Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[Herpetology • 2008] Opisthotropis tamdaoensis • A new natricine snake from Tam Dao, northern Vietnam

Opisthotropis tamdaoensis Ziegler, David & Vu, 2008
Tam Dao Mountain Stream Snake

A new species of the snake genus Opisthotropis is described from Tam Dao mountain ridge, northern Vietnam. An extended comparison with all known Opisthotropis species is provided together with a key to the Vietnamese species. O. tamdaoensis sp. n. is the 20th known species of Opisthotropis and the second new mountain stream snake described from Vietnam in the past decade.

Key Words: Serpentes, Opisthotropis tamdaoensis sp. n., morphology, taxonomy, distribution

Etymology. The specific name refers to the Tam Dao mountain ridge and emphasizes the importance of the Tam Dao National Park for the preservation of the beautiful landscape and its in part unique biodiversity. We propose the standard name “Tam Dao Mountain Stream Snake”.

Distribution. The new species is known only from the type specimen originating from Bac (Silver) stream in Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Province, northern Vietnam (see Figs 3–4).

In the following, we provide a modified key (after Orlov et al. 1998) to the meanwhile six species of Opisthotropis now known from Vietnam, including the closely resembling species Parahelicops annamensis (see Stuart 2006; Stuart & Chuaynkern 2007):

Ziegler, Thomas; Patrick David, Vu Ngoc Thanh 2008. A new natricine snake of the genus Opisthotropis from Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Province, northern Vietnam (Squamata, Colubridae). Zoosystematics and Evolution 84 (2): 197 -203: