Rats! Snake mistake sinks paper

Senticolis triapsis by A Bike Odyssey, under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Check List, the “journal of species lists and distribution,” retracted a paper in February after the authors realized they hadn’t spotted a yellow-red rat snake in a strange range, but rather a green rat snake in its known home.

Here’s the notice for “New distribution and elevation records for the snake Pseudelaphe flavirufa Cope, 1867 (Squamata: Colubridae) in Oaxaca, Mexico,” as written by the authors:

It was brought to our attention that, unfortunately, the species of our note was misidentified. It is in fact Senticolis triaspis (Cope, 1866). Therefore, the first record of Pseudelaphe flavirufa for the Municipality of San Bartolo Coyotepec and for the floristic-faunistic area number 6 (Valles Centrales) of Oaxaca are no longer valid, as well as the new elevation record.

Here’s the abstract:

A juvenile of the semiarboreal snake, Pseudelaphe flavirufa, was found on Cerro El Sabino, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, at an elevation of 1728 m. This record represents a new municipality, new floristic-faunistic area, and highest range-wide elevation reported for this uncommon snake species. The known distribution of the species in Oaxaca is from fragmented localities, so more effort is needed to assess its all-inclusive range within the state.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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