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Article
Published: 2020-06-25

A new species of the genus Smithophis (Squamata: Serpentes: Natricidae) from southwestern China and northeastern Myanmar

Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology, Im Sand 3, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany.
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 100044, China.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China.
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 100044, China.
Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China.
Reptilia molecular phylogeny Natricinae Opisthotropis Smithophis linearis sp. nov. taxonomy

Abstract

A new species of natricid snake, Smithophis linearis sp. nov., is described on the basis of a single recently collected specimen from Yingjiang County, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China, and three historical specimens from Yunnan and from northeastern Myanmar. The new species is assigned to the genus Smithophis on the basis of its single internasal and single prefrontal shields, and on the basis of the results of phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA sequence data. The new species differs from its congeners in having the following combination of characters: temporal shields present, six or more circumorbital scales, and a distinctive colour pattern comprising regular, narrow, longitudinal dark and pale lines. Morphological and cytochrome b data are consistent with the recognition of Smithophis as distinct from the genus Opisthotropis. A revised key to the identification of the species of Smithophis is provided.

 

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