Friday, July 7, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Oligodon culaochamensis • A New Species of the Genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Cu Lao Cham Islands, central Vietnam

Oligodon culaochamensis 
Nguyen, Nguyen, Nguyen, Phan, Jiang & Murphy, 2017


A new kukri snake, Oligodon culaochamensis sp. nov., is described from Cu Lao Cham Islands, central Vietnam, based on the morphology of six specimens, including two males, three females and one juvenile. The new species belongs to the O. cyclurus group and differs from other congeners in this group by a combination of the following characters: medium size in adults (total length up to 582 mm); 17–19 dorsal scale rows at neck and midbody and 15 or 17 rows before vent; tail length/total length ratio 0.218–0.219 in males and 0.166–0.169 in females; ventrals 167–169 in males and 179–182 in females; subcaudals 63–66 in males and 51–52 in females; head scalation complete with a presubocular; 9–10 maxillary teeth, the posterior three being enlarged; nasal divided; temporal streak absent; long and deeply forked hemipenes extending to 20th subcaudal and without spines and papillae but with prominent diagonal ridge, oblique flounces and distal calyces; cloacal plate undivided; 10–11+3–4 dorsal blotches; and a vertebral stripe on tail and anterior part of body. This is the second species of Oligodon described on islands of Vietnam.

Keywords: Reptilia, Quang Nam Province, hemipenis, maxillary teeth, Oligodon chinensisOligodon culaochamensis sp. nov.

Paratype of Oligodon culaochamensis sp. nov., ITBCZ 5631, male. 

Natural history. All specimens were collected .. on the ground in dry primary forests or plantations, usually near the bank of small streams. The stomach of the holotype contained two soft shell eggs (size 15 mm x 7 mm). These eggs probably belong to a snake or lizard.

Distribution. The new species is currently known only from Cu Lao Cham Islands, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. 

Etymology. The specific epithet culaochamensis is derived from Cu Lao Cham Islands, where the new species was discovered.

Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Luan Thanh Nguyen, Vu Dang Hoang Nguyen, Hoa Thi Phan, Ke Jiang and Robert W Murphy. 2017. A New Species of the Genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Cu Lao Cham Islands, central Vietnam.
Zootaxa. 4286(3); 333-346.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4286.3.2