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Published: 2020-09-11

Molecular phylogeny of Asian pipesnakes, genus Cylindrophis Wagler, 1828 (Squamata: Cylindrophiidae), with the description of a new species from Myanmar

1Department of Biology and Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085, USA Current affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, 206 Boyden Hall, Rutgers University-Newark, 195 University Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA
Department of Biology and Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085, USA
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Cibinong, Indonesia
Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany; and Department of Biology, Victor Valley College, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, California 92395, USA
Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Germany; and Department of Biology, Victor Valley College, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, California 92395, USA
Department of Zoology and Geology, Naturkundemuseum Paderborn, Im Schloßpark 9, 33104 Paderborn, Germany
Reptilia Chindwin River Irrawaddy River phylogenetics Serpentes species complex systematics taxonomy


Cylindrophis is a genus of secretive, semi-fossorial, non-venomous snakes comprising 14 species, characterized by a generally cylindrical body, uniform scales (with barely enlarged ventrals), and vestiges of pelvic and limb bones, the latter terminating in a claw lateral to the vent. We reconstructed a concatenated molecular phylogeny of seven taxa of Cylindrophis taxa based on one nuclear (R35) and two mitochondrial (16S, ND2) genes. Analyses recovered the Sri Lankan endemic C. maculatus as sister to all other sampled Cylindrophis. The mainland Southeast Asian species C. burmanus and C. jodiae form successive sister lineages to a monophyletic Wallacean island group containing C. boulengeri, C. isolepis, and C. yamdena. We also describe a new species of Cylindrophis, morphologically similar to C. burmanus, from Kachin State in northern Myanmar. Cylindrophis slowinskii sp. nov. is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, 216–220 ventrals, eight subcaudals, a dark venter with > 60 very narrow diffuse pale blotches, and a pale bar running along the posterior border of the prefrontals. In our phylogeny, the new species is strongly supported as the sister species of C. burmanus. It is the 15th currently recognised species in the genus, and the fourth from mainland Southeast Asia.



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