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Title: herpetofauna of the Islas de la Bahia, Honduras
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U. OF F. LIBRARIES



IJHlEILN


of the
FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM
Biological Sciences


Volume 17


1973


Number 2


THE HERPETOFAUNA oF THE ISLAS
DE LA BAHIA, HONDURAS

Larry David Wilson
Donald E. Hahn


QlA

*F
\jqV?
'no.


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


C3 LGC'C


GAINESVILLE








Numbers of the BULLETIN OF THE FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM, BIOLOGICAL
SCIENCES, are published at irregular intervals. Volumes contain about 300 pages
and are not necessarily completed in any one calendar year.








OLIVER L. AUSTIN, JR., Editor


Consultants for this issue:
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Communications concerning purchase or exchange of the publication and all manu-
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Publication date: 21 May, 1973


This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
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in the natural sciences, emphasizing the Circum-Caribbean Re-
gion.


Price: $2.35





















THE HERPETOFAUNA OF THE ISLAS
DE LA BAHIA, HONDURAS

LARRY DAVID WILSON AND DONALD E. HAHN1


SYNOPSIs: After a brief description of the Bay Islands' position, physiography,
geology, vegetation, and previous work done there, the 35 species of reptiles and
S amphibians known from the Bay Islands are discussed with, where pertinent, their
morphological variation, taxonomic relationships, and habitat preferences. No island
subspecies are recognized and the names Cnemidophorus lemniscatus ruatanus,
Leptotyphlops phenops magnamaculata, Elaphe flavirufa polysticha, and Tretano-
rhinus nigroluteus dichromaticus are placed in synonymy. No consistent pattern of
increase in average numbers of ventrals over those of the adjacent mainland, such
as is evident on certain other islands, occurs in the snakes of the Bay Islands.
The Bay Island herpetofauna is arranged into three assemblages on the basis
of present-day distributions; an endemic assemblage (4 species), a West Indian
assemblage (2 species), and a mainland Honduran assemblage (29 species). Three
of the endemic species are related to mainland counterparts and one to West Indian
counterparts. Of the mainland Honduran assemblage, 8 species are widespread
geographically, ecologically, and altitudinally, 4 species occur in dry ecological
formations, 1 is restricted to coastal situations, and 16 occur in wet ecological forma-
tions. Species that have colonized the Bay Islands are widespread ecologically and
geographically, are relatively abundant, or inhabit "weed" habitats, or exhibit a
combination of these features. The species compositions of the herpetofauna of the
three major islands of the Bay Island group are distinctive and nonrecurrent and
are largely depauperate reflections of the mainland herpetofauna. Colonization of
the Bay Islands appears to have been effected by fortuitous, over-water dispersal.
Inter-island dispersal has probably been largely limited to movements between
islands.
A gazetteer of specimen localities is appended.





'Larry David Wilson is Assistant Professor, Division of Intercurricular Studies,
Miami-Dade Junior College, South Campus, Miami, Florida, 33156. Donald E. Hahn
is Chief Technologist at the Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Cottonwood,
Arizona 86326. Manuscript accepted 23 May 1971-Ed.


Wilson, Larry David and Donald E. Hahn. 1972. The Herpetofauna of the Islas
de la Bahia, Honduras. Bull. Florida State Mus., Biol. Sci., Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 93-150.




5 70. b%,


v, 17
110, .3 < A-
94 BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction -------..... ----....... .. ---------------------- ------------- 94
Acknowledgments --.--------.....--- ------------------------------ 94
Description of the Bay Islands -.....----_________ --------.. ---------- 95
Historical Review of Collecting -................--------------------- 98
Species Accounts __ ----------------- ------.......... -------------100
Geographical Relationships of the Bay Island Herpetofauna .......--- 137
Factors Promoting Vagility -.----........ ----------------.------- 139
Inter-island Relationships .-.._._.._ ....--------.---------143
Colonization of the Bay Islands ------------------------------- 143
Level of Differentiation of the Mainland-derived Snake Segment
of the Bay Island Herpetofauna ------. ......------------ ---144
Gazetteer ----.-..- ......--------.......... .... ... .... .....------ 145
Literature Cited -.------------ -----... --.........----- 146



INTRODUCTION

The Bay Islands lie on the periphery of Honduras, a region that has
long been poorly known herpetologically. The herpetofauna of these
islands is even more poorly known than that of the adjacent mainland.
During the course of field work in Honduras, two trips were made to the
Bay Islands. The first trip to Islas RoatAn and Guanaja was made from
14 to 19 July 1967, by John R. Meyer, his wife Terry, and the first author.
All three major islands (including Utila) were visited on a second trip
from 12 to 24 August 1969 by the first author, his wife Betty, and the
second author.
Our objectives in visiting these islands were to better determine
what species are present, to amass sufficient collections to allow for a
comparison of the Bay Islands herpetofauna with that of the mainland,
and to study the overall geographic relationships of the Bay Island
herpetofauna.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The following persons kindly loaned material in their care (museum abbrevia-
tions indicated): Walter Auffenberg, Florida State Museum (UF); James R. Dixon,
Texas A&M University (TCWC); William E. Duellman, Museum of Natural History,
University of Kansas (KU); C. J. McCoy, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (CM);
Douglas A. Rossman, Louisiana State University Museum of Zoology (LSUMZ);
A. F. Stimson, British Museum (Natural History) (BMNH); John W. Wright, Los
Angeles County Museum (LACM).
The senior author wishes to express his gratitude to John R. Meyer for his








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


companionship in the field and for critically reading the manuscript. We would
also like to thank Hobart M. Smith and Kenneth L. Williams for relinquishing
their notes on the Bay Island herpetofauna. Finally the senior author wishes to
acknowledge the technical assistance of Diana Dee Dugas.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BAY ISLANDS
The Bay Islands comprise one of the 18 departments of the Republic
of Honduras (Departamento de Islas de la Bahia). They include 3
major islands, Utila, Roatin, and Guanaja, 3 minor ones, and numerous
cays (Fig. 1). Three relatively small islands, Santa Elena, Morat, and
Barbareta lie close to the eastern end of Roatin.
The islands lie along a line extending east northeast from Bahia de
Tela at the western end of the department of Atlantida. Tela, an im-
portant port town, lies on the edge of the Bahia de Tela. Utila, the
island closest to this point on the mainland, is about 63 kilometers from
Tela. The two other islands, RoatAn (measured from the westernmost
point) and Guanaja, are, respectively, 105 and 177 km from Tela.
Utila is nearest to the mainland and is about 32 km from La Ceiba.
Guanaja is next closest, about 42 km from Cabo de Honduras, near
Trujillo. Roatan is most distant from the mainland, its nearest point
being about 48 kw from the point where the Rio Papaloteca, between
La Ceiba and Balfate, empties into the Caribbean Sea. Utila is 30 km
from RoatAn and Roatin in turn (considering here the satellite island
Barbareta as part of Roatin) is 20 km from Guanaja. The islands as
a whole have an area of about 275 sq. km.
The Bay Islands are part of a Middle American mountain complex
that begins as the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, forms the Sierra de Omoa
of northwestern Honduras, and continues as a submarine ridge to Ja-
maica (Meyer 1969). The geological history of the islands has been
little studied, but they were apparently connected with each other and
with the mainland during the Miocene and Pliocene (Vinson and Brine-
man 1963). Structural change has occurred in the region since that
time, and Utila is the only one of the islands presently situated on the
continental shelf. At the close of the Pliocene, sea level was about 60
meters above the present level (Russell 1964). At that time much, but
not all, of the Bay Islands would have been submerged. During the
Pleistocene glacial advances Utila was probably connected with the
mainland. RoatAn and Guanaja are separated from Utila, the mainland,
and each other by troughs too deep to be exposed by the 120- to 140-
meter drop in sea level that occurred during each glacial stage. During
Pleistocene interglacials the surface area of the Bay Islands would have
changed relatively little, as 10 meters above present sea level is the
highest level reached during any interglacial stage (Russell 1964). Rise


















Sandy Bay*
Gibson Bightf/ *
,L Flowe


< SAUtila

ISLA DE UTILA


kilometers


1'winw r I-Min nF th P Rsv Tdlanr1P n


Mangrove Bight W~a6bana
ISLA DE MORAT f Bight
ISLA DE BARBARETA-/ Guanaia
BiBigighto ,-*'. Oak Ridge ISLA DE SANTA ELENA
ISLA DE GUANAJA


-French HarborD
Roatdn
rs Bay ISLA DE ROATAN


tTi



ISLAS DE LA BAHIA


Cabo de Honduras
-16
CAYOS COCHINOS

Trujillo



U Balfate o
1o Papaloteca
t -
8630' 860

f THnnrllras hnwingy the nlace names referred to in the text. to


.ICUR I -M o te a slnd


0o.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


in sea level during Pleistocene interglacials would have most profoundly
changed the surface area of Utila, the least mountainous of the three
major islands.

ISLA DE UTILA
This is the smallest of the three major Bay Islands. Its greatest
length is 12.7 km; its greatest width 5.2 km. Utila is largely flat; most
of its surface lies below 10 meters and almost half of the island is subject
to periodic inundation. The highest land is a rolling upland averaging
about 12 m in elevation at the eastern end. Pumpkin Hill, the highest
point on the island (74 m) is near its northeasternmost end.
The eastern end of the island is by far the most heavily populated
and is separated from the low, unpopulated western part of the island
by a canal. About 1,500 people of English, African, and mixed descent
inhabit this island (as is true of all of the Bay Islands), most of them
concentrated in the town of Utila (apparently a few people live on
Jewel and Pigeon Cays off the southwest end).
The low western portion of Utila is largely covered with marsh
vegetation. The eastern portion is mostly covered with remnants of
lowland rainforest. Along the beach is a narrow strip of coconut palms
and the strand is covered either with short grasses (near the airstrip)
or is bare. Mangrove swamps are located along the edge of some
parts of the island, as well as inland. Just back from the sandy beach
is a belt of exposed, pock-marked coral rock upon which grows a variety
of vines, low shrubs, and sprawling, matted cacti (Rhipsalis sp.).
Apparently the island has no surface fresh water, though subsurface
fresh water surfaces at the bottoms of certain caves near Pumpkin Hill.

ISLA DE ROATAN
RoatAn, the largest of the three major Bay Islands, is about 48 km
long (excluding the three small satellite islands located at the eastern
end), and its greatest width is 5.2 km. In contrast to Utila, most of
RoatAn is above 20 meters in elevation. The highest point (235 m) is
Picacho Hill, near Oak Ridge.
The population of the island is strung out along the length of the
coastline. The towns of RoatAn (locally called Coxen Hole), French
Harbor, and Oak Ridge, all on the south coast, are the largest settle-
ments.
The higher elevations are covered with remnants of lowland rain-
forest. Coconut palm groves line the sand beaches. Patches of coral
rock are exposed along the beach at some localities. As on Utila this
rock is covered with a tangle of vines, low shrubs, small palms and the
matlike cactus but is higher and less accessible. Other parts of the







BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


shore (e. g. the extreme eastern end of the island) are covered with
mangrove forest.
Surface water is present on the island in the form of streams. A
freshwater stream at the northern edge of Coxen Hole is the habitat of
several species of frogs and snakes.
ISLA DE GUANAJA
Guanaja (its English name is Bonacca) is about 14 km long and is 6.2
km across at the widest point. As with Roatan, most of the island lies
about 20 m in elevation. The highest point is Michael Rock Peak (415
m), approximately in the middle of the island.
Most of the people of Guanaja live near the southeastern end of the
island on Shin Cay and Hog Cay. A few people also live at Sabana
Bight on the northeastern end of the island and at Mangrove Bight on
the northern end.
The highest elevations on the island are covered with a sparse
growth of pine which gives way at lower elevations to scattered patches
of lowland rainforest (most prevalent along streams). The beaches
are largely sand-covered, backed by groves of coconut palms. Patches
of mangrove forest occur sporadically along the periphery of the island
(one such lies next to the main airstrip directly across from the cay
on which the town of Guanaja is located). In addition there are some
large rock outcroppings, some of which bound the shore. Numerous
freshwater streams are present.
HISTORICAL REVIEW OF COLLECTING
The first extensive herpetological collections from the Bay Islands
were amassed by G. F. Gaumer, a collector for F. D. Godman and 0.
Salvin, editors of "Biologia Centrali-Americana." A. F. Stimson, of the
British Museum (Natural History), has been gracious enough to send
us some detailed information about the activities of Gaumer and also of
J. S. Colman, another collector, whose work is discussed below. Ac-
cording to information contained in correspondence between Gaumer
and Salvin, neither Salvin nor Godman were on the Bay Islands. Salvin
requested that Gaumer visit the Bay Islands. Gaumer collected on
RoatAn and Guanaja intermittently from about December 1885 to March
1888.
Among the material Gaumer collected were 3 Leptotyphlops phenops,
8 Micrurus ruatanus, 7 Rana palmipes, 1 Elaphe flavirufa, 2 Oxybelis
aeneus, and 1 Tantilla taeniata.
In 1897 J. E. Jarnigan, then a United States consul on Utila, send two
specimens of a ctenosaur to the National Zoological Park in Washington,
D.C. These were later described as Ctenosaura bakeri by Stejneger
(1900).








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


Thomas Barbour visited Isla de RoatAn in 1928 (probably during
March-fide E. E. Williams, pers. comm.), assembled a small collec-
tion (Barbour 1928), and first recorded the following species from the
Bay Islands; Anolis allisoni (described as new), Basiliscus vittatus
(recorded in error as Basiliscus basiliscus), Iguana iguana, and Cnemi-
dophorus lemniscatus.
J. S. Colman was "the collector on Lord Moyne's yacht 'Rosaura,'
which toured the Atlantic via Greenland, Newfoundland, the West
Indies, Central and South America and West Africa" (A. F. Stimson,
pers. comm.). The yacht apparently made several stops on the Bay
Islands in 1937. According to Colman's "station list," collections were
made from 23 through 26 October on the north shore of RoatAn (23
October), on Isla de Elena (24 October), and along the north and west
coasts of Isla de Guanaja (25 and 26 October). The yacht then made
an excursion to the coast of British Honduras, touring some of the cays
in that area. On 8 November the Rosaura was again back in the Bay
Islands and additional collections were made on Guanaja (11 November)
and Elena (12 and 15 November). Material Colman collected on Isla
de Elena enabled Parker (1940) to describe Sphaerodactylus rosaurae.
Other specimens collected included the following species not hereto-
fore reported: Ctenosaura similis, Boa constrictor, Drymarchon corais.
D. Dwight Davis collected on Isla de Roatan and Isla de Guanaja in
January 1940 during the Field Museum-Mandel Caribbean Expedition.
The yacht 'Buccaneer' of Mr. Leon Mandel apparently made stops at
Roatan, French Harbor, and Oak Ridge on RoatAn and at an unspecified
locality on Guanaja. Davis gathered a sizeable collection of about 216
specimens representing 18 species, the following 8 of which had not
been collected previously: Smilisca baudinii, Leptodactylus melanonotus,
Rana pipiens, Crocodylus acutus, Sphaerodactylus continentalis, Anolis
lemurinus, Anolis sagrei, Oxybelis fulgidus.
While collecting data for a survey of the birds of Honduras, Arthur
C. Twomey visited the Bay Islands three times (3-15 April 1947, 22-26
March 1948, and 12-24 April 1948-fide C. J. McCoy, pers. comm.).
Although Twomey's collections were fairly extensive, including the first
material from Isla de Barbareta, he found only one species, Leptophis
mexicanus, that had not been taken previously on the Bay Islands.
During a 3-month trip to Honduras in 1963, Jerome V. Mankins
spent a short time on Isla de Utila, where he collected a single specimen
of Anolis sericeus. Mankins also spent some time on the Bay Islands
(on Roatin and Guanaja) in 1965 and collected one specimen of
Oxybelis fulgidus, three of Elaphe flavirufa, and one of Hyla staufferi.
In July 1966 Arthur C. Echternacht made a short sojourn to Isla de


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Guanaja, where he collected "about a kilometer up and down the beach
from a point directly across from the town of Guanaja" (Echternacht
1968). He collected one species, Gymnophthalmus speciosus, not pre-
viously found on the Bay Islands or anywhere in Honduras at that time.
During the summer of 1967 John R. Meyer and the first author spent
6 days on the Bay Islands. From 14-17 July they collected on RoatAn,
mostly in the environs of the town of Roatan, although they spent half
a day in French Harbor and walked to the north side of the island on
a road from the town of Roatan. They arrived on Isla de Guanaja on
17 July and remained there until 19 July, collecting on the shore op-
posite the town of Guanaja, at La Playa Hotel farther toward the north-
east side of the island, and at Sabana Bight. Meyer and Wilson collected
three species not heretofore found: Hyla microcephala, Coniophanes
bipunctatus, Tretanorhinus nigroluteus. In addition, they assembled
large series of other species from the islands.
During the summer of 1969 we made a trip to the Bay Islands to
assemble material of the poorly-known herpetofauna of Utila and
to make additional observations on the herpetofauna of Roatan and
Guanaja. We spent 4 days (12-15 August) on Utila, where we col-
lected in most parts of the eastern portion of the island, and 5 days
(16-20 August) on Isla de RoatAn, where most collecting was near the
town of Roatan. We explored the western end of the island (mostly
along the beach) and made a short trip to French Harbor. We spent 4
days (21-24 August) on Guanaja, where we collected in many of the
same places Meyer and Wilson did in 1967. We added four species to
the list known from the Bay Islands; Chrysemys ornata, Mabuya ma-
bouya, Dryadophis melanolomus, and Enulius flavitorques. We were
also able to observe and/or collect all those species known from the
Bay Islands (except for Rana palmipes, Hyla staufferi, and the possibly
exterminated Crocodylus acutus) that the senior author and Meyer did
not find in 1967.

SPECIES ACCOUNTS

The following 15 species have not been previously recorded from the
Bay Islands:
Hyla microcephala Mabuya mabouya
Hyla staufferi Boa constrictor
Rqna pipiens Coniophanes bipunctatus
Chrysemys ornata Dryadophis melanolomus
Sphaerodactylus continentalis Drymarchon corais
Crocodylus acutus Enulius flavitorques
Anolis lemurinus Leptophis mexicanus
Anolis sagrei









WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


In addition 14 species are recorded for the first time from Utila:


Smilisca baudinii
Chrysemys ornata
Crocodylus acutus
Phyllodactylus palmeus
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae
Anolis lemurinus
Basiliscus vittatus


Ctenosaura similis
Iguana iguana
Mabuya mabouya
Dryadophis melanolomus
Leptophis mexicanus
Oxybelis aeneus
Oxybelis fulgidus


These 13 species are recorded as new for RoatAn:


Hyla microcephala
Rana pipiens
Crocodylus acutus
Sphaerodactylus continentalis
Anolis lemurinus
Anolis sagrei
Ctenosaura bakeri


Mabuya mabouya
Gymnophthalmus speciosus
Boa constrictor
Coniophanes bipunctatus
Drymarchon corals
Enulius flavitorques


The following 11 species have not been previously recorded from
Guanaja:


Hyla microcephala
Smilisca baudinii
Leptodactylus melanonotus
Sphaerodactylus continentalis
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae
Basiliscus vittatus


Iguana iguana
Mabuya mabouya
Boa constrictor
Drymarchon corais
Elaphe flavirufa


Hyla microcephala Cope

Meyer and Wilson collected one specimen of this tree frog near a
shallow stream at night on Roatin. This frog was also collected in
shallow pools near the beach on Guanaja. Specimens of H. microcephala
from the Bay Islands are typical of the subspecies underwoodi (sensu
Duellman and Fouquette 1968).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatin: 0.5-1 km N Roatan, ca. 10 m (LSUMZ
21315). Isla de Guanaja: La Playa Hotel (LACM 47312-19).

Hyla staufferi Cope

Only a single specimen of this widespread and common frog has been
taken on the Bay Islands. We collected near the place on Guanaja where
this frog was found without acquiring additional specimens. No habitat
data are available.

SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-None.
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Guanaja: 5.5 mi W Sabana Bight (TCWC
21551).








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Smilisca baudinii (Dumbril and Bibron)
This ubiquitous tree frog is found on all three islands, though seem-
ingly in lesser numbers than on the mainland. Two specimens were
collected during the evening in shallow pools near the beach on the
southeastern shore of Guanaja. A specimen was collected on Utila from
trees near a cattle trough during the evening. Meyer and Wilson col-
lected one specimen high in a mango tree in a pasture and several
others in muddy pools on a gravel road extending north from Coxen
Hole. Duellman and Trueb (1966) reported S. baudinii from Isla de
RoatAn.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-ISla de Utila: Utila (UF 28397). Isla de Roatan:
0.5-2 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21291-93); near Roatan (UF 28544); 0.5-1.5 mi N
Roatan (LSUMZ 22375). Isla de Guanaja: La Playa Hotel (LSUMZ 21294-95).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Roatan: near Coxen Hole (FMNH 34551-54).
Isla de Guanaja: 1 mi E of west end of island (TCWC 21964).

Leptodactylus melanonotus (Hallowell)
On RoatAn this frog was commonly found at night along the edge of
shallow streams. During the day it was found under logs in a mango
tree grove. On Guanaja L. melanonotus was found in shallow pools
near the beach at night and under logs in a coconut grove during the
day. This species was first recorded from Roatan by Orton (1951).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 0.5-2 km N Roatan (LACM 47490-93);
near Roatin (UF 28459, 28486-87, 28508, 28543); Roatin (LSUMZ 22319, 22333-
34); 0.5-1.5 mi N Roatan (LSUMZ 22376-78). Isla de Guanaja: SE shore opposite
Guanaja (LACM 47494; LSUMZ 22404; UF 28578-79); La Playa Hotel (LACM
47495-500); Sabana Blight (LSUMZ 22413-14; UF 28590).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de RoatAn: Oak Ridge (CM 27606-07); near
Coxen Hole (FMNH 34555).

Rana palmipes Spix
In 1900 Giinther described Rana bonaccana from specimens collected
by Gaumer on Bonacca Island (= Isla de Guanaja). In the original
description, R. bonaccana was only compared to R. clamitans and R.
draytonii (= R. aurora draytoni). Boulenger (1920) called attention
to the small terminal discs on the toes of the Guanaja specimens and
synonymized R. bonaccana Giinther with R. palmipes Spix. We have
examined a portion of the type series and concur with this disposition.
No additional specimens of Rana palmipes have been collected on
any of the Bay Islands, but we have no reason to doubt the validity of
the Gaumer record. More night collecting on Guanaja along suitable
streams is needed.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-IsIa de Guanaja: no other data (BMNH 95.7.15.21-24).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Guanaja: no other data (BMNH 95.7.15.8-9,
1901.12.19.1).

Rana pipiens Schreber
In 1967 one specimen of the leopard frog was collected in a grassy
pasture at night on Roatan. In 1969 this frog was found to be mod-
erately common at night along the banks of a shallow stream.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 0.5-2 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21619);
near Roatin (UF 28460); RoatAn (LSUMZ 22316-17); 0.5-1 mi N RoatAn (LSUMZ
22379).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de RoatAn: no other data (CM 28997); near
Coxen Hole (FMNH 34547-50).

Chrysemys ornata (Gray)

The presence of this turtle in the Bay Islands is based on a shell in
the possession of a Mrs. Morgan, a resident of Utila. The shell was
purported to have been collected on Utila about 20 years ago. Accord-
ing to Mrs. Morgan, the turtles are uncommon and are found in the
marshes on the west end of the island. Residents on RoatAn and
Guanaja report no fresh water turtles occur on either of these islands.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-One shell in the possession of a private individual.

Crocodylus acutus Cuvier

The distribution of the American crocodile in Honduras is poorly
known and will undoubtedly remain so. Places on the Honduran
mainland where Schmidt (1924) reported seeing numbers of specimens
(Laguna Ticamaya, Lago de Yojoa) have largely been hunted out.
Residents living near Lago de Yojoa report rarely seeing crocodiles now.
Crocodylus acutus appears to be even more uncommonly encountered
on the Bay Islands, and may have been extirpated on Guanaja and Utila.
Long-time residents of Guanaja report not having seen crocodiles for
many years and a 76 year old lifelong resident of Utila has neither s6en
nor heard of an "alligator" in some 25 years. Small populations may
remain in remote parts of the islands, such as the interior of the large
marsh on Utila or the large mangrove swamp at the eastern end of
Roatan.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-NOne.
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (USNM 24488, 29420).
Isla de RoatAn: near RoatAn (FMNH 34563).








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Phyllodactylus palmeus Dixon

Dixon (1968) described this gecko on the basis of 19 specimens
Meyer and Wilson collected on Roatan and Guanaja. We also collected
a specimen on Utila, and others were seen but escaped. The Utila speci-
men was caught on a tree in the forest during the evening. The morn-
ing of 13 August 1969 we saw a young specimen under a pile of dead
coconut palm fronds, and the evening of 14 August spotted two adults
on the trunks of coconut palm trees near the main airstrip.
On Roatan in 1969 we made observations on the habitat preferences
of this gecko (additional information is provided by Dixon 1968). One
specimen was shot at night on the side of a palm tree along a stream
and another at night on the bank of a roadcut. During the day, speci-
mens were taken from the axils of the stems of coconut palm fronds on
the beach.
Our observations indicate that P. palmeus is found in a number of
habitats ranging from coconut palm trees on the beach to thorn palms
in the forest interior. A basic requirement seems to be suitably darkened
hiding places. One of the principal diurnal retreats of this lizard is the
hollow interior of standing, dead palm trees, a habitat shared with the
smaller Sphaerodactylus rosaurae.
Egg clutches, in addition to being laid in rotting palm stumps as
reported by Dixon (1968), are also laid on the inner side of axils of
coconut palm leaves.
On Utila this lizard is known as the "chumpatia" (= stump-tail?).
The single specimen available from Utila (UF 28398) has a snout-
vent length of 71.4 mm (tail missing), approximately 60 transverse
ventral scales from throat to anus, 46 tubercles in a paravertebral row
from rear of head to base of tail, two postmentals in contact with only
first part of infralabials, 21 interorbital scales, 29 longitudinal rows of
ventral scales, 7 scales bordering postmentals, 9 scales bordering posterior
edge of internasals, 14 scales between nostril and eye, 14 lamellae on
fourth toe, 8 tubercles across base of tail, and 6 supralabials to a point
below center of eye. The coloration is as described by Dixon (1968).
All scutellational counts fall within the ranges given by Dixon for
palmeus, including those features that distinguish palmeus from its
closest relative, P. insularis from Half Moon Cay, British Honduras.
SPECIMENS ExAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (UF 28398). Isla de Roatan:
0.5 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 16986-92); 3 km N Roatin (LSUMZ 16993-94); 1 km
N RoatAn (LACM 38514-15); Roatan (LSUMZ 22335-37); 3 mi W RoatAn
(LSUMZ 22350-51); near RoatAn (UF 28458, 28541-42); near French Harbor (UF
28560-61). Isla de Guanaja: SE shore opposite Guanaja (LACM 38516-20; LSUMZ
22402-03).








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


ADDrrIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Roatan: no other data (BMNH 1889.11.13.42-
43); 0.5 km N Roatan (TCWC 24016). Isla de Guanaja: no other data (KU
101377).

Sphaerodactylus continentalis Werner

Smith and Alvarez del Toro (1962) discussed using the name S.
continentalis Werner for a gecko having keeled, juxtaposed dorsals and
a large escutcheon extending in two rows to near the knees. The name
S. lineolatus Lichtenstein was restricted by Grant (1959) to a Panaman-
ian species with unkeeled, juxtaposed dorsals and a compact escutcheon
showing no tendency to extend toward the thigh. We tentatively agree
with this arrangement and utilize the name continentalis for our material
from the Bay Islands, pending a long-overdue revision of the lineolatus
group.
We studied two males and five females from Isla de Roatan. Snout-
vent length ranges from 21.0 to 29.7 mm. The complete, unregenerated
tail of one specimen (LSUMZ 22390) measures 25.0 mm (snout-vent
length, 24.2 mm). Dorsal scales in sd, 13 to 20; number of ventrals in
sd, 8 to 11; scales around body, 69 to 78. Two males have about 59
and 70 scales in the escutcheon, with this structure extending in two
rows almost to the knees.
Coloration of all Bay Island specimens is drab brown, with little
evidence of a pattern, in contrast to the great pattern variations seen in
specimens from mainland Honduras (pers. observ.). Most specimens
from the islands have very small dark brown spots scattered over the
back and show two dark, more or less parallel lines extending posteri-
odorsally from the orbit or vestiges thereof. A series of light bands
are usually present on the hind limbs, and one specimen (LSUMZ
22340) has a pair of dark-bordered light spots at the base of the tail.
The Bay Islands specimens closely resemble a specimen from Veracruz,
M6xico illustrated by Taylor (1956b).
On Roatan we found S. continentalis in an oak forest on the top of a
hill just north of the town of Roatin and under palm fronds at the base
of coconut palms near French Harbor. In the oak forest the geckoes
were moving about in the fallen leaves on the forest floor. On Guanaja,
Meyer and Wilson found one specimen among rocks on a heavily
vegetated hill west of the village of Sabana Bight.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: Roatan (UF 28489; LSUMZ 22338-
40); ca. 2 mi W French Harbor (LSUMZ 22390-92). Isla de Guanaja: 2 km W
Sabana Bight (LACM 47778).
ADDrrIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de RoatAn: near RoatAn (FMNH 34541).








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Sphaerodactylus rosaurae Parker
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae was described by Parker (1940) on the
basis of a single male specimen (BMNH 1938.10.4.1) collected on Isla
de Elena by J. S. Colman. Since that time little additional material
has come to light, and the existence of this sphaerodactyl has been es-
sentially ignored. In the original description Parker (1940) compared
rosaurae to the members of the anthracinus (= scaber) and fantasticus
groups. S. rosaurae and the members of the scaber and fantasticus
groups are all characterized by having the middorsal scales reduced in
size (rosaurae and the scaber group members have a middorsal zone of
granules).
The scaber group was reviewed by Schwartz (1961), who considered
it to include three Cuban forms (scaber, o. oliveri, and o. storeyae), one
Bahamian form (a. anthracinus), and one Hispaniolan form (anthracinus
copei). In addition to a middorsal zone of granules, the members of the
scaber group all have keeled and imbricate dorsal scales, smooth ventral
and chest scales, and strong sexual dimorphism in color pattern. Mem-
bers of the fantasticus group do not agree with the members of the
scaber group in this combination of characters and were therefore ex-
cluded from the latter group by Schwartz (1961). Later, Schwartz and
Thomas (1964) reviewed S. copei, which they considered not to be
conspecific with S. anthracinus, and recognized four subspecies (copei,
enochrus, picturatus, cataplexis) within S. copei, distinguished from one
another primarily on the basis of female color pattern. At the same
time they discussed the status of S. anthracinus, a nominal species orig-
inally described from "Mexico," but considered by Barbour (1921) to
be a species restricted to the Bahamas. Schwartz and Thomas (1964)
felt it advisable, on the basis of the study of living material of copei,
again to recognize anthracinus as a species distinct from copei.
Thomas (1968) again reviewed the copei-anthracinus tangle and
suggested that anthracinus be considered a nomen dubium, inasmuch
as the holotype is a unicolor male and therefore not assignable to any
known West Indian population. The syntype series of S. asper from
Andros Island in the Bahamas are also unicolor males. Barbour (1921)
synonymized asper with anthracinus. Thomas further demonstrated
that at least some new material from New Providence in the Bahamas
was referable to S. copei cataplexis, otherwise known from the tip of the
Tiburon Peninsula on Hispaniola. He also described an additional sub-
species of S. copei (polyommatus) from Ile Grande Cayemite, off the
north coast of the Tiburon Peninsula.
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae is a sphaerodactyl with a middorsal zone
of granules (1 to 2 scales wide) and large keeled and slightly imbricate







WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


dorsal scales. Ventrals are smooth, imbricate, and round; chest scales
are smooth. Gulars are smooth and tuberculate. Internasals number
0 to 2 (mode 1); upper labials number 3 to 5 (mode 4). Dorsal scales
between axilla and groin 21 to 28; ventral scales between axilla and groin
22 to 29. Scales around midbody 41 to 53. Fourth toe lamellae 10 to
15. Escutcheon measurements range from 4 to 7 by 15 to 28. The size
is large, males reach 38 mm in snout-vent length, females 39 mm.
Males and females of this species are strongly dichromatic, females
more closely resembling the pattern of the juveniles. The dorsum of
the body of juvenile rosaurae (Fig. 2A) is yellowish-green with four
black bands; the tail is banded with black and white. The head is
rust-red. A diffuse dark stripe extends from the rostral to a point be-
tween the anterior edges of the orbits where it fuses with a dark spot
over each eye. The dark median stripe is flanked by a light band ex-
tending from the naris to the anterior edge of the orbit and each of
these areas is in turn laterally flanked by a dark canthal stripe. A dark
band extends from a point behind the eye, curves downward below the
ear opening and dorsally again onto the occiput where it meets a simi-
lar band on the other side of the head. Large females (Fig. 2B) have
an olive green dorsum with scattered black flecks, a light olive-green
head with scattered rust-red flecks, and a light olive-green tail with
scattered black flecks. Large males (Fig. 2D) have a light olive-green
head and foreparts and gray hindparts and tail. Black spots on the
head decrease in size and number with age until, in the largest males
(about 38 mm snout-vent length), the dorsum of the head, body, and
tail are entirely free of black spotting.
Ontogenetic color change from juveniles to adult females proceeds
as follows: the tail bands become obliterated by the dark bands be-
coming lighter (olive-green) and the light bands becoming darker (yel-
lowish-green); the light bands come to have scattered black pigment
and the tail eventually becomes light olive-green with scattered black
flecks in adult females; the dorsum of the body becomes darker with
age (olive-green) and the dark bands become broken up into black
flecks; the rust-red color of the dorsum of the head of juveniles becomes
broken up into rust-red spots set against a light olive-green background
in adult females.
Ontogenetic change in pattern and color in males essentially proceeds
from the type of pattern seen in adult females by accentuation and
deepening of the color of the dark head spots and progressive loss of
dark flecking on the back and tail. Small males have a head covered
with black spots and a few spots on the back. Large males, as stated
above, lose all dark spotting.








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


A





E'v3 f- ^^'"5l~y


FIGURE 2.-A. Juvenile Sphaerodactylus rosaurae (LSUMZ 21940) from Isla de
RoatAn. B. Adult female S. rosaurae (LSUMZ 22298) from Isla de Utila. C.
Adult female S. rosaurae (LSUMZ 21942) from Isla de Guanaja. D. Adult
male S. rosaurae (LSUMZ 22297) from Isla de Utila.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


A single female specimen (LSUMZ 21942) available from Guanaja
(Fig. 2C) does not fit the color pattern description presented above
which is based on females from Utila and Roatan. This female, measur-
ing about 33 mm in snout-vent length, has a pattern that more closely re-
sembles that of the juveniles in that the dark bands of the body are
more prominent than in females of comparable size from Utila and
Roatin. These bands are also broken middorsally, a feature that occurs
in neither juveniles nor other adult females. Tail bands are similarly
well-developed for a female of this size. Furthermore LSUMZ 21942
resembles S. copei in having a pale occipital spot outlined by a U-
shaped black border.
Of the three species of the scaber group presently recognized (scaber,
oliveri, and copei), rosaurae most closely resembles copei on the basis of
large size, male and female color pattern, and size and shape of the
escutcheon. It is entirely possible that S. rosaurae is conspecific with
S. copei, but we do not wish to synonymize the two because of our
meager knowledge of S. copei. Of the five subspecies of S. copei cur-
rently recognized, S. rosaurae most closely resembles S. c. picturatus in
terms of female coloration.
Specimens of S. rosaurae were collected from stilt rootlets of coconut
palm stumps, under rotten palm logs, inside hollow standing thorn
palms, under palm fronds, in the axils of fronds on coconut palms, in
crevices of rock coral, in abandoned thatched huts, and under rocks. S.
rosaurae occurs from the beach front back into the hills that rise rela-
tively abruptly from the beach.
On Utila this gecko is known as the "chumpatia" (= stump-tail?) or
the "escupion" (probably a caco6pistic form of the Spanish loan-word
escorpion).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (LSUMZ 22297-98). Isla de
Roatan: 0.5-1 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21939-41); ca. 3 mi W Roatan (LSUMZ
22352-62; UF 28536); ca. 2 mi W French Harbor (LSUMZ 22385-89; UF 28557-
59); near Roatin (UF 28488, 28496). Isla de Guanaja: SE shore opposite Guanaja
(LSUMZ 21942); 2 km W Sabana Bight (LSUMZ 21943).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.- Isla de Roatan: Roatan (FMNH 34542). Isla de
Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.1).

Anolis allisoni Barbour

This lizard is ubiquitous on RoatAn and Guanaja, but, despite search-
ing in similar habitats, it has not been found on Utila. It is a diurnal
lizard of open places, sunning itself on tree trunks and other similar
exposed situations. We saw this anole on banana trees, houses along
the beach, coconut palms, thorn palms, oak trees, mango trees, and


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


wooden fences. Bay Island allisoni occupy much the same habitat as
this species does in Cuba (Ruibal and Williams 1961).
A. allisoni is a member of the carolinensis group and is most closely
related to A. porcatus of Cuba (Ruibal and Williams 1961). In addi-
tion to occurring on Cuba (the provinces of Las Villas, Camagiiey,
and Oriente) and the Bay Islands, it is also found on Half Moon Cay
(Schmidt 1941) and the Turneffe Islands (Ruibal and Williams 1961)
off the coast of British Honduras.
Ruibal and Williams (1961) discussed variation in A. allisoni over
its entire range, and suggested that the species is divisible into three
morphological groups; a Cuban group, a Bay Island group, and a Half
Moon Cay group. These authors list five variable characters, conclude
that the Bay Island specimens more closely resemble Cuban specimens
and the more geographically proximate Half Moon Cay specimens, and
postulate that two temporally disparate invasions had occurred from
Cuba.
We are unable to discern a dark patch above the forelimb or white
scales on the nape in living or preserved material, characteristics cited
by Ruibal and Williams (1961) as common to Cuban and Bay Island
populations. There is evidence of a light stripe posterior to the ear in
Bay Island specimens, and the rostral does strongly overlap the lower
jaw in adult males and slightly overlaps the lower jaw (as in Cuban
populations) in females and juveniles. We cannot comment on ventral
coloration as we made no notation of this in the field, and coloration
changes radically with preservation.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 0.5 km N Roatan (LACM 47770-74;
LSUMZ 21644, 21433-35; UF 28472-84, 28497-99); 3 mi W Roatin (UF 28514-16,
28535); near French Harbor (UF 28562); Roatan (LSUMZ 22312-13, 22328-32);
French Harbor (LSUMZ 22393). Isla de Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.
4.2). Isla de Barbareta: no other data (CM 27610). Isla de Guanaja: SE shore
opposite Guanaja (UF 28566-72; LACM 47775-76; LSUMZ 21436-38, 22405); La
Playa Hotel (LSUMZ 21439); Sabana Bight (LSUMZ 22412).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de RoatAn: no other data (BMNH 1929.6.1.71;
CM 28991-93; KU 47167; UMMZ 66825-2 spec., 67694-2 spec.; USNM 75859);
Roatan (TCWC 21946); W end of island (TCWC 21947-49); Oak Ridge (CM
27600-20, 27601-18 spec., 27604-4 spec., 27605-6 spec.; FMNH 53807-21); near
Roatan (FMNH 34539-66). Isla de Guanaja: no other data (CM 27612-9 spec.;
FMNH 53822-27; KU 101379-88); 1 mi E of west end of island (TCWC 21968-70).

Anolis lemurinus Cope

Anolis lemurinus is common on Utila and RoatAn, but thus far has
not been found on Guanaja, despite search of similar habitats. On Utila
lemurinus is known by the vernacular name "American flag," in reference








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


to the bannerlike dewlap. The interscutellar portion of the dewlap is
purplish-red to magenta, and the scales of the dewlap are white.
This anole is scansorial, being commonly observed on the sides of
trees and in bushes both in the forest interior and in edge situations
along paths and in pastures in the late afternoon. On both islands where
it occurs, lemurinus avoids the beach habitat (occupied to some extent
by allisoni and sagrei on RoatAn) and other open places with few or no
trees.
Stuart (1955) recognized two subspecies of lemurinus, a northern
form that he called bourgeaei, having two or three scales separating the
supraorbital semicircles in over 80% of the population, and a southern
form (lemurinus), having the supraorbital semicircles separated by a
single scale or in contact in about 95% of the population. Stuart en-
visioned bourgeaei to range from Veracruz south into Guatemala and
lemurinus thence southward to Costa Rica (this anole also occurs in
PanamA).
We studied a sample of 24 specimens from the Bay Islands, 12 from
Utila and 12 from Roatan. The range in minimal number of scales
separating the supraorbital semicircles is 1 to 2. The percent of occur-
rence of these conditions on Utila as opposed to RoatAn is surprisingly
different. Of 12 Utila specimens, 8 or 66.7% have a minimal number
of one scale separating the supraorbital semicircles, 4 or 33.3% have 2;
of 12 Roatan specimens, 3 or 25.0% have one and 9 or 75.0% have two.
We are unable to offer an explanation for this situation, but we suggest
that the solution lies in a complete reappraisal of variation in this species
over its whole range.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (UF 28396, 28404-05, 28441-43;
LSUMZ 22272, 22295, 22305-08). Isla de Roatin: near RoatAn (UF 28463-70,
28500-01; LSUMZ 22314-15); 5 km N RoatAn (LSUMZ 21353); 0.5-2 km N Roatin
(LSUMZ 21354-59); 0.5-4 km N Roatin (LSUMZ 21360); 0.5-1 km N Roatan
(LSUMZ 21361-65).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de RoatAn: near RoatAn (FMNH 34540).

Anolis sagrei DumBril and Bibron

The distribution of this anole on the mainland of Central America
has been reviewed by Fugler (1968), who reported the first specimens
from Honduras (Puerto Cort6s) and discounted records south of that
point. Ruibal (1964) discussed the distribution of this species on the
Caribbean islands.
Twomey collected four specimens at Oak Ridge on RoatAn on 7 and
8 April 1967. On 16 July 1967 Meyer and Wilson collected three speci-
mens on palms and mangroves near the beach at French Harbor. On


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


20 August 1969 we collected 10 additional specimens at the same lo-
cality in French Harbor where the species is relatively abundant, but
search of similar places near Coxen Hole failed to reveal its presence.
The status of this anole on the adjacent mainland has been discussed
by several authors. Smith and Burger (1949) described specimens from
Yucatan as A. s. mayensis on the basis of larger size and supposed color
distinctions. Neill and Allen (1959, 1962) and Neill (1965) accepted
this distinction, but Stuart (1955, 1963), Duellman (1965), and Fugler
(in Duellman, 1965) did not in absence of a range-wide analysis of
variation. Ruibal (1964) demonstrated that Mexican, Central American
and Swan Island populations of A. sagrei are distinct from other popula-
tions of this species in having a larger size, but noted that "these various
large forms merit further study."
We examined the ten specimens collected on RoatAn in 1969 and
found that the snout-vent length ranges from 42 to 63 mm. Five speci-
mens, 42 to 48 mm in snout-vent length, have a pattern (either a
straight-edged or scallop-edged middorsal stripe) and five specimens,
50 to 63 mm in snout-vent length, have no dorsal pattern.
We agree with those authors who hesitate to recognize a mainland
subspecies of sagrei without a range-wide study of variation, although
it appears that the Bay Island individuals more closely resemble speci-
mens from the mainland than they do those from other island localities
in the Caribbean.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: French Harbor (LSUMZ 21369-70,
22394-97; UF 28547-52).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Roatan: Oak Ridge (CM 27599, 27603;
FMNH 53828-29).

Anolis sericeus Hallowell
We follow Stuart (1955) in the use of the name sericeus for the
anole with a blue spot in the middle of an orange or yellow dewlap.
This anole was first recorded from the Bay Islands when Meyer (1966)
collected a specimen on Isla de Utila. Thus far this anole has been
found only on Utila of the Bay Island group.
Anolis sericeus is largely found in edge situations both on the ground
and in bushes, and is relatively uncommon compared to A. lemurinus,
the only other anole known from Utila.
Stuart (1955) recognized two major populations of A. sericeus on
the basis of differences in the numbers of dorsal and ventral scales, a
small-scaled and a large-scaled form. Dorsal scale counts of two males
from Utila are 55 and 60 and most closely resemble the range given by
Stuart for the small-scaled form (57 to 73); the single female has 59








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


dorsals, 3 scales below the lower range limit given by Stuart (62 to 71).
Counts of ventral scales on two males are 46 and 47 and fall within the
range given by Stuart for the small-scaled form (39 to 50); the count
for the single female falls within the range for the large-scaled form
(36 to 46). The single male Meyer discussed has 47 ventral and 69 dor-
sal scales; both counts fall within the range of the small-scaled form.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (UF 28403, 28440, LSUMZ
22273).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: 2 mi N Utila (TCWC 19190).

Basiliscus vittatus Wiegmann

This lizard is common on all three of the major islands in both
riparian and nonriparian situations, except the beach. Individuals are
found both on the ground and in trees and shrubs.
Variation in this lizard has been most recently treated by Maturana
(1962). The minimal number of scales between the supraorbital semi-
circles ranges from 1 to 3 in mainland Honduran specimens, the most
frequent number being 2. The same situation obtains in the Bay Island
material. Of 20 specimens examined, 5.0% have 1, 75.0% have 2, and
20.0% have 3. The minimal number of scales between the pineal scale
and the supraorbital semicircles ranges from 1 to 2 in mainland Hon-
duran specimens. The range for Bay Island specimens is the same;
50.0% have 1 and 50.0% have 2. On mainland Honduras the ratio of
middorsal to midventral scales in the tail rings is 4/4, 5/4, or 6/4, the
most common ratio being 5/4. Of 19 Bay Island specimens examined
for this character, all but one (having a ratio of 6/4) have a ratio of 5/4.
Maturana (1962) demonstrated character displacement in the mini-
mal number of scales in the toe fringe of the fourth toe. Specimens of
vittatus from the southern portion of the range, where this species is
sympatric with B. plumifrons, have a lower number of scales (modal
number 32) than does plumifrons (modal number 39). In the northern
portion of the range north of Costa Rica, where plumifrons does not
occur, the number of scales in the toe fringe is higher (most common
numbers are 36 and 37). Counts for specimens from mainland Hon-
duras and Nicaragua range from 31 to 39, for Bay Island specimens 33
to 40, the most common numbers are 35 and 37. Maturana (1962) was
of the opinion that the lower number of scales in the toe fringe in
vittatus in areas where it is sympatric with plumifrons is a reflection of
a lessening of aquatic habits in vittatus. Conversely in areas north of
the range of plumifrons, vittatus is presumably capable of invading a
more aquatic habitat.








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-ISla de Utila: Utila (LSUMZ 22269-71; UF 28389-91,
28406-14, 28452-53). Isla de Roatin: 0.5-1 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21644-45);
Roatan (LSUMZ 22318); near RoatAn (UF 28461-62). Isla de Guanaja: SE shore
opposite Guanaja (UF 28573; LSUMZ 21646); La Playa Hotel (LSUMZ 21647).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (USNM 28626; CM
29002, 29014). Isla de RoatAn: no other data (CM 28994); 0.5-1 km NNE
RoatAn (TCWC 21952-53); Oak Ridge (CM 27597; FMNH 53830); near Coxen
Hole (FMNH 34543, 34556-60, 34583-85, 34587-92, 34597-601). Isla de Guanaja:
no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.80; KU 101434).

Ctenosaura bakeri Stejneger

Little information is available on the morphological variation or
ecological requirements of C. bakeri. Bailey (1928) in his revision of the
genus Ctenosaura had only two specimens at hand, the holotype and
paratype. We observed and collected several additional specimens from
Utila (the type locality) and RoatAn.
Two species of ctenosaurs are found on the Bay Islands, the endemic
C. bakeri and the widespread C. similis. The distributional relation-
ships of the two are peculiar and merit further study. Both species
occur on Utila, only bakeri has been found on Roatan and only similis
on Guanaja. This distribution may be the result of sampling error,
but we do not think so. Neither of the two species is rare where it
occurs, and we believe we would have found similis on Roatan or bakeri
on Guanaja were they present. Secondly, evidence suggests that bakeri
may live in habitats on Roatan normally occupied by similis where the
two species are sympatric on Utila. Contrawise, C. similis may live in
habitats on Guanaja usually occupied by bakeri on Utila.
On Isla de Utila similis appears to be the more widespread and
perhaps successful species. We collected only four juvenile C. bakeri
(snout-vent lengths of 70, 71, 78, and 133 mm), three in the short
grass lining the main airstrip adjacent to the town of Utila, and the
other on coral rock on the beach at the eastern end of the island.
We found similis in large numbers in a variety of habitats. We found
juvenile similis in the same place as the juvenile bakeri and in consider-
ably greater numbers. We also found juvenile similis on bare coral
rocks on the strand at the northern end of the island and in a variety
of places both in the forest and in pastures in the interior of the higher
eastern end of the island. One adult was shot from a tree not more
than 50 yards from the shore on the eastern end of the island; another
was extracted from a hole in a stilt root of a mangrove in a mangrove
swamp adjacent to the main airstrip. Apparently C. similis is wide-
spread on the higher eastern part of Utila, while bakeri is more restricted
in distribution. We collected no adult bakeri on this island.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


On Isla de Roatan where only C. bakeri occurs, it is easier to find
than on Utila, but it is by no means so common as is similis on either
Utila or Guanaja. Most of our 11 specimens collected on this island
were taken on large coral accumulations along the beach about 3 miles
west of Roatan on the path to Flowers Bay, a small settlement near
the west end of the island. The lava provides excellent protection. In
addition, one juvenile bakeri was collected farther inland at night as it
was sleeping, suspended on a portion of the whorl of thorns on the
trunk of a thorn palm. This may indicate that C. bakeri is more ecologi-
cally widespread on Roatan than it is on Utila, occupying areas fre-
quented by similis on Utila.
Only C. similis has been found on Isla de Guanaja and on this island
they are common and apparently widespread. Juvenile similis were col-
lected in grassy fields, on mangrove flats, and in pastures. Adults were
collected from a large pile of granitic boulders near the beach a few
hundred yards south of La Playa Hotel and were spotted on rock out-
crops at other points near the beach. One large adult was seen high
in a tree on a rocky hill about two miles west of Sabana Bight. On
Guanaja similis occupies to some extent the type of habitat occupied by
bakeri on Roatan.
The taxonomic arrangement of the genus Ctenosaura is still confused,
as is the relationship of Ctenosaura to Enyaliosaurus. John R. Meyer
is currently studying the problems of the relationship of the species now
grouped in Enyaliosaurus to those now grouped in Ctenosaura. He
(pers. comm.) advised us that he considers the two genera inseparable,
and that bakeri appears to be closely related to both palaearis (now in
Enyaliosaurus) and similis (now in Ctenosaura). Meyer is to report on
morphometric examination of our bakeri material in a separate paper.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (UF 28437, 28471; LSUMZ 22275,
22293). Isla de RoatAn: ca. 3 mi W RoatAn (LSUMZ 22367-71; UF 28530-33);
near RoatAn (LSUMZ 22399); near French Harbor (UF 28553). Isla de Santa
Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.82).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (USNM 25324, 26317).
Isla de RoatAn: French Harbor (FMNH 53831).


Ctenosaura similis (Gray)

What is known of the ecological and geographical distribution of
this species on the Bay Islands has been discussed in the proceeding ac-
count. Examination of the morphological features is being undertaken
by John R. Meyer.
The vernacular name of both this lizard and C. bakeri is "bush-


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


willy;" other pronunciatory variants are "witchwilly and "wishwilly" on
all three islands.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: near Utila (UF 28392-95, 28415-29,
28445-51; LSUMZ 22276-77, 22287-92, 22299-302). Isla de Guanaja: La Playa
Hotel (LACM 48412-14, 48457; LSUMZ 21655); SE shore opposite Guanaja (UF
28575-77; LSUMZ 22406-09); near Sabana Bight (UF 28581-89; LSUMZ 22410-
11).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Guanaja: no other data (KU 101438); 5.5
mi W Sabana Bight (TCWC 21954).

Iguana iguana (Linnaeus)

The iguana is known from all three islands. Meyer and Wilson
collected one young specimen in 1967 on the road north from the town
of Roatin, shooting the lizard from a vine overhanging the road. An-
other specimen was brought to us on Utila in 1969. This specimen
(LSUMZ 22294), an adult represented by only a head, is typical of the
subspecies I. i. rhinolopha (Dunn 1934), having well-developed horns
on the snout.
Barbour (1928) noted that the iguana was extremely abundant on
Roatan and that they were used as food. Man's depredations may ac-
count for their apparent scarcity now.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-ISla de Utila: Utila (LSUMZ 22294). Isla de Roatan:
0.5-4 km N RoatAn (LACM 47849).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (CM 28998). Isla de
RoatAn: near Coxen Hole (FMNH 34594-96). Isla de Guanaja: no other data
(CM 27617).

Mabuya mabouya (Lacepede)
The taxonomic history of Mexican and Central American Mabuya
is in dispute. Dunn (1936) considered M. mabouya mabouya to occur
in Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Lesser
Antilles. According to Burger (1952), Mexican and Central American
Mabuya belong to another subspecies, M. m. alliacea. Taylor (1956a)
divided Costa Rican material of this genus into three species, all distinct
from Mabuya mabouya. Webb (1958) determined the Mexican material
to belong to M. brachypoda, a species Taylor (1956a) named on the
basis of material from Costa Rica.
Material from the Bay Islands keys out to Mabuya alliacea or M.
unimarginata in Taylor's (1956a) key, depending upon which character
is used. We are of the opinion that Taylor gave no satisfactory reasons
for regarding the Mexican and Central American populations as distinct
from the wide-ranging Mabuya mabouya, and this, coupled with the dif-








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


ficulty in allocating the Bay Island material to any of the species rec-
ognized by Taylor (1956a), makes it imperative that we follow Stuart
(1963) in the application of the specific name mabouya to the Central
American members and in particular the Bay Island representatives of
the genus Mabuya.
Specimens from the Bay Islands exhibit the following ranges in
characters: number of midbody scales, 20-30; number of middorsal
scales, 55-56; supralabial below eye, 6; number of chin shields in con-
tact with infralabials, 1 or 2. The frontonasal is not in contact with the
rostral in any specimen and is in contact with the frontal in all. The
lateral light stripe is one scale row wide, extending from the tip of the
snout to the point of insertion of the hind limb, bordered below by an
irregular dark stripe about one scale row wide, and dorsally by a dark
stripe two to two and one-half scales wide; an ill-defined dorsolateral
light line is also present above the lateral dark stripe. The middorsal
area is brown, with or without dark punctations.
This skink is largely arboreal; specimens from Utila were collected
on the sides of trees. One was found about 8 m up the trunk of a
mango tree.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (LSUMZ 22309). Isla de
Guanaja: no other data (LSUMZ 21883).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Roatan: Jonesville (TCWC 21955).

Cnemidophorus lemniscatus (Linnaeus)
The occurrence of this racerunner on the Bay Islands was first noted
by Barbour (1928), who described a single specimen from Roatan as
a new subspecies, C. 1. ruatanus. Burt (1931) demonstrated that the
characters Barbour used to distinguish ruatanus were duplicated in
other, far-removed portions of the range, and accordingly he synony-
mized ruatanus with C. 1. lemniscatus. Rand (1954) resurrected rua-
tanus from synonymy on the basis of a study of 47 specimens from
RoatAn and 13 specimens from mainland Honduras. Characters by
which Rand separated the island from the mainland populations in-
cluded numbers of femoral pores, ventral coloration, and degree of
retention of the "basic" dorsal pattern. Differences in femoral pore
numbers (mean of 21.4 and 20.7 for Bay Island males and females re-
spectively, and 21.2 and 20.4 for mainland males and females respective-
ly) are undoubtedly not significant. We noted no difference in any
aspect of coloration between specimens from the two areas. In addition
Echternacht (1968) found no difference in color or pattern between
24 specimens from mainland Honduras and 40 specimens from Panama.







BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Rand demonstrated that the basic pattern of eight light lines is retained
to a larger size on Roatan than on the mainland.
Echternacht (1968) showed that the samples he studied from Hon-
duras and Panama differed significantly from one another in the number
of longitudinal rows of ventral scutes, nature of the contact between
the frontoparietal suture and the granular scales separating the supra-
orbital scales from the median head scales (designated as COF), extent
of the double row of granular scales( if present) between the supracil-
iary scales and the supraorbitals (designated as SO-SS), and the number
of dorsal granules around the body. Our counts were made and coded
using Echternacht's methods.
Echternacht (1968) gave a range of 8 to 10 (approximate mean de-
rived from his graph, 8.2) longitudinal rows of ventrals for the Honduran
sample and 8 to 12 (approximate mean, 9.6) for the Panamanian sample.
All specimens from the Bay Islands examined for this character (50)
have 8 longitudinal rows of ventrals. With regard to COF, Echternacht
gave a coded character range of 2 to 6 for the Honduran sample (mean,
3.0); all Panamanian specimens studied have a character code of 2.
The Bay Island material is like the Panamanian material in this regard;
all have a COF code of 2. With respect to SO-SS Echternacht gave a
coded character range of 2 to 10 for the Panamanian material (ap-
proximate mean, 3.2); all Honduran specimens have a character code
of 2. Again, the Bay Islands sample resembles the Panamanian sample.
The SO-SS range for the Bay Island material is 2 to 7 (mean 3.2).
Counts of dorsal granules around the body in males of the mainland
Honduran sample ranged from 96 to 112 (approximate mean 105), in
females, 97 to 107 (approximate mean 102). The Panamanian sample
shows a significant difference in these counts between males and fe-
males; male counts ranged from 108 to 120 (approximate mean 113),
females 100 to 114 (approximate mean 106). Counts for 17 males from
the Bay Islands varied from 98 to 114, for 32 females 91 to 119; the
mean values are very close to Echternacht's mean values for the same
counts on his material from the Honduran mainland, 105.1 for males and
102.2 for females.
Echternacht (1968) remarked that "the lack of variation of COF
in PanamA and SO-SS in Honduras is striking, and I am unable to offer
any explanation for it." Even more striking is the resemblance of our
Bay Island sample to Echternacht's Panamanian sample in both of these
characters rather than to the mainland Honduran sample.
C. lemniscatus is common and widespread on Utila and Roatan. It
is commonest in the the short grass on the beach and other similar open,
well-lighted areas. The Bay Island habitat of these lizards is essentially








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


the same as on the mainland at La Ceiba and Trujillo (Echternacht
1968; pers. observ.).
On both Roatan and Utila the vernacular name for C. lemniscatus
is "shake-paw" in reference to its characteristic behavior. They run for
a short distance, stop, and wave a forelimb, as Dunn and Saxe (1950)
described from the islands of San Andres and Providencia and the Co-
lombian mainland.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-IsIa de Utila: Utila (UF 28366-88, 28430-36, 28444;
LSUMZ 22278-86). Isla de RoatAn: 0.5-1 km W RoatAn (LACM 48063-64; LSU-
MZ 21689-90); 0.5-4 km N RoatAn (LACM 48065-66; LSUMZ 21691-92); near
RoatAn (UF 28485); 3 mi W RoatAn (UF 28509-13, 28534); ca. 2 mi W French
Harbor (UF 28554-56; LSUMZ 22384).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (CM 28999-9001). Isla
de RoatAn: near RoatAn (FMNH 34492-538).

Gymnophthalmus speciosus (Hallowell)
Echternacht (1968) reported the first known Bay Island specimen
(KU 101352) of this microteiid from Guanaja. On 14 July 1967 Meyer
and Wilson collected a specimen from the inside wall of a standing,
rotten, hollow palm tree on Roatan. On 18 July 1967 an additional
Guanajan specimen was collected from under a pile of rotten coconuts
on the beach on the southeast side of the island. In August 1969
another specimen was collected on RoatAn in leaves in a passageway
through a large boulder.
All three LSUMZ specimens have the prefrontal in contact with the
loreal on both sides and the frontal separated from the internasal, and
they all have a light dorsolateral stripe present above the dark lateral
band, supposedly characteristic of the South American G. lineatus.
Stuart (1939) stated that speciosus and lineatus, if considered distinct
species, would be the only members of the genus distinguished by
pattern alone. A specimen of G. speciosus from the mainland of Hon-
duras (LSUMZ 21492-Depto. Olancho) lacks the light dorsolateral
line as is supposedly characteristic of speciosus (fide Stuart 1939).
Echternacht (1968) discussed variation in the number of supralabials
to the posterior margin of the eye and pointed out that, although his
Guanaja specimen has 5-5 supralabials to the posterior edge of the eye,
counts on 20 specimens from Costa Rica and Panama vary from 4-4 to
5-5, with a high percentage of 4-4. All our Bay Islands specimens
have 5-5 supralabials, but the Olancho specimen (LSUMZ 21492) has
4-4.
Echternacht (1968) also noted that the supraorbital scales are in
contact behind the frontal in KU 101352, unlike the condition in any
other specimen he examined or any he saw illustrated in the literature.


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


All three of our Bay Island specimens as well as the Olancho specimen
exhibit the usual condition.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 5 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21493);
ca. 3 mi W Roatan (LSUMZ 22349). Isla de Guanaja: La Playa Hotel (LSUMZ
21494).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Guanaja: no other data (KU 101352).

Leptotyphlops phenops (Cope)
The albifrons group, to which the Bay Island Leptotyphlops belongs,
is in a notorious state of taxonomic confusion (Dunn and Saxe 1950,
Thomas 1965). The taxonomic history of the albifrons group has been
characterized by the attachment of many new names to unusual specimens
with little attempt at synthesis. Currently four species of the albifrons
group are recognized in Mexico and Central America: L. phenops
(Cope) (with its subspecies bakewelli-fide Smith 1943); L. ater Taylor
(L. nasalis Taylor is a synonym of ater-fide Dunn and Saxe 1950);
L. goudoti (Dum6ril and Bibron); L. albifrons (Wagler). Taylor (1940)
described L. magnamaculata as a distinct species on the basis of
a single specimen from Isla de Utila. Since that time this form has
been regarded as a subspecies of L. albifrons (Dunn and Saxe 1950,
Thomas 1965, Echternacht 1968).
The holotype of L. albifrons (Wagler) from ParA, Brazil was de-
stroyed during World War II and the original description is not suffi-
ciently detailed to allow for an association of the name albifrons with any
material of this group now available from South America (Smith and
List 1958). These authors indicated that a neotype should be designated
using a topotype. Orejas-Miranda (1967) in a recent review of Ama-
zonian Leptotyphlops was unable to alleviate the confusion ostensibly
because of a lack of sufficient topotypic material. He chose not to
designate a neotype, but he did present the following diagnosis of al-
bifrons, which he believed would distinguish it from L. tenella and other
"related" nominal species of Leptotyphlops in the Amazonian region:
"(1) supraoculars of medium size, larger than prefrontal; (2) two sup-
ralabials, the first not in contact with the supraocular; (3) less than
200 dorsal scales the length of the body; (4) 10 rows of scales around
middle of tail; (5) coloration of light zig-zag stripes and light cephalic
and caudal spots." He used the first two of the above characters to de-
fine the albifrons group, to which he assigned only albifrons.
As the holotype of albifrons has been destroyed and the original de-
scription is insufficiently detailed to allow association of the name with
any taxon, the best course would be to designate Stenostoma albifrons
Wagler 1824 a nomen dubium. Smith and List (1958) objected to this








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


procedure because albifrons is firmly entrenched in the American her-
petological literature. While many authors have used the name, no
one has apparently been able definitely to associate any material with it.
All material from the vicinity of the type locality of albifrons has proved
representative of L. tenella (fide Orejas-Miranda 1967). The name
albifrons has been the source of great confusion and always will be
until it is eliminated.
Whatever the disposition of the name albifrons, the relationship of
the Bay Island Leptotyphlops (to which the name magnamaculata has
been applied) is with forms on the adjacent mainland of Central
America, in particular L. phenops, which ranges from Veracruz, M6xico
on the Caribbean slope and Colima, M6xico on the Pacific slope to
northern Costa Rica (Scott 1969). Two subspecies have been recog-
nized, phenops and bakewelli (Smith 1943). The character used to
distinguish between the two is whether the rostral and prefrontal scales
are fused. If they are fused, the rostral is in contact with the supra-
oculars; if the two scales are separate, the prefrontal excludes the rostral
from contact with the supraoculars.
Wilson (1968) discussed a specimen of L. phenops from Honduras
showing rostral-prefrontal fusion. Mertens (1952) also mentioned such
a specimen from El Salvador. As these specimens came from within
the range of the nominate subspecies which ranges from the Tehuantepec
region south to Costa Rica, Wilson (1968) stated that "either bakewelli
is a species distinct from phenops or . contact or non-contact of the
rostral and the supraocular (which really only involves the fusion of the
prefrontal and the rostral) is a normal occurrence within the species
phenops and therefore bakewelli should be placed in the synonymy of
phenops." He considered the latter situation more likely in the absence
of additional distinguishing characteristics.
Since Wilson wrote that paper additional material has become
available from Honduras, which reinforces the idea that rostral-prefrontal
fusion occurs with some frequency in southern populations of phenops
and is not solely characteristic of the northern population (bakewelli).
Of five specimens from mainland Honduras for which we have data, four
(LSUMZ 10205 from Depto. Choluteca, TCWC 23814-15 from Depto.
Comayagua, and one unnumbered specimen from Depto. Cort6s) illus-
trate rostral-prefrontal fusion and one (LSUMZ 23870 from Depto.
Lempira) does not. Accordingly we consider further recognition of
bakewelli unwarranted.
Dunn and Saxe (1950) discussed the relationship of magnamaculata
to mainland representatives of the "albifrons"group, phenops and goudoti,
both of which these authors treated as subspecies of "albifrons." They


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


considered magnamaculata closer to phenops than to goudoti, goudoti
being slimmer and having a lower dorsal scale count than magnama-
culata. Other authors (Smith 1958, Scott 1969) regarded goudoti as a
distinct species. Dunn and Saxe (1950) also pointed out that "the
structural characters of the insular Leptotyphlops magnamaculata are
quite within the variation of mainland phenops, but they are more
vividly marked."
Data from Smith (1943), Hartweg and Oliver (1940), Oliver (1937),
Davis and Dixon (1959), Mertens (1952), and Honduran specimens
indicate a range in dorsal scale number of 221 to 265 for mainland
phenops. Individual counts for 42 specimens from Mexico, El Salvador,
and Honduras indicate a range of 230 to 263, 2= 245.5. Twenty-three
magnamaculata from all three islands range in dorsal scale number from
220 to 244, 2=231.5. The number of dorsal scales does seem to be
higher on the mainland, but a more accurate assessment must await a
study of material of phenops from the length of the range.
The light rostral spot is more extensive in magnamaculata than in
phenops, judging from reports of the latter in the literature and examina-
tion of available material from mainland Honduras. In mainland
phenops the light spot is apparently confined to the rostral and in some
cases may be absent as it is in a specimen from Depto. Cort6s, Hon-
duras in the personal collection of John Dickson. In island specimens
the light rostral spot is always present. In one specimen (LACM 63431)
it is confined to the rostral; in all others it is more extensive. In 17 out
of 20 specimens examined for this character, the light spot is present
on the rostral, medial edges of the nasals, and anterior portion of the
prefrontal and is not connected with the light stripes on the dorsum.
In two specimens (FMNH 34593 and LSUMZ 21775) the light spot
covers all but the ventral one-third of the rostral, the medial halves of
the nasals and supraoculars, all of the prefrontal and frontal, most of the
interparietal except for a dark spot in the center, and the medial edges
of the parietals and occipitals; it is also in contact with the two median
light stripes on the dorsum.
In comparison with Honduras mainland material the dorsal ground
color of island specimens is darker and the scale edges are lighter and
straighter (less zig-zag), especially on the middorsal portion, making
the island specimens more vividly striped.
The light tail spot occupies a smaller portion of the tail in island
specimens than it does on mainland Honduran specimens. In the island
material it occupies the tail spine, 2 to 6 (usually 3) dorsal scales and
2 to 4 subcaudals. In mainland specimens it occupies about half of
the underside of the tail.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


In the absence of demonstrable scutellation differences between the
island and mainland snakes, we feel that recognition of magnamaculata
as a distinct species is unwarranted. Though minor pattern differences
are apparent and magnamaculata could be recognized as a distinct in-
fraspecific taxon of L. phenops, this action would not contribute measur-
ably to our understanding of variation in this group.
On Utila and Guanaja this snake is known as the "silver snake" and
is credited with being able to pass through the digestive tract of a
chicken unharmed, as it is on San Andr6s and Providencia (Dunn and
Saxe 1950).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: no other data (UF 28399-400, 28438;
LSUMZ 22274, 22296, 22303-04, 22310; CM 29004). Isla de Roatan: no other
data (BMNH 90.2.4.27-28); near Coxen Hole (FMNH 34593); 5 km N Roatin
(LSUMZ 21774); 0.5-1 km N RoatAn (LSUMZ 21775). Isla de Guanaja: no
other data (KU 101446-47; UF 28580); SE shore opposite Guanaja (LACM 63428-
32); 2 km W Sabana Bight (LSUMZ 21776-78).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Isla de Utila: no other data (LSUMZ 9702; USNM
54760). Isla de RoatAn: no other data (BMNH 90.2.4.29). Isla de Guanaja: no
other data (CM 27618).

Boa constrictor Linnaeus

The boa constrictor does not appear to be common on the Bay
Islands, and we are aware of only four specimens in collections. One
from Guanaja is represented by the head only. Three specimens have
241 to 246 ventrals (x= 244.0) and 51 to 61 subcaudals, which fall within
the ranges of the mainland subspecies, C. c. imperator (ventrals 225-253;
subcaudals 48-70-fide Zweifel 1960 and Smith 1943). The maximum
number of dorsal scale rows varies from 73 to 79, also within the range
(61-79) for imperator (Peters 1960).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-ISla de RoatAn: Coxen Hole (FMNH 34562); Oak
Ridge (CM 27608). Isla de Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.89). Isla
de Guanaja: no other data (FMNH 53832).

Coniophanes bipunctatus (Giinther)

Few specimens of this snake have been collected on mainland Hon-
duras. We know of four, two being represented only by heads. In
contrast on two trips to the islands six specimens were collected. The
species appears to be relatively common along the bank of shallow
streams on RoatAn. None were seen in the stream (the habitat of
Tretanorhinus nigroluteus), although one specimen tried to escape by
swimming across the water. All specimens were collected at night.


1973







BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


On Roatin, the only island of the group where C. bipunctatus has been
found, it is called the "night walker," the same name given to another
nocturnal species, Elaphe flavirufa.
On the mainland this species is distributed from southern Veracruz,
Mexico along the Caribbean versant to Panama (Stuart 1963, Myers
1969) although the species has not been recorded from Costa Rica
(Scott 1969). Myers (1969) stated that the southernmost record for
C. bipunctatus, prior to the discovery of a specimen from Panama, was
Toloa, Depto. Atldntida, Honduras (MCZ 22046-47), but Campbell and
Howell (1965) recorded a specimen from Sacpuka, a village on the
Nicaraguan side of the Rio Coco about 115 km upstream from the mouth.
Two subspecies are presently recognized although Conant (1965)
suggested that "the status of the subspecies biseriatus (Smith 1940, p.
59) and variation in the species bipunctatus in general are in need of
study."
Bay Island specimens generally agree in pattern with the description
of the subspecies bipunctatus, although the pattern is variable as noted
by Bailey (1939). The ground color varied from light or dark brown
to reddish-brown. The lateral stripe is poorly developed, usually evi-
dent only on rows 4 and 5, and sometimes only on row 5. The inner
edge of the dark lateral stripe is straight as is typical of the subspecies
bipunctatus according to Smith (1940). On the middorsal row is a
diffuse dark brown stripe. The venter is patterned with distinct dark
brown or black spots as is typical of the species. The spots decrease
in size posteriorly, but are much more boldly represented on the tail
than Conant (1965, fig. 3) indicated for a specimen from Veracruz, or
by Myers (1969) for a specimen from Panama. The ground color of
the venter also varies. The venter of one specimen (LSUMZ 22348)
in life was cream-colored anteriorly and yellowish-cream posteriorly as
is apparently the case with mainland bipunctatus. The venter of another
specimen (LSUMZ 22322) was cream anteriorly grading to pinkish-
orange posteriorly. The ventral surfaces of two others (LACM 63426-
27) were cream-colored medially and light pinkish-orange laterally, es-
sentially like the Panamanian specimen discussed by Myers (1969).
The mean number of ventral scales is slightly lower than that re-
ported for specimens from the mainland. Bay Island male bipunctatus
have a range of 124 to 129 ventrals (4 specimens); two females both
have counts of 129. The lowest count for male mainland bipunctatus
is 127, recorded by Myers (1969) for a Panama specimen. The lowest
ventral count for a female bipunctatus from the mainland is 130 (LACM
20479 from Sacpuka, Nicaragua). Two male Bay Island bipunctatus
(LSUMZ 21733, 22348) have subcaudal counts of 95 and 96 respectively,








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


within the range of mainland bipunctatus; both females have incomplete
tails.
We accord no taxonomic significance to the apparent lower average
number of ventrals, especially as relatively few specimens are available
from the adjacent mainland for comparison. We agree with Conant
(1965) that the species is worthy of review.
SFECIMENS EXAMINED.-IsIa de RoatAn: 0.5-2 km N Roatan (LACM 63426-27;
LSUMZ 21733); RoatAn (LSUMZ 22322, 22348); 0.5-1 mi N RoatAn (LSUMZ
22381).

Dryadophis melanolomus (Cope)

We collected a single adult of this racer the morning of 13 August
1969 near the eastern end of Utila. It was coiled inside a coconut shell
near a rotten log.
The specimen is a male with 178 ventrals and 111 subcaudals. Other
scutellation data are typical for the species. The dorsum was slate gray,
with no trace of striping, as is typical of specimens on the adjacent
mainland (Depto. AtlAntida) and of the subspecies laevis (old adults-
fide Stuart 1941). No difference is evident in numbers of ventrals or
subcaudals. Males from the Honduras mainland exhibit a range of
ventrals from 177 to 191 and of subcaudals from 107 to 112.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: no other data (UF 28402).

Drymarchon corals (Boie)

Color pattern variation in this snake has been imcompletely studied.
Duellman (1961) and Hardy and McDiarmid (1969) discussed speci-
mens from Michoacan and Sinaloa respectively, that do not fit the di-
agnosis of D. c. rubidus given by Smith (1941). Bay Island specimens
also differ from mainland Honduran D. corais, allocated to the subspecies
melanurus. Whereas mainland specimens are olive-green on the anterior
portion of the body, those from the islands are light grey judging by the
color of two freshly-killed specimens. The pattern of the island corais
is identical to that described for D. c. melanurus (Smith 1941), except
that black pigment is present on all supralabials and on some of the
lateral gulars in LSUMZ 22401.
Ventrals in the four Bay Island specimens (all males) range in num-
ber from 198 to 204 (mean 200.3); subcaudals range from 71 to 78
(two counts, mean 74.5). Both ventral and subcaudal counts fall within
the range for male mainland melanurus given by Smith (1941). All
Bay Island specimens have 14 scale rows at the vent; Smith (1941)
listed only one melanurus of 14 examined with a count of 14, the rest








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


have 15. Mainland specimens all have 15 scale rows at the vent, except
one that has 13.
Although the Bay Island specimens are distinguishable to a certain
degree from those on the adjacent mainland by dorsal ground color and
number of posterior dorsal scale rows, we prefer not to recognize this
population formally with a subspecific name for two reasons. First, we
feel that a range-wide analysis of variation needs to be made in the
species before the significance of the variation in Bay Island material
can be properly evaluated. Secondly the degree of differentiation be-
tween the island material and that of the adjacent mainland is obviously
less than that among the mainland subspecies.
On the Bay Islands this snake is called "clapansaya," the name used
for Spilotes pullatus in British Honduras (Neill and Allen 1959).
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de RoatAn: near Coxen Hole (FMNH 34582); 1
km W Roatan (LSUMZ 21743); French Harbor (LSUMZ 22401). Isla de Guanaja:
no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.90).

Elaphe flavirufa (Cope)
This ratsnake was first recorded from the Bay Islands by Giinther
(1894) from a specimen Gaumer collected on RoatAn. This specimen
was described as a new subspecies, E. f. polysticha, by Smith and Wil-
liams (1966b), who claimed it differs from E. f. pardalina of the ad-
jacent mainland solely by having a higher number of dorsal scale rows
(a maximum of 34 in polysticha, 31 in pardalina; a posterior minimum
of 23 in polysticha, 21 in pardalina).
Since the above paper was written, four more Bay Island specimens
of E. flavirufa have become available, three collected by J. V. Mankins
in 1965 and one by Meyer and Wilson in 1967. All four specimens
agree with the descriptions of both E. f. pardalina and polysticha in
terms of color and pattern, ventral numbers, and divided preocular.
Ventral numbers of two males are 263 and 265; of two females 263 and
266. The scale reduction formulae of the four specimens are as follows:

LSUMZ 21747
5+6(28) +6(48) +8(65) +8(126)
29 27 29 -- 31 -
5+6(22) +6(42) +8(66)
7+8(138) 6+7(148) 5+6(155) 5+6(164)
32 31 29 27
6+7(149) 5+6(155) 4+5(164)
5+6(184)
25 23
5+6(187)








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


TCWC 21957
-4(10) +8(56) +9(90) 8+9(144)
31 29 31 ---33
-6(10) +8(58) +8(87) 7+8(139)
-8(153) 6+7(162) 6+7(184) 5+6(232)
31 29 27 25
7+8(150) 4+5(156) 6+7(175) 4+5(233)
+4(258)
23 24

TCWC 21958
7+8(7) +9(60) +8(98) -7(133)
31 -- 29 31 32
6+7(7) +7(63)
6+7(146) 7+8(156) 5+6(167) 5+6(195)
31 29 27 25 23
6+7(147) 5+6(155) 5+6(165) 4+5(198)

TCWC 21959
6+7(8) +7(52) +7(87) -6(127)
31 -- 29 -- 31 33 -?- 31
? +6(51) ? 3+4(131)
6+7(143) 3+4(165) 4+5(212)
29 27 25 23
6+7(144) 6+7(166) ?

Thus the Bay Island populations of Elaphe flavirufa have a higher maxi-
mum number of dorsal scale rows than do mainland populations, at least
one higher, and the posterior minimum is also higher (except for E. f.
phaescens, which have a posterior minimum of 23 to 25). Duellman
(1965) discussed three additional specimens of E. f. phaescens from
YucatAn but neglected to mention the number of dorsal scale rows.
The mainland subspecies of Elaphe flavirufa are distinguished from
one another by a combination of color and pattern characteristics, ven-
tral numbers, condition of the preocular, and numbers of dorsal scales.
Thus E. f. flavirufa, E. f. phaescens, and E. f. matudai can be distin-
guished from one another by color and pattern, but E. f. pardalina is
indistinguishable from E. f. flavirufa on this basis and is differentiated
instead by numbers of preoculars and ventrals. E. f. polysticha is also
like flavirufa and pardalina in color and pattern and is distinguished
from both by yet another character, the number of dorsal scale rows.
We believe that recognizing these nominal subspecies unduly simplifies
the variational picture and suggest that a revision of the species Elaphe
flavirufa will further demonstrate this interpretation.
The Bay Island flavirufa are obviously most closely related to that
segment of the species patterned with light reddish-brown, black-








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


bordered blotches on a tan background, with ventrals in excess of 260,
and a divided preocular. This population ranges from eastern Guate-
mala through Nicaragua, including the mainland of Honduras. The island
populations differ from those on the adjacent mainland apparently only
in a slightly higher number of dorsal scale rows.
We suggest that Elaphe flavirufa polysticha Smith and Williams be
relegated to the synonymy of Elaphe flavirufa pardalina (Peters). We
further suggest that E. f. pardalina and E. f. flavirufa are names applied
respectively to southern and northern segments of a single color pattern
type. Dowling (1952) distinguished them by differences in ventral
number, a character that appears to increase clinally from north to
south, and condition of the preocular (single in the northern segment,
divided in the southern).
One specimen of this species was collected from a tree alongside a
road during the evening. On RoatAn this snake is called the "night
walker," referring to its nocturnal habits.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 0.5-2 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21747);
1 mi NW RoatAn (TCWC 21957-58). Isla de Guanaja: 3 mi W Sabana Bight
(TCWC 21959).

Enulius flavitorques (Cope)
The evening of 19 August 1969 we collected on RoatAn a single
snake specimen of the genus Enulius, the first record of this genus for
the Bay Islands. Allocation of the specimen to one of the three mainland
species (flavitorques, sclateri, oligostichus) presents difficulties. The
specimen (LSUMZ 22382) is a male with 165 ventrals, 121 subcaudals,
17 dorsal scales throughout, each with a single apical pit and 7 supra-
labials. The dorsum in life was dark grayish-brown grading to white
on the lowermost scale row. The venter was white, the head rust brown
above, and the supralabials white. There is no light collar although
the light color of the chin extends dorsally to cover most of the lower
temporal in the second row. Two small light spots are present on either
side of the median parietal suture.
When Dunn (1938) reviewed the genus Enulius Cope, he recognized
two species, flavitorques and sclateri. More recently Smith, Arndt, and
Sherbrooke (1967) described a third species from Mexico, oligostichus,
from a single specimen. The characters of these three species and the
Bay Island specimen are compared in Table 1.
The Bay Island specimen most closely resembles Enulius flavitorques
but differs in having a higher number of subcaudals (121 in the Bay
Island specimen; a maximum of 117 in a male flavitorques from Jalisco,
Mexico; 101 to 114 in Honduran male flavitorques). In addition as








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


TABLE 1.-COMPARISON OF THREE SPECIES OF Enulius WITH BAY ISLAND SPECIMEN.

Bay Island
Characters flavitorques sclateri oligostichus Specimen
Ventrals 166-216 129-151 163 165
Subcaudals 85-117 96-100 82 121
Dorsal Scale Rows 17 15 15 17
Apical Pits 1 2 1 1
Supralabials 7 7 5 7
Color of Head Light collar Whole head No light No light
present or white collar collar
absent


Smith et al. (1957) pointed out, flavitorques from Central America (to
which they apply the subspecific name flavitorques) most often have a
light collar, which Mexican specimens lack. They cited Dunn's (1938)
mention of collarless specimens from Panama, Nicaragua, and Guate-
mala (one specimen from each country). All 18 specimens of flavi-
torques examined from mainland Honduras have a light collar. The
ventral counts of 165 for the Bay Island specimen is one lower than the
range-wide minimum for flavitorques, but 11 male flavitorques from
mainland Honduras have a ventral range of 178 to 198, Y= 184.1.
Even though there are definite differences in numbers of ventrals
and subcaudals between the Bay Islands specimen and the material from
the Honduran mainland, we believe that when additional specimens from
the islands become available, they will show an overlap in these counts
with those of flavitorques populations outside of Honduras. An ana-
logous situation exists in Oxybelis aeneus (q.v.). Meanwhile, until
additional island material becomes available, we prefer to allocate this
specimen to flavitorques.
This specimen was found crawling in low vegetation on a roadcut.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatin: 0.5-1.5 mi N Roatin (LSUMZ 22382).

Leptophis mexicanus Dumbril and Bibron
Two specimens of this snake are known from Isla de Utila, a female
(CM 29003) collected 18 April 1948 by Twomey, and a male (UF
28401) we collected 13 August 1969 during the morning on the ground
in a banana clearing.
The two specimens exhibit the coloration typical of L. m. mexicanus
and scutellational features fall within the ranges Oliver (1948) gave
for this subspecies. Except for the subcaudal count of the male, the
ventral and subcaudal counts fall within the range of 14 specimens


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


examined from the Honduran mainland. The ventral count of the male
is 155, the female 159. The subcaudal count for the male is 166 (5
scales higher than the highest count for five males from mainland Hon-
duras with complete tails, but within the range for male L. m. mexi-
canus), for the female 160. All other scale features are typical for the
species mexicanus.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: no other data (CM 29003; UF 28401).

Oxybelis aeneus (Wagler)
The neotropical vine snake is found on all three of the major islands
and has also been collected on Isla de Elena and Isla de Barbareta. It
is extremely common on RoatAn and Guanaja but only a single specimen
has been taken on Utila. 0. aeneus primarily inhabits edge situations,
especially along pathways through the forest and in clearings, where it
is found in low shrubs and occasionally on the ground. We collected
one specimen in the grass of a cleared banana field, another on the
ground in a coconut grove along the beach, and yet another in the grass
of the front yard of La Playa Hotel on Guanaja. During a half-hour
walk from the town of Sabana Bight to the air field on the other side
of the island's north end we collected some 11 specimens in low bushes
along the path.
The Bay Island specimens have a higher average number of ventrals
than those from the adjacent Honduras mainland (Table 2). The
average number of subcaudals in the two populations differs insignifi-
cantly. The difference between the two populations in numbers of ven-
trals is not significant as relatively high numbers of ventrals occur else-
where within the species' mainland range (Keiser M.S.).
0. aeneus is called the "whipping snake" on the Bay Islands.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: Utila (UF 28490). Isla de Roatin: no
other data (BMNH 95.1.17.4-10); 1.5 mi E Roatan (TCWC 21916-18); near Roatin
(FMNH 34544-46, 34564-81; LSUMZ 22363-64, 22366; UF 28491-95, 28520-28,
28545-46, 28564-65); 0.5-1 km N RoatAn (LSUMZ 21763-64); RoatAn (LSUMZ
21765-66, 22321, 22342-47); 2 km W RoatAn (LACM 63420-24); ca. 3 mi W
RoatAn (LSUMZ 22372). Isla de Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.92).
Isla de Barbareta: no other data (CM 27609). Isla de Guanaja: no other data
(BMNH 95.1.17.2-3, 95.2.20.20; CM 27615; FMNH 53833-34; KU 101451); SE
shore opposite Guanaja (LACM 63425); La Playa Hotel (LSUMZ 21767); Sabana
Bight (LSUMZ 22415-17; UF 28591-96); 3.5 mi W Sabana Bight (TCWC 21915).

Oxybelis fulgidus (Daudin)
The presence of 0. fulgidus on the Bay Islands was first reported by
Keiser (1969), who noted that Roatin specimens are yellow rather than
green as this species is throughout its mainland range. Keiser's report








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


was based on information supplied by Wilson and Meyer on a yellow
specimen collected in 1967. Wilson and Meyer also found a dried
road kill they did not preserve that probably was green in life. Keiser
(1969) was unable to decide whether the yellow snakes represented
a distinct species, or the yellow and green snakes represented a dichro-
matic insular population, which he considered more likely.
One of the prime objectives of the second trip was to determine
which of the two alternate solutions is correct. We were fortunate in
securing a green fulgidus from Utila. No green specimens were col-
lected on Roatin or on Guanaja, but the green form may occur on Gu-
anaja. A North American resident of the island recognized the green
fulgidus we were carrying alive as a type of snake he had seen previously
on Guanaja. The Utila specimen came from brush along the beach on
the east side of the island.
The yellow snake is prosaically known as the "yellow snake" and the
green one as the "green tommygoff."
The status of the green and yellow snakes of the Bay Islands will be
dealt with by Edmund D. Keiser in a forthcoming paper.
The yellow snake appears to inhabit edge situations. One speci-
men was collected high in a mango tree and another about 3 meters up
in a tree on the side of the path from Roatan to West Point.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Utila: no other data (LSUMZ 22311). Isla de
RoatAn: 0.5 mi NE Roatan (TCWC 21914); near Coxen Hole (FMNH 34561,
34586); 0.5-1 km W Roatan (LSUMZ 21768); near Roatin (UF 28537, 28563;
LSUMZ 22374, 22398); N side of island (LSUMZ 22365); 3 mi W Roatan (UF
28529). Isla de Elena: no other data (BMNH 1938.10.4.92).

Tantilla taeniata (Bocourt)

Prior to our work on the Bay Islands only a single specimen of the
genus Tantilla had been collected there. Smith and Williams (1966a)
used this Guanaja specimen as the holotype of a new species, Tantilla
tritaeniata, which they distinguished from taeniata as follows: "T. tae-
niata . has a lower ventral count (145-149) than tritaeniata (161),
the median light stripe is narrow anteriorly (as in jani, triseriata and
others, but not in tritaeniata), and the light stripes are said to reach the
extremity of the tail (as in triseriata, but in tritaeniata only the median
line extends beyond the base of the tail, much as in jani). Moreover its
nuchal collar is uninterrupted above, whereas it is interrupted in three
places in the only specimen at hand of tritaeniata; this difference may or
may not prove constant in larger series."
Wilson and Meyer (1971) synonymized tritaeniata with taeniata
for the following reasons: "(1) the apparent difference in numbers of


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


ventrals is the result of sexual dimorphism; (2) the character of the
anterior end of the middorsal stripe in tritaeniata is not distinctive; (3)
the difference between the neck band of the holotype of tritaeniata
(interrupted medially and laterally) and that of the holotype of taeniata
(not interrupted) is bridged by a specimen (LSUMZ 21770) from the
mainland of Honduras in which the neck band is interrupted only medi-
ally."
Fortunately we found a second specimen of Tantilla on Guanaja,
which supports the conclusions of Wilson and Meyer (1971). The
specimen (UF 28574), a male with 157 ventrals, was found dead and
the head is badly dessicated, but some pertinent characters are still
visible. Wilson and Meyer (1971) gave a range of 147 to 153 (K= 150.0)
for male and 158 to 178 (165.4) for females of taeniata. The number
of ventrals in UF 28574 falls between these ranges and draws them closer
together. The count of the male from Guanaja is at the upper extreme
of the range for male taeniata, that of the female (161) is close to the
lower extreme for female taeniata. The light lateral stripe extends onto
the tail in UF 28574 but is not so well-defined there as it is on the body,
and it is easy to see how its presence might be overlooked on the badly
faded holotype of tritaeniata. The head and neck of UF 28574 are
damaged, but, when immersed in fluid, it can be seen that the collar is
divided both medially and laterally as in the holotype of T. tritaeniata.
As stated above, Wilson and Meyer (1971) considered this character
to have no taxonomic importance but the presence of a second specimen
with the same type of collar suggests that this character is more typical
of island specimens.
When UF 28574 was fresh the dorsum was brown, the middorsal
stripe was orangish-tan, and the lateral stripe was cream. The venter
was immaculate cream, with no trace of the orange-red coloration of
the posterior venter seen in LSUMZ 21770 from Depto. Gracias a Dios.
The snake was collected along a stream through a coconut grove on
the beach.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Guanaja: SE shore of island (UF 28574).
ADDITIONAL SPECIMENS.-Bonacca Island (= Isla de Guanaja) (BMNH 94.12.
28.23).

Tretanorhinus nigroluteus Cope
This snake is extremely abundant on RoatAn. We collected 39 in a
little over an hour the night of 14 July 1967 and several more in 1969.
The snakes were in a clear, gravel-bottomed, fairly fast-moving stream
with intermittent deeper pools and were more concentrated where the
stream had dried up leaving these pools. The next night, 15 July 1967,








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


we visited the stream to make behavioral observations of these snakes.
Some of the time they lie motionless on the bottom of the stream, until
a fish comes by and they try to catch it with a quick, sideways jerk of
the head. At other times they swim around and forage actively. We
found one with a goby in its throat. The snakes ignore the large shrimp
that are also common in this stream.
The evening of 20 August 1969 we found an adult specimen crawl-
ing on a road, the only one ever seen out of water on the Bay Islands,
although Meyer and Wilson collected them at night on the mainland
San Pedro Sula-Puerto Cortes highway. We never saw them on the
stream banks nor in the daytime, when they doubtless hide in the masses
of dead leaves on the stream bottom or under the banks.
We also collected two specimens in 1967 in a stream near the La
Playa Hotel on Guanaja. These snakes apparently prefer a stream with-
out too steep a gradient. The species has not been found on Utila,
which has practically no surface water.
When caught these snakes make no attempt to bite, nor did we
notice any other defensive mechanism such as the cryptic response dis-
cussed by Petzold (1967) for Tretanorhinus variabilis of Cuba.
Five subspecies of Tretanorhinus nigroluteus are currently recognized
(Dunn, 1939; Smith, 1965; Villa, 1969), nigroluteus, lateralis, mertensi,
dichromaticus, obscurus. They are distinguished by varying combina-
tions of discordant characters, perhaps the most generally used criteria
for the formal recognition of infraspecific taxa. The better to assess the
significance of variation in the Bay Island material, we have tried to
summarize the significant variation in T. nigroluteus over its whole range.
Ventrals vary slightly, generally increasing gradually from north to
south on the mainland. Bay Islands specimens have essentially the
same number of ventrals as do those from the adjacent mainland. Fe-
males from the Corn Islands also agree generally with females from the
mainland. Males average fewer, but the differences are not great.
The loreal may be single or vertically divided into two. Specimens
from the northern portion of the range (M6xico to Guatemala) have a
single loreal; those from the southern portions (Panama) almost invari-
ably have two. Within the middle section of the range (Honduras to
Nicaragua) the percentage of specimens with two loreals gradually in-
creases southward. Villa (1969) pointed out that 5.3% of mainland Hon-
duran specimens and 32.1% of Bay Island specimens have two loreals,
against 89.1% of mainland Nicaraguan and 91.7% of Corn Island speci-
mens.
The number of preoculars is usually 2 or 3. Dunn (1939) stated
that the 3 preocular condition is "practically confined to Belize" (= Brit-








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


ish Honduras), as did Smith (1965), in distinguishing mertensi from
lateralis. Smith believed it was confined to British Honduras, but Villa
(1969) pointed out that 42.9% of the Corn Island T. nigroluteus have 3
preoculars.
In M6xico, Guatemala, and British Honduras material, the dark
groundcolor continues to the edge of the ventrals, the only break in the
continuity being at rows 3 and 4 where a light stripe is present. Speci-
mens from Honduras southward, including the Bay and Corn islands,
have the first, second, and lower half of the third row light in color.
The change from one condition to the other apparently occurs in north-
western Honduras and perhaps adjacent Guatemala. Two specimens
from the northern portion of the department of Cort6s (LSUMZ 23868-
69) have a great deal more dark pigment on the first two scale rows
than do the rest of the Honduran specimens, even two specimens
(TCWC 19226-27) from a few miles south of the localities of the first
two.
Ventral coloration has been stated to exhibit two types of variation.
Neill and Allen (1959) pointed out that a young specimen from British
Honduras was scarlet ventrally and black dorsally but an adult had a
tan venter, and they suggested that the variation was ontogenetic. Con-
ant (1965) described a young female (total length 245 mm) from
Oaxaca as follows: "The belly was tan, but it changed to light orange-
red posteriorly and was even brighter orange under the tail." Duellman
(1963) described the venter of a specimen from El Pet6n, Guatemala,
407 mm in total length, as "dark grayish brown with cream-colored
flecks anteriorly and creamy gray posteriorly." Bay Islands specimens as
Villa (1969) demonstrated, have either a cream or red-orange venter.
The two colorations cannot be associated with sexual or ontogenetic
differences but are rather individual in nature. All Corn Islands speci-
mens (Villa, 1969) have a light red venter.
The dorsal groundcolor may be relatively light as in the mainland
specimens, except for British Honduras, so that the pattern can be clearly
distinguished, or very dark (black) as in specimens from British Hon-
duras and the Corn Islands.
The dorsal pattern consists of a double row of small spots which may
or may not be fused anteriorly. Smith (1965) used the fused condition
of the anterior paravertebral spots as a characteristic of T. n. mertensi,
but Neill and Allen (1959) noted the same condition in a specimen
from British Honduras, to which area Smith (1965) allocated T. n.
lateralis.
The patterns of variation are so discordant that any attempt to rec-
ognize geographic subunits must be entirely arbitrary. We therefore








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


refrain from using the trinomial dichromaticus for the Bay Islands speci-
mens, as the only effect would be to simplify and obscure the variational
picture.
On Roatan and Guanaja this snake is known as the "water snake"
or "culebra de agua."
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: 0.5-2 km N Roatan (LSUMZ 21160-78;
LACM 44417-36); 0.5-1.5 mi N Roatan (LSUMZ 22380, 22383; UF 28454-57,
28502-04, 28505-07, 28538-40); near Gibson Bight (UF 28517-19). Isla de
Guanaja: La Playa Hotel (LACM 44438-39); RoatAn (LSUMZ 22323-27, 22400).
Micrurus ruatanus (Giinther)
Giinther (1895) described Micrurus ruatanus from eight specimens
G. F. Gaumer collected on Isla de Roatan. He made no comparisons
with other species but considered ruatanus to be "a distinguishable local
form." Boulenger (1896) included this form in his inclusive species
fulvius as pattern type E. Schmidt, in a series of papers on the genus
Micrurus dating from 1925 to 1958 (Peters 1959), elucidated our under-
standing of this complex and difficult group of elapids. Schmidt (1933)
revived ruatanus from the synonymy of fulvius and gave it specific status,
suggesting that its relationships lie with the "nigrocinctus group" and
apparently with M. n. divaricatus in particular. To our knowledge this
is the last published reference to the species (the snake was also men-
tioned by Barbour (1928), who listed it as a subspecies of Micrurus
fulvius), except for its comparison to Micrurus schmidti ( = M. stewarti-
fide Roze, 1967) described by Dunn (1940) and its inclusion as a distinct
species in a checklist of New World coral snakes by Roze (1967).
We secured three specimens (LSUMZ 22320, 22341, 22373) from
Isla de Roatin, two of them from near the town of RoatAn, the other
from a village (Sandy Bay) on the north side of the island. The last
specimen gives the first slight indication of the coral snake's distribution
on the island. One specimen was found dead, draped over a tree limb
at the side of a road, another was found dead on a road, and a third
came from beneath a pile of coconut palm fronds.
In addition to these three specimens, we have examined five of the
eight syntypes of Elaps ruatanus from Isla de Roatan (four from the
British Museum and one subsequently deposited in the MCZ collection).
The specimen upon which Roze (1967) based his statement that M.
ruatanus occurs on the mainland of Honduras adjacent to the Bay Islands
is not in our opinion ruatanus, but nigrocinctus. The status of this
specimen will be discussed elsewhere.
We consider Micrurus ruatanus endemic to the Bay Islands. It has
been collected only on Roatan. A 76 year old life-long resident of
Utila told us that the coral snake used to occur on that island, but that


1973







BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


A















B
FIGURE 3.-A. Head pattern of a Micrurus ruatanus (LSUMZ 22373 from Isla de
RoatAn). B. Dorsal pattern of same specimen.

he had neither seen nor heard of one in some 60 years. None of the
Guanaja residents we questioned knew of a coral snake on that island.
Micrurus ruatanus is dark red in life with a series of 33 to 45 black
bands on the body. As mentioned in the original description (Giinther,
1895), the black bands are not all the same length (Fig. 3B). Instead,
bands about three scales in length tend to alternate with shorter bands
one to two scales in length. This alternation is more evident in some
specimens (BMNH 95.2.20.2, 95.2.20.4; LSUMZ 22373) than in others.
Also the difference in band length is more pronounced posteriorly.
Some of the posterior bands of LSUMZ 22373 are only three-fourths of
a scale long. As Schmidt (1933) noted, the narrower rings are fre-
quently interrupted laterally, as Giinther (1895, pl. 57) pictured. The
number of interrupted bands varies from 3 to 18 or 6.7-41.9% of the total
band number. When the narrower band is only three-fourths of a scale
long and interrupted laterally, it resembles the condition shown by some
mainland specimens of nigrocinctus.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


Sexual dimorphism is apparent in band number. Four females have
a range of 41 to 45 (K=42.3) and four males 33 to 39 (35.5). The
first black band begins one to one and one-half scales posterior to the
parietals. The snout is black back to a point just posterior to the pre-
frontal-frontal and prefrontal-supraocular sutures. The rest of the head
is dark red in life (Fig. 3A).
As is usual, sexual dimorphism is expressed in numbers of ventrals
and subcaudals. Males have a range in ventrals of 183 to 185 (x=
184.3), females a range of 193 to 203 (197.7). Three males have sub-
caudal counts of 46, females a range of 34 to 38 (37.5).
Supra-anal tubercles are present on male specimens (the tubercles
are actually para-anal, not occurring on the dorsal scales above the
anus).
Snout-vent length ranges from 433 to 620 mm, tail length from 59
to 80 mm. The tail length ratio ranges from 0.142 to 0.158 in three
males and 0.098 to 0.113 in three females.
The inhabitants on the Honduras mainland regard snakes as danger-
ous, both venomous and nonvenomous. Strikingly enough, the Bay
Islanders do not regard Micrurus ruatanus as poisonous, nor any of the
other snakes occurring there. They claim no poisonous snakes exist on
the islands because there are no toads present. They believe so many of
the mainland snakes are poisonous because they eat toads. They con-
sider toads poisonous and think snakes store the toad venom to enveno-
mate other creatures.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED.-Isla de Roatan: no other data (BMNH 95.2.20.1-4;
MCZ 26930); RoatAn (LSUMZ 22320, 22341); Sandy Bay (LSUMZ 22373).

GEOGRAPHICAL RELATIONSHIPS OF
THE BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA
The known herpetofauna of the Bay Islands consists of 35 species:
6 frogs, 1 turtle, 1 crocodile, 14 lizards, and 13 snakes. On the basis of
present-day distributions, these 35 species can be arranged into three
assemblages; an endemic assemblage, a West Indian assemblage, and
a mainland Honduran assemblage. The endemic assemblage includes
four species, Phyllodactylus palmeus, Sphaerodactylus rosaurae, Cteno-
saura bakeri, Micrurus ruatanus. The West Indian assemblage includes
two species, Anolis allisoni and A. sagrei. The mainland Honduran as-
semblage consists of those species that occur on both the Bay Islands
and the adjacent mainland of Honduras and includes 29 species. These
categories are not entirely mutually exclusive however.
Of the two species comprising the West Indian assemblage, Anolis
allisoni and probably A. sagrei are immigrants from Cuba (Williams


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


1969). Unlike Anolis allisoni, A. sagrei also occurs on the mainland of
Central America and in Florida. It is apparently widespread on the
eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula but is known from but a single
locality on mainland Honduras (Puerto Cort6s). Anolis allisoni, in
addition to occurring on Cuba, also occurs on the cays off British Hon-
duras.
Three members of the endemic assemblage have their relationships
with species occurring on the Central American mainland and the fourth
with one or more species in the West Indies. Micrurus ruatanus ap-
pears to be more closely related to M. nigrocinctus, which is widely
distributed on the mainland (Chiapas, M6xico to northern South Ameri-
ca). Phyllodactylus palmeus is related to P. tuberculosus, another
widely distributed mainland species (Sonora, M6xico to Costa Rica),
although it is apparently most closely related to P. insularis of the British
Honduran cays. Ctenosaura bakeri is apparently closely related to both
C. similis, ranging from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, M6xico to Panama
(also occurring on the Bay Islands), and C. palaeris, disjunctly dis-
tributed in the Motagua Valley in Guatemala and the Aguan Valley in
Honduras. Sphaerodactylus rosaurae is clearly related to the members
of the scaber group of the West Indies and in particular to S. copei of
Hispaniola.
Of the 29 species in the mainland assemblage, only one, Crocodylus
acutus, is also found in the West Indies. The mainland Honduran her-
petofauna consists of 196 species as follows: 2 caecilians, 12 salamanders,
39 frogs, 9 turtles, 2 crocodilians, 48 lizards, 84 snakes. Thus, only 15%
of the mainland herpetofauna is represented on the Bay Islands.
Meyer (1969) distinguished five components of the mainland her-
petofauna: the highland component composed of species whose distri-
butions are generally restricted to elevations above 1500 meters; the
wide-ranging component composed of species distributed in most eco-
logical formations and habitats within these formations; the dry-adapted
component composed of species generally restricted to dry ecological
formations, with some extending into drier habitats in the wet forma-
tions; the wet-adapted component composed of species generally re-
stricted to wet ecological formations, with some extending into moist
habitats in the dry formations; and the coastal component composed of
species whose distributions are limited to coastal areas.
The highest elevation on the Bay Islands is found on Guanaja;
Michael Rock Peak is 415 meters high. The lack of high elevations and
of the appropriate ecological formations on the Bay Islands accounts
for the total lack of highland component species.
Eight species occurring on the Bay Islands, Hyla staufferi, Smilisca








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


baudinii, Rana pipiens, Anolis sericeus, Basiliscus vittatus, Ctenosaura
similis, Mabuya mabouya, and Boa constrictor, are widely distributed
on the mainland, geographically, ecologically, and altitudinally, and all
occur on the coast of Honduras opposite the islands.
Four species are members of the dry-adapted component, Gym-
nophthalmus speciosus, Drymarchon corais, Enulius flavitorques, Lepto-
typhlops phenops. The ranges of all four on the mainland extend into
relatively dry habitats in the tropical moist forest formation (Hold-
ridge 1962), the ecological formation occurring on the Bay Islands.
One species (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus)is a member of the coastal
component and as such occurs directly across from the islands on the
beaches of the mainland.
The largest segment of the Bay Island herpetofauna (45%) belongs
to the wet-adapted component of the mainland, represented by 16
species: Hyla microcephala, Leptodactylus melanonotus, Rana palmipes,
Chrysemys ornata, Crocodylus acutus, Sphaerodactylus continentalis,
Anolis lemurinus, Iguana iguana, Coniophanes bipunctatus, Dryadophis
melanolomus, Elaphe flavirufa, Leptophis mexicanus, Oxybelis aeneus,
0. fulgidus, Tantilla taeniata, Tretanorhinus nigroluteus. All these
species except Chrysemys ornata have been recorded from the Atlantic
coastal plain opposite the islands, and all occur in the tropical moist
forest formation.

FACTORS PROMOTING VAGILITY
It is important not only to try to explain why certain members of
the adjacent mainland herpetofauna occur on the Bay Islands, but also
why the other members of the adjacent mainland herpetofauna do not
occur there, if indeed they do not.
We can easily exclude from consideration as possible island colonizers
the mainland species restricted to elevations above those that occur on
the islands. Also easily excluded are those mainland species that do not
inhabit the vegetation types represented on the islands. In Honduras
this would include xeric formations. The failure of successful coloniza-
tion also involves less easily demonstrable factors such as occurrence in
and restriction to areas of deep shade, rainforest or montane situations,
limited physiological tolerance (incapability of withstanding the rigors
of the colonization voyage), peculiar ecological requirements not avail-
able on the islands, limited abundance, and limited invasion potential
within the source area (Williams 1969).
As mentioned above, 196 species inhabit mainland Honduras. Eigh-
teen of these have extremely limited distributions, are known from a
single specimen, and are probably not in position to colonize the Bay








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


Islands. In addition many of these species reach their northern or south-
ern limits of distribution within Honduras, as do several other more
common species, and therefore have limited invasion potential within the
source area. Twenty-four species are limited in distribution to eco-
logical formations above 1500 meters (lower montane wet forest and
lower montane moist forest formations), and another 14 are not known
to occur below 600 meters in Honduras. An additional 23 species in-
habit ecological formations other than the one (tropical moist forest)
represented on the Bay Islands. Excluding these species, 117 species
are left that occur at proper elevations and in proper vegetation types.
Of these, so far as we know, 29 have invaded the Bay Islands.
Why more of the 117 species have not invaded the Bay Islands can
be answered only in general terms, for as yet we do not have sufficiently
detailed information about their ecological requirements. We can never-
theless discuss in a general way those characters of the members of the
Bay Island herpetofauna that promote vagility, and conversely those
characters of the rest of the 117 species that promote sedentation.
Certainly no single factor is responsible for the exclusion of much
of the mainland coastal herpetofauna from the islands. One feature
shared by a large percentage of the mainland-derived, nonendemic seg-
ment of the Bay Island herpetofauna is occurrence in most major habi-
tats on the mainland. Meyer (1969) distinguished nine ecological
formations (after Holdridge 1962) in Honduras. Occurrence in a greater
number of these formations would appear to indicate a greater versatility
or ecological latitude. The species that have colonized the Bay Islands
inhabit from one to six of the nine formations, an average of 4.0. Only
9 of the 29 mainland-derived, nonendemic Bay Island amphibians and
reptiles are found in fewer than four formations on the mainland. The
rest occur in from four to six formations, are relatively versatile, and
correspond to one of the major factors of vagility noted by Williams
(1969). Of the nine species that are not presently known to occur in
more than three ecological formations in neighboring Honduras, one is
a turtle (Chrysemys ornata) and one a crocodilian (Crocodylus acutus),
both of which could swim to the islands. C. ornata is known only from
Utila and may have invaded it during the last glacial period. Two of
the nine are lizards, one a gecko (Sphaerodactylus continentalis), a
group notorious for its dispersal ability, the other a teiid (Cnemido-
phorus lemniscatus), a beach animal on both the island and the main-
land, relatively tolerant of insolation, and probably preadapted to gaining
a quick toehold on an island beach. The rest are snakes (Boa con-
strictor, Coniophanes bipunctatus, Elaphe flavirufa, Oxybelis fulgidus,
and Tantilla taeniata), all of which are probably more widely distributed








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


on the mainland of Honduras than is presently known and perhaps are
more versatile.
In addition, all of the mainland-derived, nonendemic members of
the Bay Island herpetofauna have extensive mainland ranges, often oc-
curring far to the north and south of Honduras, and appear to have a
good invasion potential, another factor of vagility mentioned by Wil-
liams (1969). The least extensive ranges are those of Sphaerodactylus
continentalis and Gymnophthalmus speciosus, both of which belong to
genera that have been successful not only on the mainland and Bay
Islands but in the West Indies as well.
A good number of these species are abundant on the mainland, al-
though for some such as Elaphe flavirufa, Coniophanes bipunctatus,
and Tantilla taeniata this does not seem to be the case.
Most of the 29 species are capable of existing in disturbed ecotonal
or edge situations. For some of the snakes (e.g., Coniophanes bi-
punctatus, Elaphe flavirufa, Oxybelis fulgidus, and Tantilla taeniata)
we cannot make this statement because of insufficient information about
mainland habitat preferences.
To summarize, the majority of Bay Island amphibians and reptiles
derived from the mainland occur in a relatively large number of major
habitats on the mainland. Most of those that don't have some other
trait that to some extent preadapts them to live in an insular situation.
They have extensive mainland ranges and, presumably, good invasion
potential; they are relatively abundant, and are to some extent creatures
of "weed" habitats (in the sense of Wright and Lowe, 1968). These
characteristics are those cited as among the factors of vagility discussed
by Williams (1969).
The next question is do those mainland species that are found in
the same ecological formation as exists on the Bay Islands, but have
not colonized these islands, possess the vagile features mentioned above
or not? This question is more difficult to answer.
One striking feature is that many of the noncolonizing species occur
in a limited number of major habitats. Only 28 of the 88 noncolonizing
species occur in four or more ecological formations; the rest are more
restricted.
Of the 88 noncolonizing species 28 have ranges that are limited (end
within Honduras) from the north or south, or have spotty Atlantic slope
distributions in Honduras.
Abundance does not appear to play much part in restricting the non-
colonizing species, as many of them are locally plentiful.
A limited number of species seem to be restricted by the absence of
peculiar ecological requirements on the islands. For example, lack of









142 BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2

TABLE 2.-OCCURRENCE OF REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS ON THE THREE MAJOR
ISLANDS OF THE BAY ISLAND GROUP.

Species Utila RoatAn Guanaja
Hyla microcephala X X
Hyla staufferi -- X
Smilisca baudinii X X X
Leptodactylus melanonotus X X
Rana palmipes -- X
Rana pipiens X -
Chrysemys ornata X -
Crocodylus acutus X X
Phyllodactylus palmeus X X X
Sphaerodactylus continentalis -X X
Sphaerodactylus rosaurae X X X
Anolis allisoni X X
Anolis lemurinus X X
Anolis sagrei X -
Anolis sericeus X
Basiliscus vittatus X X X
Ctenosaura baker X X
Ctenosaura similis X X
Iguana iguana X X X
Mabuya mabouya X X X
Cnemidophorus lemniscatus X X
Gymnophthalmus speciosus -X X
Leptotyphlops phenops X X X
Boa constrictor X X
Coniophanes bipunctatus X -
Dryadophis melanolomus X
Drymarchon corais X X
Elaphe flavirufa X X
Enulius flavitorques X -
Leptophis mexicanus X
Oxybelis aeneus X X X
Oxybelis fulgidus X X
Tantilla taeniata -- X
Tretanorhinus nigroluteus X X
Micrurus ruatanus X

cool mountain streams may restrict such species as Centrolenella fleisch-
manni and Eleutherodactylus rugulosus.
A number of the noncolonizing species may be restricted because
the animals occur in shaded situations within the forest, but what part
this plays in individual cases is largely clouded by scanty ecological
data. A certain number of species, such as Leptodactylus labialis,
Anolis tropidonotus, Ameiva undulata, Drymobius margaritiferus, and
Ninia sebae, that are not known to have colonized the Bay Islands are
able to exist in "weed" habitats, and the reasons why they do not occur
on the Bay Islands (if indeed they do not) are not readily apparent.
Of these species, Ninia sebae appears to be a likely candidate for insular
colonization, at least it fits the parameters detailed for a colonizing
species. Some of these species may eventually be found on the Bay
Islands.








WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


TABLE 3.-SIMILARITY COEFFICIENT MATRIX FOR THE HERPETOFAUNA OF THE THREE
MAJOR ISLANDS OF THE BAY ISLAND GROUP.1

Utila Roatan Guanaja
Utila 18 13 9
RoatAn 72 27 17
Guanaja 50 81 21

lItalicized numbers represent the total fauna of each area; numbers above those itali-
cized indicate shared species and those below are the SC values.

INTER-ISLAND RELATIONSHIPS
The species compositions of the herpetofauna of the three major
islands of the Bay Island group are distinctive and nonrecurrent (Table
2) in the sense of Savage (1967). Of a total of 35 species present on
the island group as a whole, only 8 or 23% occur on all three of the
major islands, 15 or 43% occur on two of the three islands, and 12 or 34%
occur only on one island.
A similarity coefficient (SC=100c, where c equals the number of
ni
species common to two faunas and n equals the number of species in the
smaller of the two faunas) matrix for the three islands is presented in
Table 3. Utila, with 18 species, shares the greatest number with the
island closest to it, i.e., Roatan. Roatan, with 27 species, shares the
greatest number with the island closest to it, i.e., Guanaja. Guanaja, with
20 species, shares the greatest number with Roatan. Nine species are
shared between Utila and Guanaja, including the eight species that
occur on all three islands and one (Ctenosaura similis) that has not been
found on Roatan and apparently does not occur there.
Of those 14 species that occur on only two islands, 8 are common
to Roatan and Guanaja, 5 to Roatan and Utila, and only 1, mentioned
above, is common to Utila and Guanaja, and not found on the middle
island, RoatAn.
Of the 13 species found on only one island, four are found on Utila,
five on Roatan, and four on Guanaja.

COLONIZATION OF THE BAY ISLANDS
The present-day species compositions of the herpetofauna of the
three major islands in the Bay Island group are largely depauperate,
but distinctive reflections of the mainland herpetofauna. The low level
of differentiation on the islands suggests that colonization and/or sepa-
ration of the islands from the mainland has been relatively recent. The
evidence presented by Vinson and Brineman (1963) suggests that the


1973








BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


former alternative may be the more reasonable one, though the presence
of three mainland-derived endemic species suggests that they may have
become isolated as relicts earlier in time, perhaps in the Pliocene, from
wide-ranging mainland counterparts. The presence of an endemic
species on the Bay Islands (Sphaerodactylus rosaurae), if it is indeed
endemic, derived from the West Indies, suggests chance over-water
dispersal.
It also appears that over-water colonization of the Bay Islands by
mainland elements has been largely by chance. This is suggested by the
absence of several potential mainland colonizers and by the fact that the
islands' herpetofaunal compositions differ from one another. Further-
more, the largest and most ecologically diverse island (RoatAn) sup-
ports the largest number of species and the smallest and most ecolog-
ically uniform island (Utila) supports the fewest. This suggests that
the relationship between area, ecological diversity, and species composi-
tion is similar to that reported for other continental islands not recently
in contact with the mainland (Savage 1967).
Interisland dispersal has apparently been largely restricted to move-
ments between adjacent islands. It is of course also possible that
islands having species in common were colonized independently from
the mainland. Only 8 of the 35 species now known from the islands
are found on all three of the major islands, and only a single species,
Ctenosaura similis, displays a leap-frog distribution.

LEVEL OF DIFFERENTIATION OF THE MAINLAND-DERIVED SNAKE SEGMENT
Mertens (1934) and Zweifel (1960) have noted that "insular pop-
ulations of snakes tend to have higher average ventral counts than their
mainland relatives." Zweifel (1960) demonstrated that such is the
case for all of the snakes inhabiting the Tres Marias Islands for which
adequate samples are available. We have also compared the ranges
and means for ventral counts (dorsal counts in the case of the worm
snake) of mainland and island populations of the Bay Island snake
species. Our results are given in Table 4. Data for six species, Dryado-
phis melanolomus, Drymarchon corais, Elaphe flavirufa, Enulius flavitor-
ques, Oxybelis aeneus, Oxybelis fulgidus, are based on Honduran mate-
rial; the rest are based on material from the length of the mainland
range in Middle America.
Obviously the Bay Island snakes show no consistent pattern of ventral
variation comparable to that demonstrated by Zweifel (1960) for the
snakes of the Tres Marias Islands. Of 8 species for which adequate in-
formation on ventral variation in both island and mainland populations
is available, 4 species show an increase in the average number of ventrals









WILSON & HAHN: BAY ISLAND HERPETOFAUNA


TABLE 4.-VENTRAL AND/OR DORSAL SCALE COUNTS OF
ISLANDS AND THE MAINLAND."


SNAKES FROM THE BAY


Islands Mainland
Sex Mean Range N Mean Range N
Leptotyphlops phenops 231.5 220-244 23 245.5 230-263 42
Boa constrictor 244.0 241-246 3 241.6 225-253 61
Coniophanes bipunctatus 8 126.2 124-129 4 135.0 130-140 8
9 129.0 129 2 138.6 134-145 13
Dryadophis melanolomus 178 178 1 181.5 177-191 16
Drymarchon corais 3 200.3 198-204 4 199.3 191-205 10
Elaphe flavirufa 264.2 263-266 5 259.5 258-261 2
Enulius flavitorques S 165 165 1 184.1 178-198 11
Leptophis mexicanus a 155 155 1 153.0 145-161 17
9 159 159 1 155.2 151-159 11
Oxybelis aeneus S 189.0 184-195 34 182.8 176-188 12
9 192.1 181-198 29 187.1 181-195 13
Oxybelis fulgidus S 204.8 201-209 6 204.0 203-206 3
9 209.0 202-214 5 210.3 208-215 4
Tantilla taeniata a 157 157 1 150.0 147-153 3
9 161 161 1 166.5 158-178 4
Tretanorhinus nigroluteus 8 134.4 130-139 18 135.9 133-139 19
9 142.6 137-147 32 143.1 138-148 24


'Where sexes are not listed
apparent.


separately, sexual dimorphism in ventral number is not


on the islands, 3 show a decrease (a decrease of average dorsal scale
number in the case of L. phenops), and in 1 (Oxybelis fulgidus) the
males show an increase and the females a decrease, though the mainland
sample is small. The ventral counts for species represented on the
islands by only a single specimen (or one male and one female speci-
men) fall within the range of the mainland counterparts, except in the
case of Enulius flavitorques and the poorly known Tantilla taeniata
(male specimen only). The lack of a consistent pattern of increase (or
decrease) in the average number of ventrals on the islands suggests that
the colonization of the Bay Islands by elements of the mainland herpeto-
fauna has been due largely to recent and/or frequent, fortuitous over-
water dispersal.

GAZETTEER

The localities on the Bay Islands listed here are those from which
specimens have been collected, as well as other mentioned in the text.
They are listed under the island where they occur. As might be ex-
pected in an area where the native and official languages differ, certain
localities have both a Spanish and an English name. Where two names
are available for the same locality, in most cases we have described the
locality under the English name and cross-referenced to that name under
the Spanish counterpart. Numbers in parentheses are north latitude,


1973









BULLETIN FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM Vol. XVII No. 2


followed by west longitude, extrapolated from the 1:50,000 topographic
sheets mentioned below and should be considered approximate.
Our primary cartographic references were the series of topographic
maps (scale, 1:50,000) distributed by the Instituto GeogrAfico Nacional
located in Comayagiiela, Honduras. We have also utilized the Mapa
General de la Republica de Honduras (scale, 1:500,000) prepared by
Dr. Jesis Aguilar Paz (published in 1954), the Mapa General, Republica
de Honduras (scale, 1:1,000,000) prepared by the Instituto GeogrAfico
Nacional and published in 1968, and a commercial map of Isla de
RoatAn available from the Bay Islands Company, Isla de RoatAn (scale,
1 inch= 1 mile).

ISLA DE GUANAJA
Guanaja-town situated on a pair of cays about 450 meters from the shore of the
island (16*26', 8553').
Hog Cay-one of two cays upon which the town of Guanaja (q.v.) is built.
La Playa Hotel-American-owned hotel on southeast shore of island (1628',
85"51').
Mangrove Bight-a village on the north shore of island (1631', 85*53').
Michael Rock Peak-the highest point on island; 415 m (1628', 85*53').
Sabana Bight-village on northeastern shore of island (1629', 8551').
SE shore opposite Guanaja-locality on island (16027', 85*54').
Shin Cay-one of two cays upon which the town of Guanaja (q.v.) is built.
ISLA DE ROATiN
Big Bight-a village on north shore of island (1623', 86*27').
Coxen Hole-the local name for the capital of the department, RoatAn (q.v.)
Flowers Bay-a small settlement near the west end of island (1618', 86034').
French Harbor-town on south shore of island (1621', 8628').
Gibson Bight-village on north shore of island (16019', 86*35').
Jos6 Santos Guardiola-the Spanish name for Oak Ridge (q.v.).
Oak Ridge-town on south shore of island (16023', 86*21').
Picacho Hill-the highest point on island; located near Oak Ridge; 235 m 16024',
8619').
Roatin-capital of the department of Islas de la Bahia (1619', 86'32').
Sandy Bay-village on north shore of island (16'20', 8634').
ISLA DE UTILA
Jewel Cay-a small, populated cay off southwest end of Utila (1604', 8658').
Pigeon Cay-a small, populated cay off southwest end of Utila (16'04', 8658').
Pumpkin Hill-the highest point on island; located near the northeast end of island;
74 m (16*07', 8653').
Utila-town on south shore of island (1606', 8654').

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