EPICRATES INORNATUS PDF

PLoS One. Published online May Graham Reynolds Find articles by R. Graham Reynolds Liam J.

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PLoS One. Published online May Graham Reynolds Find articles by R. Graham Reynolds Liam J. Revell Find articles by Liam J. Analyzed the data: RGR. Collected majority of samples: ARPR. Received Nov 7; Accepted Apr 9. Abstract The endemic Puerto Rican boa Epicrates inornatus has spent 42 years on the Endangered Species List with little evidence for recovery.

One significant impediment to effective conservation planning has been a lack of knowledge of the distribution of genetic variability in the species.

It has previously been suggested that boas might best be protected around caves that harbor large populations of bats. Prior study has found Puerto Rican boas at relatively high densities in and around bat caves, which they use both to feed and seek shelter. However, it is unknown whether these behaviorally distinctive populations represent a distinct evolutionary lineage, or conversely whether caves harbor representative genetic diversity for the species across the island.

We provide the first genetic study of the Puerto Rican boa, and we examine and compare genetic diversity and divergence among two cave populations and two surface populations of boas. We find three haplogroups and an apparent lack of phylogeographic structure across the island. In addition, we find that the two cave populations appear no less diverse than the two surface populations, and harbor multiple mtDNA lineages. We discuss the conservation implications of these findings, including a call for the immediate protection of the remaining cave-associated populations of boas.

Introduction In the Caribbean, the boid genus Epicrates represents a diverse and ecologically important group of snakes comprising ten or more endemic species— at least three in the Bahama Archipelago and at least seven in the Greater Antilles [1]. The Puerto Rican boa E. In , the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources classified this species as vulnerable, though it is still considered an endangered species by the U.

Fish and Wildlife Service. A subsequent 5-year evaluation was completed in This evaluation determined that the species is both sufficiently in danger of extinction, and missing data relevant to recovery criteria, to recommend that it not be down-listed [3].

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Puerto Rican boa

Color ranges from tan to dark brown. Patterning often consists of irregular, diffuse markings along the back, but some snakes are uniformly dark. Underside scales are dark brown with pale edges. Juveniles are reddish brown with prominent markings; females are larger than males.

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Taxonomy[ edit ] It is extremely similar to the Jamaican species Epicrates subflavus which was seen as the same species for some fifty years until it was split from this species in by Leonhard Hess Stejneger. Reinhardt had three snakes of this species to study for his description, these are the syntypes and are stored in Copenhagen. They were collected by a certain Dr. Ravn from Puerto Rico. It can grow to some 1. The colours of the three live specimens he knew of were variable; two he describes as " bistre " deep, dark, grayish brown , the other as "chestnut" with a darker colour near the tail, the first had a darker ventral surface, the second he describes as "slate" coloured, and the last had a lighter slate-brown underside with the ventral scales having paler edges.

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Puerto Rican Boa

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