

Temporal formulae

Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Museo de Historia Natural


Museo de Herpetologia de la Universidad de Antioquia