Taxonomic revision of the Bothrops neuwiedi complex (Serpentes, Viperidae) with description of a new species


  • Vinícius Xavier da Silva Universidade Federal de Alfenas; Departamento de Ciências Biológicas
  • Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues Universidade de São Paulo; Departamento de Zoologia



Serpentes, Viperidae, Crotalinae, Bothrops neuwiedi complex, taxonomic revision, species description, South America


Using a principal components analysis of morphological data of 1,759 specimens, we detected that the Bothrops neuwiedi complex (with 12 subspecies) is, actually, comprised of 7 full species, differing mainly by qualitative characteristics. One species was nominal. Five subspecies were elevated to the species level. Bothrops iglesiasi and the remaining B. neuwiedi subspecies entered in the synonymy of these six species. A new species is described. The new classification includes: Bothrops neuwiedi (synonyms: B. n. goyazensis, B. n. meridionalis, B. n. paranaensis and B. n. urutu), B. diporus, B. lutzi (synonyms: B. n. neuwiedi, B. n. piauhyensis and B. iglesiasi), B. mattogrossensis (synonym: B. n. bolivianus), B. pauloensis, B. pubescens, and the new species. This new species is characterized by stippled supralabials, instead of the conspicuous supralabial blotches present in other species of this complex. It is further characterized by an inconspicuous postorbital stripe and by 15-27 white-edged trapezoidal dorsolateral dark blotches throughout the body, 5-9 intersupraoculars (usually 7), 1-2 rows of small scales between the subocular and fourth supralabial, 8-9 supralabials (rarely 7 or 10), prelacunal separated from second supralabial, 9-13 infralabials (usually 10-11), 21-26 midbody dorsal scale rows (usually 23), 157-181 ventrals in males, 158-182 ventrals in females, 41-50 divided subcaudals in males, 37-47 in females. The pair of spots at the base of the dorsolateral blotches, typical of the B. neuwiedi complex, is generally diffuse, conferring to the whole blotch the aspect of a transverse saddle. The stippled aspect of the supralabials also appears in other scales throughout the rest of the body. This color pattern and the diffuse borders of the blotches confer a marbled pattern to this snake. We compare the new species with all related congeners, provide comments upon its distribution, and present an artificial identification key for the species of B. neuwiedi complex.


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How to Cite

Silva, V. X. da, & Rodrigues, M. T. (2008). Taxonomic revision of the Bothrops neuwiedi complex (Serpentes, Viperidae) with description of a new species. Phyllomedusa: Journal of Herpetology, 7(1), 45-90.