Abstract

Apostolepis mariae and Apostolepis thalesdelemai are two simultaneously described Elapomorphini snake species for two mountain ranges of Caatinga Enclaves moist forests in the state of Ceará, northeastern Brazil. Both species were differentiated from congeners and from one another based exclusively on external morphology. We examined the type specimens as well as a comprehensive series of specimens for both species and provide evidence for the recognition of both taxa as conspecific. We apply Article 24.2.1 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) that provides guidelines for taxonomic status precedence for both species based on the principle of the first reviser decision. Based on the ICZN code, we gave precedence for A. thalesdelemai over A. mariae. Finally, we provide a complementary diagnosis for A. thalesdelemai along with comments on its geographic distribution, natural history, and conservation.

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