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Published: 2017-09-11

A new species of Rhabdops Boulenger, 1893 (Serpentes: Natricinae) from the northern Western Ghats region of India

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK, Bellary Road, Bengaluru 560065, India
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, 560012, India.
33/1 Boat Club Road, Pune 411001, Maharashtra, India.
Wildlife Institute of India, Chandrabani, Dehradun, 248001, India.
Forest Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation Division, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi 680653, India
Forest Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation Division, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi 680653, India
Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad 673576, India.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Reptilia DNA herpetology phylogenetics Rhabdops olivaceus snakes taxonomy Western Ghats


Based on analyses of new DNA sequence data for two nuclear (rag1, cmos) and three mitochondrial (16s, cytb, nd4) genes, the Indian snake genus Rhabdops is a natricine. Variation in geography, DNA sequences, the number of ventral scales, pattern and colour for samples of Rhabdops from along the Western Ghats region of peninsular India is concordant, discontinuous and bimodal. We recognise populations from the northern Western Ghats as distinct specifically from the more southerly R. olivaceus and describe Rhabdops aquaticus sp. nov. based on a series of eight specimens from two localities in the Northern Western Ghats. Rhabdops aquaticus sp. nov. is associated particularly with upland laterite plateaus and their associated streams, a threatened habitat within its known distribution.



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How to Cite

GIRI, V. B., DEEPAK, V., CAPTAIN, A., DAS, A., DAS, S., RAJKUMAR, K. P., RATHISH, R. L., & GOWER, D. J. (2017). A new species of <em>Rhabdops</em> Boulenger, 1893 (Serpentes: Natricinae) from the northern Western Ghats region of India. Zootaxa, 4319(1), 27–52.