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Reptiles of Belize. 4 March 2009. Crocodiles – Order Crocodylia. Last living group of Archosauria (dinosaurs) More closely related to birds than any other living group of reptiles Reflective eyeshine 23 living species Family Crocodylidae American Crocodile Morelet’s Crocodile.

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reptiles of belize

Reptiles of Belize

4 March 2009

crocodiles order crocodylia
Crocodiles – Order Crocodylia
  • Last living group of Archosauria (dinosaurs)
  • More closely related to birds than any other living group of reptiles
  • Reflective eyeshine
  • 23 living species
  • Family Crocodylidae
    • American Crocodile
    • Morelet’s Crocodile
american crocodile
American Crocodile
  • Crocodylus acutus
  • Slender, elongatesnout
  • Well-developedosteoderms
  • 4-5 m
  • Not American Alligator ->

http://www.naturephoto-cz.eu/pic/sevcik/crocodylus-acutus--crocodylus-acutus-6.jpg

http://mattcastille.com/me/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/gex-american-alligator.jpg.jpg

morelet s crocodile
Morelet’s Crocodile
  • Crocodylus moreletii
  • 2-3 m
  • Some mottled withyellow and black
  • Most drab grey
  • Fish-eaters

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PTGPOD/OSGIP-00000444-001~Morelets-Crocodile-Single-Mexico-Posters.jpg

Class photo

snakes order squamata
Snakes – Order Squamata
  • Close evolutionary relationship with lizards
  • Limbs absent (although some vestigal girdles)
  • Scale over eye, no eyelid
  • Blind Snakes – Family Typhlopidae
  • Thread Snakes – Family Leptotyphlopidae
  • Boas – Family Boidae
  • Colubrids – Family Colubridae
  • Coral Snakes – Family Elapidae
  • Pit Vipers – Family Vipiridae
blind snakes typhlopidae
Blind Snakes - Typhlopidae
  • Occur throughout tropics
  • 9 species on mainland Americas
  • Small (usually < 35 cm, ~13-14 in)
  • Left lung absent
  • Vestigial pelvis present
  • Oviparous
yucatan blind snake
Yucatan Blind Snake
  • Typhlops microstomus
  • This is the commonblind snake

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/caribbean/wildlife-facts/2003/wildlife-facts_images_2003/culebrita_ciega.jpg

thread snakes leptotyphlopidae
Thread Snakes - Leptotyphlopidae
  • Burrowing/subterranean
  • Vestigial left lung
  • Small (< 14 cm, ~5.5 in)
  • Rudimentary/vestigial eyes
  • Curving rostral scale
  • Short, spine-like tail
goudot s thread snake
Goudot’s Thread Snake
  • Leptotyphlops goudotii
  • Only seen afterheavy rains
  • This is the Texasthread snake

http://www.nps.gov/amis/naturescience/images/Texas-Thread-Snake.jpg

boas boidae
Boas - Boidae
  • Highly variable size
  • Africa, Europe, Asia, N. and S. Americas
  • Vertical pupil
  • Vestigial pelvic girdle
  • Subdue prey with constriction
    • Suffocate, not crush
  • Viviparous (unlike pythons)
boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
  • Boa constrictor
  • Rarely exceeds 300 cm(~10 ft)
  • 25-30 dark dorsalsaddles
  • Excellent climbers

http://www.snakeeducation.com/snakes/photos/Boa%20Constrictor%20Styles%20is%20his%20name%20Aug%2006.JPG

annulated boa
Annulated Boa
  • Corallus annulatus
  • Slender
  • Approx. 172 cm(~5.5 ft)
  • 45-50 dark annuliwith pink center

http://pro.corbis.com/images/IH116695.jpg?size=67&uid=%7B7B416C1B-EADC-4EE1-BDA8-4459CF7AB2F1%7D

colubrids colubridae
Colubrids - Colubridae
  • No trace of pelvis
  • Non-functional left lung
  • Burrowers, tree-dwellers, aquatic or terrestrial
  • Mostly diurnal
  • Mostly oviparous, some viviparous
black mussurana
Black Mussurana
  • Clelia clelia
  • Large, robust body
    • (200 cm, ~6.5 ft)
  • Shiny black

http://www.1-costaricalink.com/costa_rica_f

auna/wildlife_images/mussurana.jpg

brown racer
Brown Racer
  • Dryadophis melanolomus
  • A.k.a. Middle American Smooth-scaled Racer
  • 150 cm (~5 ft)

http://www.rarimages.com/BelizeImages/Snakes/tn_Lizard-eater(Dryadophis_melanolomus)1468.jpg

indigo snake
Indigo Snake
  • Drymarchoncorais
  • 3rd largest snake
    • Boa constrictor
    • Tiger treesnake

http://www.hamhunter.com/images/Indigo%20snake%20in%20hands.jpg

speckled racer
Speckled Racer
  • Drymobius margaritiferus
  • Turquoise, orangeblack
  • 120 cm (~4 ft)
  • Feeds on frogs

http://www.placenciabreeze.com/New_Breeze/2006_Archives/November_06/Sanke.jpg

blunt headed tree snake
Blunt-headed Tree Snake
  • Imantodes cenchoa
  • Very slender
  • 100 cm (~3 ft)
  • Feeds on anoles,lizards, etc.

http://64.17.184.245/images/Imantodescenchoa015.JPG

green tree snake
Green Tree Snake
  • Leptophis ahaetulla
  • A.k.a. Green Parrot Snake
  • Slender body
  • Elongate head
  • Feeds on tree frogs

http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t038/T038941A.jpg

green headed tree snake
Green-headed Tree Snake
  • Leptophis mexicanus
  • A.k.a. Bronze-backed Parrot Snake
  • U-shaped ventral scales
  • 120 cm (~4 ft)
  • Feeds on frogs

http://mexico-herps.com/Tamaulipas/Leptophis-mexicanus-septentrionalis.jpg

neotropical vine snake
Neotropical Vine Snake
  • Oxybelis aeneus
  • Very slender
  • Pointed snout
  • 120 cm (~4 ft)
  • “Lingual lure”

Photos: S. Collins

green vine snake
Green Vine Snake
  • Oxybelis fulgidus
  • Slender, elongate body
  • Black line through eye
  • Feeds on birds, anoles, rodents

http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/images/troprain/green_vine_snake.jpg

cat eyed snake
Cat-eyed Snake
  • Leptodiera frenata
  • Head large
  • Eyes with vertical pupil
  • 20-40 blotches/saddles
  • Feeds on frogs

http://gallery.photo.net/photo/3649941-md.jpg

tropical rat snake
Tropical Rat Snake
  • Spilotes pullatus
  • Narrow head
  • Small eyes
  • 120 cm (~4 ft)
  • Feeds on rodents

http://www.ryanphotographic.com/Tiger%20rat%20snake.jpg

red coffee snake
Red Coffee Snake
  • Ninia sebae
  • Small head
  • Yellow collar
  • 35 cm (~14 in)
  • Hood when threatened

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3202/2773435337_5936cf11b4.jpg?v=1219050676

neckband snake
Neckband Snake
  • Scaphiodontophis annulatus
  • “Half-coral snake”
  • Tail comprises ~50%of animal
  • 90 cm (~3 ft)
  • Banding pattern variable
    • ~1/3 of snake

http://eligreenbaum.iss.utep.edu/Scaphio.jpg

tropical kingsnake
Tropical Kingsnake
  • Lampropeltis triangulum
  • “Tropical Milksnake”
  • 150 cm (~5 ft)
  • Rings
    • Red-black-yellow-black-red

http://pro.corbis.com/images/FN002161.jpg?size=67&uid=%7B7D48ABCA-F7F1-44BA-9F80-2744917CEEAB%7D

coral snakes elapidae
Coral Snakes - Elapidae
  • HOT Snakes
  • Africa, Asia, Southern USA, Central America
  • Rear-fanged
  • Family contains
    • Cobras
    • Kraits (sea snakes)
    • Mambas
  • Oviparous
  • Feed heavily on other snakes
mayan coral snake
Mayan Coral Snake
  • Micrurus diastema
  • “Variable Coral Snake”
  • 80 cm (~2.5 ft)
  • Bands
    • Black-yellow-red-yellow-black
  • Snake-eater

http://artofmanliness.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/coral-snake.jpg

central american coral snake
Central American Coral Snake
  • Micrurus nigrocinctus
  • 100 cm (~3 ft)
  • Rings
    • Black-yellow-red-yellow-black
    • Yellow may be reduced or absent
  • Feeds mostly on small snakes and lizards

http://www.travellog.com/guatemala/ikbolay/images/06MICRU.JPG

vipers viperidae
Vipers - Viperidae
  • HOT Snakes
  • Worldwide distribution
  • All New-World vipers are “pit” vipers
    • Heat sensing pit between nares and eyes
    • Able to sense small changes in thermal environment
  • Pelvis absent, left lung absent
  • Most viper bites occur from carelessness
eyelash pitviper
Eyelash Pitviper
  • Bothriechis schlegelii
  • Raises scales over eyes
  • Vertical pupils
  • Feeds on rodents,bats, frogs
  • 80 cm (2.5 ft)

www.kostich.com/yellow_eyelash_viper.htm A

http://www.bio.ilstu.edu/juliano/Costa%20rica%20pics%2005/PC140132%20eyelash%20viper%20yellow%202.JPG

fer de lance
Fer-de-lance
  • Bothrops asper
  • A.k.a. Yellow lipsor Yellow beard
  • Large head
  • Vertical pupils
  • Stout body
  • 200 cm (6.5 ft)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/47/155232353_25f62340a6.jpg

tropical rattlesnake
Tropical Rattlesnake
  • Crotalus durissus
  • Rattle at end of tail
  • 170 cm (5.5 ft)
  • New segment added to tail at each molt
    • May molt multiple timesper year when young

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~gambl007/BrazilPics/Crotalus_durissus_2.JPG

jumping viper
Jumping Viper
  • Atropoides nummifer
  • Vertical pupils
  • Stout body
  • Blotches may formzig-zag pattern
  • Feeds on rodents
  • 80 cm (2.5 ft)

http://consejo.bz/belize/images/animals/snakes/jumping_viper.jpg

rainforest hognosed viper
Rainforest Hognosed Viper
  • Porthidium nasutum
  • Stout-bodied
  • Snout turned up
  • Vertical pupils
  • 45 cm (1.5 ft)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3242/2693469840_588515520a.jpg?v=0

lizards order squamata
Lizards – Order Squamata
  • 3800 living species
  • Bones of jaw more secure than in snakes
  • “3rd eye” – pineal is a light sensitive disc
  • Geckos – Family Gekkonidae
  • Iguanas – Family Iguanidae
  • Basilisks – Family Corytophanidae
  • Anoles – Family Polychrotidae
  • Spiny Lizards – Family Phrynosomatidae
  • Skinks – Family Scincidae
  • Whiptails – Family Teiidae
geckos gekkonidae
Geckos – Gekkonidae
  • Largest family of lizards
    • 80 genera
    • 700 species
  • Some commonly found running on walls/in houses
  • Eye covered with transparent scale
    • Except Yucatan banded gecko
yucatan banded gecko
Yucatan Banded Gecko
  • Coleonyx elegans
  • Only species with eyelid
  • 80-90 mm
  • Skin translucent on belly
    • Can see some internalorgans
  • Digits lack adhesive pads

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~gambl007/geckos/coleonyx_elegans2.jpg

yellowbelly gecko
Yellowbelly Gecko
  • Phyllodactylus tuberculosus
  • “Leaf-toed gecko”
  • Lacking info

http://mexico-herps.com/Sauria/Phyllodactylus_tuberculatus_saxatilis_2.jpg

dwarf gecko
Dwarf Gecko
  • Sphaerodactylus glaucus
  • “Spotted bark gecko”
  • 45-55 mm
  • Robust limbs
  • Digits with friction pads

http://www.uta.edu/biology/campbell/guatemala/images/Sphaerodactylus_glaucus.JPG

central american smooth gecko
Central American Smooth Gecko
  • Thecadactylus rapicaudus
  • “Turnip-tailed gecko”
  • Largest species ofnative gecko in area
  • 90-100 mm
  • Thick tail, constrictedat base

http://www.guaquira.com/images/0BIO-DIV-Images/Reptilia/Lotzkat/Thecadactylus-rapicauda-a.jpg

tokay gecko
Tokay Gecko
  • Gekko gecko
  • Invasive species!
  • Native to Indian subcontinentand Indonesia
  • Second largest gecko species
    • 30 cm
  • Powerful jaws

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tokay_Gecko.jpg

iguanas iguanidae
Iguanas – Iguanidae
  • Southwest U.S.A. to South America
    • Galapagos, Caribbean
  • Mid-dorsal spine-like scales
  • Prominent fold of skin below chin
  • Heavily hunted by humans as protein source
    • “Bamboo Chicken”
green iguana
Green Iguana
  • Iguana igauna
  • Largest lizardin area
  • Fold of skin longitudinal
  • Green with blackbands (juv., females)

Photos: T. Saxe

spiny tailed iguana
Spiny-tailed Iguana
  • Ctenosaura similis
  • “Black Iguana”
  • Fold of skin transverse
  • 90 cm
  • Short, muscularlimbs
  • Heavily muscledjaw in males

http://www.naturephoto-cz.eu/pic/sevcik/ctenosaura-similis--ctenosaura-similis.jpg

basilisks corytophanidae
Basilisks – Corytophanidae
  • Mexico through C. Am. to northern S. Am.
  • Crests, casques or helmets
    • On back of head
  • Extremely long tails
  • Diurnal
striped basilisk
Striped Basilisk
  • Basiliscus vittatus
  • Can run on hindlegs only
  • 55-60 cm
  • Stripes

http://www.vivanatura.org/Basiliscus_vittatus_3.jpg

anoles polychrotidae
Anoles - Polychrotidae
  • Dewlap under chin
    • Mating and territorial displays
    • Usually brightly colored
  • Usually drab brown/grey
  • Diurnal
  • Tree climbers
big headed anole
Big-headed Anole
  • Anolis capito/Norops capito
  • “Long-legged Anole”
  • 230-285 mm
  • Relatively small dewlap
  • Longest legs of any anolein the area
  • Short, chucky head

http://www.repti.net/reptile_picture/Anolis+capito_66459.jpg

lesser scaly anole
Lesser Scaly Anole
  • Anolis uniformis/Norops uniformis
  • “Lesser Forest Anole”
  • Smallest anole in area
  • 110-115 mm
  • Large dewlap

http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/imgs/128x192/0000_0000/0406/0471.jpeg

brown anole
Brown Anole
  • Anolis sagrei/Norops sagrei
  • “Mayan Coastal Anole”
  • 140-160 mm
  • Large dewlap in males
    • Variable colors

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IyCkuI3OT-U/SFZ67l46yeI/AAAAAAAAAA0/MdJa83nl4ew/S692/250px-Anolis_sagrei.jpg

silky anole
Silky Anole
  • Anolis sericeus/Norops sericeus
  • “Blue-spot Anole”
  • 120-140 mm
  • Large blue spot incenter of dewlap
  • Tiny side scales
    • “Silky”

http://www.fororeptiles.org/galerias/images/88/large/1_anolis_sericeus.JPG

spiny lizards phrynosomatidae
Spiny Lizards - Phrynosomatidae
  • Well developed limbs
  • Back covered with sharply projecting scales
  • Femoral pores
  • Diurnal
  • Head-bob display at intruders
yellow spotted spiny lizard
Yellow-spotted Spiny Lizard
  • Sceloporus chrysostictus
  • “Yucatan SpinyLizard”
  • 120-130 cm
  • Body covered in keeled scales

http://www.amazilia.net/images/Herps/Lizard/Sceloporus_chrysostictus_01.JPG

skinks scincidae
Skinks - Scincidae
  • Worldwide distribution in tropical and temperate habitats
  • Smooth, shiny cycloid scales
  • Oviparous
    • Except Mabuya
ground skink
Ground Skink
  • Sphenomorphus cherriei

http://www.wildherps.com/images/herps/standard/Sphenomorphus_cherriei.jpg

shiny skink
Shiny Skink
  • Mabuya brachypoda
  • “Viviparous Skink”
  • Robust, cylindrical body
  • 160-220 mm
  • Head covered with large,flat, plate-like scales
  • Central portion of eyelid with translucent scale
    • Can see even with eyes closed

http://www.zooinstitutes.com/Zoology/images/6621.jpg

whiptails teiidae
Whiptails – Teiidae
  • Widespread in tropical and temperate New World habitats
  • Moderate size
  • Elongate, pointed snout
  • Well-developed limbs
  • Diurnal
central american whiptail
Central American Whiptail
  • Ameiva festiva
  • “Festive Ameiva”
  • 270-430 mm
    • Males larger
  • Venter covered withlarge rectangular scales
  • Highly variable colorpatterns

http://www.wildherps.com/images/herps/standard/017142_ameiva.jpg

barred whiptail
Barred Whiptail
  • Ameiva undulata
  • “Metallic Ameiva”
  • 260-430 mm
  • Venter with large,rectangular scales
  • Variable color pattern

http://www.mister-toad.com/photos/lizard/Ameiva_undulata_01_SIG.jpg

cozumel whiptail
Cozumel Whiptail
  • Cnemidophorus cozumela
  • Lacking information
  • Lacking image
turtles order testudines
Turtles – Order Testudines
  • Shell made up of vertebrae and ribs covered by scutes
    • Carapace (upper)
    • Plastron (lower)
  • Egg layers – oviparous
  • Sex determination by temperature of incubation in some
  • Family Dermatemydidae
  • Family Emydidae
  • Family Chelydridae
  • Family Kinosternidae
river turtles dermatemydidae
River Turtles – Dermatemydidae
  • Monotypic family
  • Restricted to small area in Middle America
  • Known from fossil record in
    • Europe
    • North America
    • Eastern Asia
central american river turtle
Central American River Turtle
  • Dermatemys mawii
  • Large, distinctive
  • 45-50 cm
  • Carapace flattened
  • Snout upturned slightly
  • Permanent waterdwellers (exceptegg-laying females)

http://www.jcvi.org/reptiles/imgs/photos/Dermatemys_mawii1.jpg

pond and wood turtles emydidae
Pond and Wood Turtles - Emydidae
  • Widely distributed (5 continents)
  • Largest and most diverse family
  • Some entirely aquatic (except egg-laying females)
  • Others almost entirely terrestrial
furrowed wood turtle
Furrowed Wood Turtle
  • Rhinoclemmys areolata
  • Not related to our wood turtle(Glyptemys insculpta)
  • Highly sculptured scutes
  • 15 cm
  • Red bars over eyes

http://chechem2.iquebec.com/Dia_Animaux/Reptiles/X1.JPG

common slider
Common Slider
  • Trachemys scripta
  • “Mesoamerican Slider”
  • 35 cm
  • Wavy orange lines ontop of carapace
  • Widespread species
    • USA, Central Am., South Am.

http://www.reptilesofaz.com/Graphics/Turtles-Amphibians/TRASCR-04j.jpg

snapping turtles chelydridae
Snapping Turtles - Chelydridae
  • Only two genera
    • Each contains only one species
  • Dorsally keeled carapace
  • Reduced plastron
  • Large heads, powerful jaws
  • Eastern North America, Central America, South America
snapping turtle
Snapping Turtle
  • Chelydra serpentina
  • Same as ours
  • Large head, powerfulserrated jaws
  • 3 low keels on carapace
  • Very reduced plastron

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2007/huber_chri/images/chse.jpg

http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/stories/reptiles/turtles/Chelydra_serpentina_Snapping_turtle/Chelydra_serpentina_snapping_turtle_plastron.jpg

mud and musk turtles kinosternidae
Mud and Musk Turtles - Kinosternidae
  • Reduced plastron (Musk)
  • Well developed plastron with 2 hinges (Mud)
  • Glands in inguinal region that produce a strong, foul-smelling secretion when frightened
tabasco mud turtle
Tabasco Mud Turtle
  • Kinosternon acutum
  • Single-keeled carapace
  • Two hinges on plastron
    • Completely closes
  • Pair of chin barbels
  • 10 cm

http://nlbif.eti.uva.nl/bis/turtles/pictures/k%20acutum%20overview.jpg

white lipped mud turtle
White-lipped Mud Turtle
  • Kinosternon leucostomum
  • Two hinges on plastron
  • Two pairs chin barbels
  • 20 cm
  • Widespread, abundant

http://www.zierschildkroete.de/fotos/kinosternon/leucostomum_1.jpg

http://www.chelonia.org/leucostomum20044426.jpg

scorpion mud turtle
Scorpion Mud Turtle
  • Kinosternon scorpioides
  • “Red-cheeked Mud Turtle”
  • 15 cm
  • Males – thick tail with hard spine
  • Chin barbels

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Articles/articlepics/guidetoexotics/112%20Kinosternon%20scorpioides%20albogulare%202%20-%20Tom%20C.jpg

information from
Information from…
  • Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Guatemala, the Yucatan and Belize – Campbell
  • Travellers’ Wildlife Guides – Belize and Northern Guatemala – Beletsky