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Article
Published: 2021-05-19

A new species of Psammophis (Serpentes: Psammophiidae) from the Turpan Basin in northwest China

Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
College of Life Science and Technology, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
Reptilia Psammophis turpanensis sp. nov. phylogenetic tree morphology mitochondrial DNA taxonomy

Abstract

An adult sand snake specimen was collected during a herpetofaunal survey conducted in the Turpan Basin in northwest China. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that this specimen, along with other snake sloughs and skins collected from different localities in the Turpan Basin formed a clade that is sister to Psammophis lineolatus. This taxon exhibited substantial divergence from its congeners (P. lineolatus and P. condanarus) with uncorrelated p-distances ranging from 11.9 ± 0.9% to 15.8 ± 1.6% for the ND4 gene and from 10.2 ± 0.8% to 13.8 ± 1.1% for the Cytb gene. Given the genetic differences along with morphological differences, we describe the specimen from the Turpan Basin as Psammophis turpanensis sp. nov. We provide detailed morphological descriptions, and compare this specimen with five Asian sand snakes and the Afro-Asian Sand Snake, P. schokari. In addition, we provide brief comments on the biogeography of Psammophis in China.

 

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