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Although Venezuela is a country with a relatively discrete continental area, at the moment it is among the ten countries with the highest biodiversity on the planet. As such, reptiles are an important group to study due to their extraordinary diversity and endemism (e.g., ~27% of all species/subspecies of snakes recorded). Despite this richness, a recent compendium whose scope includes various thematics concerning the entire group was up to now not available.
In relation to their content and scope, this book includes an update of the Snakes of Venezuela, recording 214 species and subspecies, including two new to science, and is assembled into four chapters, namely: Chapter l.- Knowing the Snakes. This is a synthesis of current scientific knowledge about the group, in which evolutionary, anatomical, physiological and bioecological aspects are discussed. Chapter ll.- Systematics of the Snakes of Venezuela. This is an updated list of Venezuelan taxa, with over 400 illustrations and organized taxonomically. For each species there is a systematic summary which includes the scientific name, type locality, distribution in the New World, Venezuelan distribution and comments related with taxonomy, zoogeography, natural history and behaviour. Chapter lll.- Ecogeographical Patterns and Conservation Status. This section consists of two parts, the first deals with the geographical ordering, at the level of entities and bioregions, considering also vegetation and altitudinal gradients. The second part focuses on a preliminary assessment of their current status of conservation, based on taxonomic, ecological and biogeographical information for each taxon. Chapter lV.- Ophidian Venoms, Associated Structures and Prophylaxis. In the first place it presents information on the venoms and the snakes their dentition, considered for each snake group that is considered as venomous within the modern concept. In addition, data on snakebite envenoming in the country are itemized, including a zoogeographical analysis for each group. The other part of this chapter deals with prehospital actions after snakebite, i.e. first aid.
In addition to the chapters, four appendices are included, the first two dealing with descriptions of new species for the country. The remaining appendices are a glossary of scientific terms and locutions, as well as acronyms of national and foreign museums containing Venezuelan snakes.
Unlike other recent books on Venezuela, this compendium provides extensive unpublished data collected over several years (including field data and the available information from national and foreign museums), as well as a review of 1500 bibliographic references. The authors hope that this text might turn out to be the start a project that will include all reptiles of Venezuela.
Capítulo 1. Conociendo a las Serpientes 6
Capítulo 2. Sistemática de las Serpientes 34
Capítulo 3. Patrones Ecogeográficos y Estatus de Conservación 303
Capítulo 4. Venenos Ofídicos, Estrecturas Asociadas y Profilaxis 338
Apéndice I. Un Nuevo Taxón del Género Atractus Wagler, 1828 (Colubroidea: Dipsadidae) Procedente de la Región Noroccidental de Venezuela 406
Apéndice II. Una Nueva Especie de Cieguita o Serpiente de Gusano (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictia) Nativa del Tepui Guaiquinima, Provincia Pantepui en el Escudo de Guayana, Venezuela 414
Apéndice III. Glosario de Término Científicos Usados en Herpetología 434
Apéndice IV. Acrónimos de Museos y Locuciones 438
Apéndice V. Obituario Publicado a Marco Natera Mumaw 2010 440