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The Lummis's Pichu-Cuate is a small, deadly snake, reported from southwestern North America (Mexico; Arizona; New Mexico.).

Pichucuate is a generic name given in the Southwest and Mexico to snakes believed to be venomous. It has been applied to the Cantil (Agkistrodon bilineatus) and Mexican lyre snake (Trimorphodon tau) of Mexico and the Narrow-headed garter snake (Thamnophis rufipunctatus) in Arizona.

As thick as a pencil. Gray above, rosy below. Head the size of a man’s fingernail. Horns above the eyes. Tiny fangs. Extremely quick-acting, deadly venom. Buries itself in the sand to await prey.

Charles Lummis met with this snake on three occasions, the first in June 1889 in Valencia County, New Mexico. The Pueblo Indians, for whom rattlesnakes are a familiar totem, avoid it entirely.

Possible explanationsEdit

  • The Mexican horned pitviper (Ophryacus undulatus) has supraocular horns but is a semiarboreal snake found only in the mountains of southern Mexico. Its range may have been more extensive in the past.
  • The Black-tailed montane pitviper (Porthidium melanurum) also has supraocular horns, but it has a distinctly black tail and lateral stripes and is also limited to Mexico.

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