Sunday, October 30, 2016

[Herpetology • 2007] Dendrelaphis kopsteini • A New Species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Southeast Asia

 Dendrelaphis kopsteini 
Vogel & van Rooijen, 2007 


A new species of the colubrid genus Dendrelaphis Boulenger 1890 is described. Dendrelaphis kopsteini sp. nov. ranges from Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra. A detailed statistical analysis of the differences between D. kopsteini sp. nov., D. formosus (Boie, 1827) and D. cyanochloris (Wall, 1921) is provided as the three species have been mixed up frequently in the literature. D. kopsteini sp. nov. differs from all other Dendrelaphis species by a brick red neck coloration. A neotype is designated and described for D. formosus and a lectotype is designated and described for D. cyanochloris.

Keywords:  Serpentes: Colubridae: Dendrelaphis: Dendrelaphis kopsteini sp. nov., Dendrelaphis cyanochloris; Dendrelaphis formosus, Dendrelaphis humayuni, Southeast Asia

Dendrelaphis kopsteini sp. nov.

Ahaetulla formosa (non Dendrophis formosus Boie, 1827): Taylor (1965: 814).
Dendrelaphis formosus: Flower (1896: 883); Tweedy (1983: 63, 154, plate 4); Lim & Lee (1989: 53); Vogel (1990: 10,Abb. 4); Lim & Lim (1992 : 64) ; Manthey & Grossman (1997: 337, Abb. 246); Ziegler & Vogel (1999: 206); Pauwels et al. (2000: 141); Nutphand (2001: 148).
Dendrophis formosa: Frith (1977: 278)?
Dendrelaphis  formosus  (non  Dendrophis  formosus  Boie,  1827)  part.:  Flower  (1899:  605,  660);  Inger  &  Voris  (2001:889); Iskandar & Colijn (2002: 53).
Dendrelaphis spec. A: Rubeli (1988: 133.) 

Diagnosis. A rather stout species of the Dendrelaphis formosus group, with 15 dorsal scale rows at mid-body, 167-181 ventral scales, 140-154 subcaudal scales, 2 supralabials touching the eye and a first sublabialthat touches 2 infralabials. The eye is rather large. The vertebral scales are larger than the lowest dorsal row.There is one loreal plate. A black postocular stripe covers only the lower half of the temporal region and endsat the rear of the jaw. Vertebral scales with a broad black posterior margin. It differs from all other species ofthis genus by the red colour that is visible in life on the skin between the scales of the first part of the body. 

Etymology. This species is named after Dr. Felix Kopstein (1893-1939), who contributed so much to our knowledge of the snake fauna of Indonesia. Several of the specimens we used for our studies were collected by him. He was also the first to report delayed fertilisation.
Suggested English name: Kopstein’s Bronzeback.  

Range. The examined specimens of D. kopsteini originated from Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Sumatra.

G. Vogel and J. Van Rooijen. 2007. A New Species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Southeast Asia. Zootaxa. 1394: 25–45.

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