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Article
Published: 2020-01-28

A taxonomic revision of Asthenodipsas malaccana Peters, 1864 (Squamata: Pareidae) with a description of a new species from Borneo

Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia. Herpetology Laboratory, Department of Biology, La Sierra University, Riverside, California, USA.
Herpetology Laboratory, Department of Biology, La Sierra University, Riverside, California, USA.
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, 117377 Singapore.
School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia. Center for Marine and Coastal Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, 117377 Singapore.
Reptilia Pareas Sundaland slug snake systematics discovery reptile conservation endemic biodiversity Malaysia Indonesia

Abstract

A reappraisal of the taxonomic status of the Dark-necked Slug Snake (Asthenodipsas malaccana Peters, 1864) across its range revealed that populations from Borneo are not conspecific with true A. malaccana from the Thai-Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, and is therefore described herein as new. Asthenodipsas borneensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from A. malaccana and other congeners by the absence of a preocular and suboculars, seven or eight supralabials with 3rd and 4th in contact with orbit, 4–7 infralabials with 2nd or 3rd pair in contact, two pairs of posterior inframaxillaries, 15/15/15 rows of dorsal scales, presence of sharp vertebral keel, divided subcaudals, maximum recorded SVL=441 mm, 166–179 ventrals, 35–48 subcaudals, head white to greyish brown and dorsum beige to orange-brown with a conspicuous dark-brown or black patch on the neck followed by multiple, narrow, vertical, dark bands along the rest of the body and tail. This discovery adds to a growing number of new slug snake species recently described from Southeast Asia and highlights the underestimated diversity in this family, especially in Borneo. Taxonomic revisions of the reptiles and amphibians of Borneo are still needed before the true diversity of the island and the relationships of the various taxa can be fully understood.

 

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