Tag Archives: Hypsirhynchus melanichnus

Hypsirhynchus melanichnus (Cope)

Hispaniola Racer (Hypsirhynchus melanichnus)

The Hispaniola Racer was described in 1862, it was endemic to the large island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles.

The species reached a length of about 65 cm, its back was plain olive-green colored, there was a white stripe spanning from the neck to the middle of the body, the belly was olive-green as well, yet somewhat lighter than the back.

The biology of the Hispaniola Racer is not well known, it was diurnal and apparently was mostly found on the ground.

The Hispaniola Racer was last found in 1910 and is now considered extinct. The reasons for the extinction of this species are the same as for its gongener from the nearby island of Jamaica, the Jamaican Racer (Hypsirhynchus ater (Gosse)), that is habitat loss and predation by the introduced and highly invasive Javan Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire)).  


Depiction from: ‘Doris M. Cochran: The Herpetology of Hispaniola. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 177. 1941’

(not in copyright)


edited: 30.10.2020