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Cenaspis aenigma
Dinner Snake
General Information
Aliases Dinner Snake
Classification Cenaspis aenigma
Homeworld Earth
Environment Chiaspas rainforest
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Discovered 1976
Discoverer Jonathan A. Campbell, Eric N. Smith, & Alexander S. Hall
Biological Information
Reproduction Sexual; lays eggs (presumed)
Average Length 25.8 cm (10.2")
Locomotion Slithering
Feeding Behavior Insectivorous
Prey Hard-bodied insects and arthropods
Predators Central American Coral Snake
Distinctive Features Unique ventral pattern and hemipenis stylization
Skin Color Dorsally brown with whitish ventral section covered in unique dark brown markings
Lineage Information
Cultural Information
Alignment True Neutral
Personality Shy burrower
Organization Solitary (presumed)
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Sauria
Infraclass Lepidosauromorpha
Superorder Lepidosauria
Order Squamata
Suborder Serpentes
Infraorder Alethinophidia
Superfamily Colubroidea
Family Colubridae
Subfamily Dipsadinae
Genus Cenaspis
Species aenigma
Other Information
Status Data Deficient
First Sighting 1976
Last Sighting 1976
Possible Population Data Deficient

Cenaspis aenigma ("enigmatic dinner snake"), also nicknamed the Dinner Snake, is a burrowing tropical species of snake endemic to the rainforest highlands of western Chiapas, Mexico.

PhysiologyEdit

Although little is known about the species in question, it can be assumed that they are non-venomous burrowing snakes due to the shape of their skull. They have 14 teeth in their upper jaw, indicating that they likely feed on hard-bodied, chitinous insects and other arthropods.


Dinner Snake Underside

The ventral side of the Dinner Snake.

While its dorsal region is considerably unremarkable due to its uniformly pale brown hue (which is relatively common amongst burrowing serpents), its ventral side is instead marked with irregular, dark-hued patterns that convert from rectangular to triangular in shape, in three rows down the entirety of the body. The subcaudals are also marked with a single midventral band down the length of its tail. This pattern is unique amongst Middle American snakes. The scales along the underside of the tail are also undivided.

Perhaps most interesting is their hemipenis, the two-pronged sexual organ found in male snakes. Unlike those in other snakes, the one found in C. aenigma is not covered in spines to hold it in place during copulation and instead in calyces with a primarily non-bifurcated sulcus spermaticus. These are not found in any other known colubroid snake in the Western Hemisphere.

EcologyEdit

As the only known Dinner Snake ever found was deceased at the time of its discovery, no information about their behavior or life cycle is yet known.

DiscoveryEdit

C. aenigma was discovered in 1976 when an unnamed palm fruit harvester killed a venomous Central American Coral Snake in the Chiaspas rainforest. This snake's remains would make their way to scientists, who would come to find the lightly digested of the solitary dinner snake found in its stomach. 42 years later in 2018, it was officially declared to be a new species.

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