Caraiba Zaher et al., 2009

Hedges, Blair, Couloux, Arnaud & Vidal, Nicolas, 2009, Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of West Indian racer snakes of the Tribe Alsophiini (Squamata, Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae), Zootaxa 2067, pp. 1-28: 14

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Caraiba Zaher et al., 2009


Genus Caraiba Zaher et al., 2009 

Type species. Liophis andreae Reinhardt & Lütken, 1862: 214  .

Diagnosis. The species in this genus has 17 midbody scale rows, 131–157 ventrals, 90–120 subcaudals, 1 apical scale pit, 8 upper labials, 9 lower labials, 20–23 total maxillary teeth, and 25–28 dentary teeth ( Table 2). Caraiba  differs in at least one of these characters from all other alsophiine genera except Hypsirhynchus  . From that genus it differs in having a hemipene with enlarged papillate body calyces in the basal region and medial surface of the lobes ( Zaher 1999).

Content. One species (six species + subspecies) is included in the genus ( Table 1).

Distribution. The genus is distributed on Cuba, including Isla de Juventud ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2).

Remarks. The single species of Caraiba  is a moderate-sized species of racer, occurring sympatrically with smaller and larger genera of racers on Cuba. The finding here ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1. A and 4View FIGURE 4. A) that “ Antillophis  andreae  ( Cuba) groups with large Cuban racers of another genus (see below) and that “ Antillophis  parvifrons (Hispaniola)  groups with Hispaniolan species ( Hypsirhynchus  ) is also supported by morphology: the former species ( Cuba) have 17 midbody scale rows whereas the latter species (Hispaniola) have 19 midbody scale rows. Myers (1973) also had reservations about Maglio’s (1970) recognition of Antillophis  based on morphology. Zaher et al. (2009) described Caraiba  for the single species, based only on its hemipenial differences.