Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[Herpetology • 2007] งูลายสอจุดเหลือง | Opisthotropis maculosus • A new snake (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Northeastern Thailand

Opisthotropis maculosus Stuart and Chuaynkern, 2007
Yellow Spotted Mountain Stream Snake
งูลายสอจุดเหลือง : Ngu Lai So Chut Lueng

A new species of the aquatic natricine colubrid snake genus Opisthotropis is described based on a single specimen from Nong Khai Province, northeastern Thailand. The new species is distinguished from other Opisthotropis by the combination of having smooth scales on the body and tail, 15 dorsal scale rows throughout the body, the fourth supralabial in contact with the eye, the posterior pair of chin shields longer than the anterior pair, and a glossy black dorsum with yellow spots.

Key words: New species; Opisthotropis; Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary; Thailand

Etymology: The specific epithet maculosus (L.) for spotted refers to the distinctive dorsal pattern of the new species.

Distribution, natural history, and behavior: Opisthotropis maculosus is currently known
only from the holotype specimen collected at Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary, Nong Khai Province, northeastern Thailand (Figs. 1 and 2). The holotype was swimming at night (1930 h) during heavy rainfall in 5 cm of rainwater flowing swiftly through a temporary streambed in
disturbed bamboo mixed with evergreen forest. The snake was very active and thrashed vigorously when restrained.

2007. A New Opisthotropis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Northeastern Thailand