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Published: 2020-03-24

Description of a new species of Xylophis Beddome, 1878 (Serpentes: Pareidae: Xylophiinae) from the Western Ghats, India

Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Wayanad Wild, Lakkidi, Vythiri, Wayanad 673576, 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.
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 Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Reptilia Anamalai molecular phylogenetics morphology Nilgiri Palghat Gap taxonomy


We reassessed the systematics of the Indian (semi)fossorial snake Xylophis perroteti (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854) based on morphological and DNA sequence data for type, historical, and new specimens. A population from the Anamalai Hills is distinct from broadly topotypic X. perroteti from the Nilgiri Hills (from which they are separated geographically by the lowland Palghat Gap) on the basis of both external morphology and DNA sequence data. We describe the Anamalai form as a new species, Xylophis mosaicus sp. nov. The new species is more closely related to X. perroteti than to X. stenorhynchus and X. captaini. A new key to identify the species of Xylophis is presented.



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