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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 38, No. 5, 2017, pp. 251-263
Bioline Code: zr17035
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 38, No. 5, 2017, pp. 251-263

 en A new species of the Southeast Asian genus Opisthotropis check for this species in other resources (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) from western Hunan, China
Ren, Jin-Long; Wang, Kai; Jiang, Ke; Guo, Peng & Li, Jia-Tang

Abstract

A new species of natricine snake of the Southeast Asian genus Opisthotropis Gü nther, 1872 is described from western Hunan Province of China based on both mitochondrial DNA and morphological data. The new species is morphologically most similar and genetically most closely related to O. cheni check for this species in other resources Zhao, 1999 and O. latouchii check for this species in other resources (Boulenger, 1899), but possesses considerable genetic divergence (p-distance 5.1%-16.7%) and can be differentiated from all other congeners by a combination of the following morphological characters: (1) body size large (total length 514-586 mm) and strongly built; (2) dorsal scale rows 17 throughout, feebly keeled anteriorly and moderately keeled posteriorly; (3) ventral scales 147-152, subcaudal scales 54-62; (4) preocular absent, loreal elongated and touching orbit; (5) supralabials 8-9, fifth and sixth entering obit; (6) anterior temporals short, length 1.74-2.04 times longer than width; (7) maxillary teeth subequal, 28-30; (8) dorsal surface of head with distinct irregular yellow stripes and markings edged with ochre; (9) body with clear black and yellow longitudinal streaks, partly fused to several lighter patches or thicker stripes anteriorly; and (10) venter pale yellow, with asymmetric blackish speckles along outer margin. We present an updated diagnostic key to all members of the genus Opisthotropis, and recommendations on the ecological study for the group are provided.

Keywords
Distribution; Natricinae; Natural history; Taxonomy; Opisthotropis; Opisthotropis zhaoermii sp. nov.

 
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