'T ftOVl.9 1943 Of ILLINOIS ZOOLOGICAL SERIES OF FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Volume 24 CHICAGO, OCTOBER 20, 1943 No. 27 SNAKES OF THE PERUVIAN COASTAL REGION BY KARL P. SCHMIDT CHIEF CURATOR, DEPARTMENT OP ZOOLOGY AND WARREN F. WALKER, JR. HARVARD UNIVERSITY The Andes divide Peru into three regions familiar to every Peruvian as the "costa," the "sierra," and the "montana." These regions, the desert coast with its numerous oases formed by the transecting valleys; the sierra with its high plateaus and mountain ridges extending far above snow line; and the tropical forest region of the deep valleys and of the connected Amazonian lowland east of the mountains, are in fact the major phytogeographic and zoogeo-graphic divisions of Peru. The herpetological fauna of the highland is extremely limited, with only a single species of snake, Tachymenis peruviana, traceable above 12,000 feet, together with a common lizard and a few frogs and toads. The tropical lowland has the rich and complex fauna of the Amazon Basin, further complicated by the forms proper to the cloud forest zone at intermediate altitudes on the eastern side of the Andes. In this region much collecting remains to be done before an adequate study can be made even of creatures as relatively conspicuous as the snakes. The snake fauna of the coastal region, though somewhat impoverished in species, is of great interest, since the species and subspecies are with few exceptions endemic. In view of the relative simplicity of the coastal fauna, and with the accumulation of considerable collections from coastal Peru in Field Museum and in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, we feel that a review of the snakes of this faunal region may be a useful preliminary to further studies on the amphibians and reptiles of Peru. In addition to a summary of the literature and an attempt to disentangle the nomenclature of the coastal forms, we here report No. 533 297 I WAT.