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David P.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute | Vogel G.,Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826, Oligodon wagneri sp. nov., is described on the basis of a single specimen originating from Nias Island, off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It differs from other species of the region by the combination of a constant number (15) of dorsal scale rows, undivided hemipenes, entire anal plate, form of den-tition, and dorsal pattern of white crossbars alternating with three irregular reticulations. This new species is compared with other species of the Greater Sunda Islands with 15 or 17 dorsal scale rows. An updated checklist and key to Oligodon species of the region of Sumatra is provided. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.

Vogel G.,Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology | David P.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Morphological variation was investigated across the entire geographic range of the snakes of the Xenochrophis piscator species group. Our results, based on morphological univariate analyses, show the existence of several well-defined clusters identified as species. Xenochrophis flavipunctatus (Hallowell, 1861) is distinct from X. piscator (Schneider, 1799) and sympatric with it over a large area. Xenochrophis tytleri (Blyth, 1863) is confirmed as the valid combination for the population living on the Andaman Islands. Xenochrophis asperrimus (Boulenger, 1891) is confirmed, with species status, for populations from Sri Lanka. Xenochrophis melanzostus (Gravenhorst, 1807) is accepted, as a distinct species most probably endemic to Java. Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977 is confirmed for populations from Nepal, southeastern Pakistan, and northern and eastern India. Tropidonotus sanctijohannis Boulenger, 1891 seems to be a montane colour morph of X. piscator and is not regarded here as valid. The second population of "X. piscator" on Sri Lanka is regarded as different from that of the mainland, but it is not named here due to the uncertain relationships among populations of southern India and Sri Lanka. The variation of X. piscator sensu stricto is discussed. All taxa are redescribed on the basis of new material. The history of all synonyms is discussed and neotypes are designated for Hydrus palustris Schneider, 1799, Coluber melanzostus Gravenhorst, 1807 and Amphiesma flavipunctatum Hallowell, 1861. The holotype of Hydrus piscator Schneider 1799 has been rediscovered and is discussed. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

David P.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute | Das I.,University Malaysia Sarawak | Vogel G.,Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

This paper deals with three nomenclatural and taxonomic problems affecting two species groups of the colubrid snake genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826: (i) A neotype is formally designated for Coronella cyclura Cantor, 1839, associating this specific nomen with populations from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar with 19 scale rows at midbody; (ii) Oligodon kheriensis Acharji & Ray, 1936 is shown to be a valid species of the Oligodon cyclurus group occurring in northern India and Nepal; (iii) The type-locality of Simotes multifasciatus Jan & Sordelli, 1865 is shown to be Sultanpur, India. This taxon is considered a synonym of Oligodon cinereus (Günther, 1864). The range of this species in India is extended. The status of specimens of Oligodon cinereus from India and Myanmar is briefly discussed. Specimens from Thailand identified as Oligodon cinereus multifasciatus and Oligodon cinereus swinhonis (Günther, 1864) are referred to Oligodon joynsoni (Smith, 1917). India is home to at least 21 species of the genus Oligodon, an updated list of which is provided. © 2011 Magnolia Press.

Van Rooijen J.,Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis | Vogel G.,Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

The systematics of the wide-ranging southeast Asian colubrid snake Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (Gray, 1834) was investigated on the basis of multivariate analyses of morphological and coloration data for 131 museum specimens representing 28 geographically isolated populations. The results demonstrate that the current taxonomy of D. caudolineatus underestimates species diversity in the Philippines. The following revisions are implemented. 1) Populations from the Philippine island Palawan and adjacent islands currently referred to D. c. caudolineatus (Gray, 1834) are described as a new species, D. levitoni sp. nov. 2) Populations from the Philippine islands Negros, Panay, Mindoro and Masbate, currently assigned to D. c. terrificus (Peters, 1872) and D. c. luzonensis Leviton, 1961 are referred to D. fuliginosus Griffin 1909, which is revalidated. 3) Populations from the southern Philippine islands Basilan, Mindanao, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Polillo, Kalotkot, Catanduanes as well as Southeast Luzon currently referred to D. c. terrificus (Peters, 1872) are referred to D. philippinensis Günther, 1879 which is revalidated. 4) The population from Sulawesi is referred to D. terrificus (Peters, 1872). Currently regarded as a polytypic species composed of five subspecies, D. caudolineatus is here considered to be a monophyletic group comprising eight species. The distributions of these eight species correspond largely with aggregate island complexes formed during periods of reduced sea level during the Pleistocene. However, some deviations indicate post-Pleistocene dispersals across sea barriers. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.

David P.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute | Vogel G.,Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology | Van Rooijen J.,Tulpentuin 313
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

Three species of the genus Amphiesma Duméril, Bibron and Duméril, 1854 have long been confused in the literature, with each other and with other species of the genus. Amphiesma khasiense (Boulenger, 1890) has been considered to inhabit a large geographical region, extending from north-eastern India, east to Vietnam and southern Thailand. Amphiesma boulengeri (Gressitt, 1937) has been regarded as a species endemic to south-eastern China. Amphiesma inas (Laidlaw, 1901) has been recorded from West Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia (Sumatra). A multivariate analysis of morphometric and meristic characters shows that these three species can be separated by combinations of characters in the scalation and pattern, the most obvious being the structure of the postocular streak. On the basis of our analysis and after comparison with name-bearing type specimens, Amphiesma khasiense is restricted to north-eastern India, Myanmar, western Yunnan Province of China, northern Laos and northern and western Thailand. Other populations from south-eastern China, Vietnam, other parts of Laos, Cambodia and central Thailand, which have been recorded in the literature as A. khasiense, A. johannis or Amphiesma modestum (Günther, 1875), should be referred to Amphiesma boulengeri. Amphiesma inas (Laidlaw, 1901) is a valid species endemic to mountain ranges of southern Peninsular Thailand and West Malaysia. The mention of Amphiesma inas in Sumatra is erroneous, being based on the second known specimen of Amphiesma kerinciense David and Das, 2003, which is here redescribed. A key to species of the Amphiesma khasiense group and other species sharing a greyish-brown background without conspicuous dark and pale stripes, is provided. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

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