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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Colubroidea

Familia: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Colubrinae
Genus: Mastigodryas
Species: M. amarali - M. bifossatus - M. boddaerti - M. bruesi - M. cliftoni - M. danieli - M. dorsalis - M. heathii - M. melanolomus – M. moratoi – M. pleei - M. pulchriceps - M. sanguiventris


Mastigodryas Amaral, 1935

Type species: Mastigodryas danieli Amaral, 1935

Amaral, A. 1935: Notas sobre chromatismo de ophidios III. Um caso de xanthismo e um novo de albinismo, observados no Brasil Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XXX. Novo genero e escpecie de colubrideo na fauna da Columbia. XXXI. Sobre an especie Bothrops alternata D. & B., Mem. Inst. Butantan 8 [1934]: 151–194.
Mastigodryas at the New Reptile Database. Accessed on 26 sep 2008.

Vernacular names
English: Tropical Racers

Mastigodryas is a genus of colubrid snakes. Like some other colubrids, they are commonly called racers. It is a Neotropical genus, with members distributed from Mexico to Argentina and several islands in the Caribbean. Some authorities use the older generic name, Dryadophis, for these species.[1]


These snakes are cylindrical or somewhat laterally compressed in shape. The head is distinct from the rest of the body, as in many other colubrids. They have large eyes. They have Duvernoy's glands.[1] The morphology of the hemipenis in various species has been helpful in elucidating their relationships, as little is known about the evolutionary origins of the genus.[2]

These snakes are diurnal[1] and actively forage for their prey.

The diet is varied. For example, Mastigodryas bifossatus is euryphagic, consuming a wide variety of prey items. A large part of its diet is made up of frogs, and it will also take various mammals, birds, lizards, and other snakes.[3]

There are 13[1][4] species. There may be as many as 18 if certain subspecies are elevated to species status, as has been suggested.[5]

Species include:[2][6]

Mastigodryas alternatus (Bocourt, 1884)
Mastigodryas amarali (L.C. Stuart, 1938)
Mastigodryas boddaerti (Sentzen, 1796)
Mastigodryas bruesi Barbour, 1914
Mastigodryas cliftoni (Hardy, 1964)
Mastigodryas danieli Amaral, 1935
Mastigodryas dorsalis (Bocourt, 1890)
Mastigodryas heathii (Cope, 1876)
Mastigodryas melanolomus (Cope, 1868)
Mastigodryas moratoi Montingelli & Zaher, 2011[7]
Mastigodryas pleii (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854)
Mastigodryas pulchriceps (Cope, 1868)
Mastigodryas reticulatus (W. Peters, 1863)

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Mastigodryas.

The species, Mastigodryas reticulatus (W. Peters, 1863), has been returned to its original name, Herpetodryas reticulata W. Peters, 1863.[8]

Savage JM (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 673.
Jadin RC, Parkhill RV (2011). "Hemipenis descriptions of Mastigodryas (Serpentes: Colubrinae) from northern Middle America, with comments on the use of hemipenial data in phylogenetics". Herpetology Notes 4: 207-210.
Marques OAV, Muriel AP (2007). "Reproductive biology and food habits of the swamp racer Mastigodryas bifossatus from southeastern South America".The Herpetological Journal 17 (2): 104-109.
Mendoza RJS, Rodríguez SN (2010). "Observations on some aspects of the predatory behavior of the diurnal snake Mastigodryas pleei (Duméril, Bibron and Duméril 1854) held in natural and captive conditions". Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine Rev. Colombiana Cienc. Anim. 2 (2): 253-263.[dead link]
Montingelli GG (2009). Revisão taxonômica do gênero Mastigodryas Amaral, 1934 (Serpentes: Colubridae). Thesis. São Paulo: Instituto de Biociências. (in Portuguese, with an abstract in English).
Mastigodryas Amaral, 1934. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). 2010.
Montingelli GG, Zaher H (2011). "New species of Mastigodryas Amaral, 1934 from Brazilian Amazonia and Guyana (Serpentes: Colubridae)". Journal of Herpetology 45 (1): 111-119.

Montingelli GG et al. (2011). "Revalidation of Herpetodryas reticulata (Peters, 1863) (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Ecuador". South American Journal of Herpetology 6 (3): 189-197.[dead link]

Further reading

Freiberg M (1982). Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7. (Mastigodryas, pp. 66–67, 77, 103-104, 131, 136-137).


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