Thursday, June 10, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Oligodon bivirgatus • A New Species of Oligodon H. Boie in Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Hainan Island, China

Oligodon bivirgatus
Qian, Qi, Shi, Lu, Jenkins, Mo & Li, 2021

Double Striped Kukri Snake || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4933.3.7

A new species of the kukri snake genus Oligodon H. Boie in Fitzinger, 1826 is described based on two specimens collected from Shangxi Nature Reserve, Hainan Island, China. Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by a unique combination of having 15/15/15 dorsal scale rows, eight maxillary teeth, divided nasal, 3 temporals (1+2), 7 supralabials and 7 infralabials; divided anal plate; reddish-brown dorsum with two distinct dark stripes, and reddish ventral surface (in life) with irregular dark blotches on edge cream. This is the first new Oligodon species described from a type-locality in Hainan Island of China.
Keywords: Reptilia, Taxonomy, Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov., Kukri snake, Skull, Osteology

In life head scalation photos and drawings of Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov. (Holotype SYNU 1907027, adult female).
(A, D) Dorsal view; (B, E) Lateral view; (C, F) ventral view.
Photographed and illustrated by Tianyu Qian. 
Scale bar equals 5 mm.

 Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov. in life (Holotype, SYNU 1907027),
dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views.
Images not to scale.

Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov.

Diagnosis. Oligodon bivirgatus sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners known to occur in Southern China and mainland Southeast Asia by having the following combination of characters: (1) eight maxillary teeth; (2) nasal divided; (3) absence of a loreal; (4) single preocular and two postoculars; (5) seven supralabials, third and fourth touching the orbit, sixth excluded from the lip; (6) seven infralabials, anterior four contacting chin shields; (7) internasals separate from prefrontals; (8) single anterior and two posterior temporals; (9) anal plate divided; (10) 15/15/15 dorsal scale rows; (11) dorsum reddish-brown in life, with two distinct narrow dark stripes, two dorsolateral lines are faintly visible; and (12) ventral surface reddish in life, edge cream with irregular dark blotches.
Etymology. The specific name comes from Latin words “ bi-” (double) and “virgatus” (striped), refers to this species has a dorsal color pattern made of two distinct dorsal stripes. The common name is recommended to read “Double Striped Kukri Snake” in English while it is “___ (Shuāng Xiàn Xiǎo Tóu Shé)” in Chinese.

Tianyu Qian, Shuo Qi, Jingsong Shi, Yuyan Lu, Robert W. G. Jenkins, Yanni Mo and Pipeng Li. 2021. A New Species of Oligodon H. Boie in Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Hainan Island, China. Zootaxa. 4933(3); 403–421. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4933.3.7