Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Article
Published: 2020-10-12

Description of a new species of Smithophis Giri et al. 2019 (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India

Wildlife Institute of India, Chandrabani, P.O. 18, Dehradun, 248 001, India.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
3/1 Boat Club Road, Pune 411001, Maharashtra, India.
Middlesex University London, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT, UK.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Reptilia Arunachal Pradesh India Smithophis arunachalensis sp. nov. snakes taxonomy

Abstract

A new species of the natricine snake genus Smithophis Giri et al. 2019 is described based on three specimens collected from Arunachal Pradesh, India. An additional three referred specimens are documented. Smithophis arunachalensis sp. nov. differs from all known congeners by a combination of 4–5 (rarely 6) small scales around the eye (excluding labial scales), presence of temporal scales, and a distinctive colour pattern of a blackish dorsum and bright yellow venter that form a sharply-defined zigzag border. The new species is known only from ca. 100 km2 in Lower Dibang Valley and Changlang Districts in eastern Arunachal Pradesh. A revised key to the identification of the species of Smithophis is presented.

 

References

  1. Ahmed, M.F., Das, A. & Dutta, S.K. (2009) Amphibians and reptiles of Northeast India: A photographic guide. Aaranyak, Guwahati, Assam, 169 pp.

    Bhatt, B.B. (2004) Present status of Ophidian fauna and habitat ecology of certain species of ophidian in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Zoology, Guwahati University, Guwahati, Assam, 326 pp., 34 pls.

    Bhosale, H.S., Gowande, G.G. & Mirza, Z.A. (2019) A new species of fossorial natricid snakes of the genus Trachischium Günther, 1858 (Serpentes: Natricidae) from the Himalayas of northeastern India. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 342 (9–10), 323–329.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2019.10.003

    Blyth, E. (1855) Notices and descriptions of various reptiles, new or little known [part 2]. Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, 23 (3), 287–302. [1854]

    Borang, A., Bhatt, B.B., Chaudhury, S.B., Borkotoki, A. & Bhutia, P.T. (2005) Checklist of snakes of Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 102 (1), 19–26.

    Burbrink, F.T., Grazziotin, F.G., Pyron, R.A., Cundall, D., Donnellan, S., Irish, F., Keogh, J.S., Kraus, F., Murphy, R.W., Noonan, B. & Raxworthy, C.J. (2020) Interrogating genomic-scale data for Squamata (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians) shows no support for key traditional morphological relationships. Systematic biology, 69 (3), 502–520.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syz062

    Captain, A., Deepak, V., Pandit, R., Bhatt, B. & Athreya, R. (2019) A new species of pitviper (Serpentes: Viperidae: Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804) from West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 26 (2), 111–122.

    https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2019-26-2-111-122

    Captain, A & Patel, A. (1997) Some snakes of the Miao woodlot (dist. Changlang). Arunachal Pradesh, India. Unpublished report, 1–14 with 12 photographs.

    Das, I., Dattagupta, B. & Gayen, N.C. (1998) History and catalogue of the reptile types in the collection of the Zoological Survey of India. Journal of South Asian Natural History, 3,121–172.

    Das, A. (2010) Systematics and biogeography of the snakes of Northeast India. Unpublished PhD thesis, Utkal University, Orissa, 467 pp.

    Das, I. & Das, A. (2017) A naturalist guide to Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.

    Deepak, V. & Karanth, P. (2018) Aridification driven diversification of fan-throated lizards from the Indian subcontinent. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 120, 53–62.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.016.

    Dowling, H.G. (1951) A proposed standard system of counting ventrals in snakes. British Journal of Herpetology, 1 (5), 97–99.

    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 Rhabdops Boulenger, 1893 (Serpentes: Natricinae) from the northern Western Ghats region of India. Zootaxa, 4319 (1), 27–52. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4319.1.2

    Giri, V.B., Gower, D.J., Das, A., Lalremsanga, H.T., Lalronunga, S., Captain, A. & Deepak, V. (2019) A new genus and species of natricine snake from northeast India. Zootaxa, 4603 (2), 241–264.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4603.2.2

    IUCN Standards and Petitions Committee (2019) Guidelines for using and IUCN Red List categories and criteria. Version 14. Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf (accessed 9 September 2020)

    Mani, M.S. (1974) Ecology and biogeography in India. Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers, The Hague, 775 pp.

    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-2331-3

    Mirza, Z.A., Bhosale, H.S., Phansalkar, P.U., Sawant, M., Gowande, G.G. & Patel, H. (2020) A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 96 (1), 123–138.

    https://doi.org/10.3897/zse.96.48431

    Pawar, S.S., Birand, A.C., Ahmed, M.F., Sengupta, S. & Raman, T.S. (2007) Conservation biogeography in North‐east India: hierarchical analysis of cross-taxon distributional congruence. Diversity and Distributions, 13 (1), 53–65.

    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2006.00298.x

    Pawar, S. & Birand, A. (2001) A survey of amphibians, reptiles, and birds in Northeast India. CERC Technical Report # 6. Centre for Ecological Research and Conservation, Mysore, 115 pp.

    Purkayastha, J. & David, P. (2019) A new species of the snake genus Hebius Thompson from Northeast India (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa, 4555(1), 79–90.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4555.1.6

    Ripley, S.D. & Beehler, B.M. (1990) Patterns of speciation in Indian birds. Journal of Biogeography, 17, 639–648.

    https://doi.org/10.2307/2845145

    Sanyal, D.P. & Gayen N.C. (1985) Reptilia In: Director Zoological Survey of India (Ed.), Fauna of Namdapha: Arunachal Pradesh ‘A Proposed Biosphere Reserve’. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 82 (1–4), pp. 297–302.

    Sanyal, D.P. & Gayen, N.C. (2006) State Fauna Series (Reptilia). In: Alfred, J.R.B. (Ed.), Fauna of Arunachal Pradesh. 13 (1). Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, pp. 247–284.

    Sharma, R.C. (2007) The Fauna of India and the adjacent countries-Reptilia. Published by the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, 410 pp.

    Smith, M.A. (1943) The fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, including the whole of the Indo-Chinese subregion. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III. Serpentes. Taylor & Francis, London. xii + 583 pp.

    Uetz, P., Freed, P. & Hošek, J. (Eds.) (2020) The Reptile Database. Available from: http://www.reptiledatabase.org. (accessed 15 May 2020)

    Vogel, G., Lalremsanga, H.T. & Vanlalhrima, V. (2017) A second species of the genus Blythia Theobald, 1868 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Mizoram, India. Zootaxa, 4276 (4), 569–581.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4276.4.8

    Vogel, G., Chen, Z., Deepak, V., Gower, D.J., Shi, J., Ding, L. & Hou, M. (2020) A new species of the genus Smithophis (Squamata: Serpentes: Natricidae) from southwestern China and northeastern Myanmar. Zootaxa, 4803 (1), 051–074.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4803.1.3

    Whitaker, R. & Captain, A. (2006) Snakes of India: the field guide. Draco Books, Chennai, xiv + 481 pp.

    Zaher, H., Murphy, R.W., Arredondo, J.C., Graboski, R., Machado-Filho, P.R., Mahlow, K.K., Montingelli, G.G., Quadros, A.B., Orlov, N.L., Wilkinson, M., Zhang, Y.P. & Grazziotin, F.G. (2019) Large-scale molecular phylogeny, morphology, divergence-time estimation, and the fossil record of advanced caenophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes). PloSone, 14 (5), e0216148.

    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0216148