Rufino de Albuquerque, Martins dos Santos, Borges-Nojosa & Ávila, 2022
We describe a new species of Leptophis from the Caatinga ecoregion encompassing the semi-arid region of Brazil. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences indicate that the new species is nested deep within the L. ahaetulla complex. The new species differs from all other congeners in the following unique character combination: two dorsolateral Light Emerald Green (142) to Robin's Egg Blue (161) stripes separated from each other by Pale Buff (1) to Smoke Gray (266) vertebral stripe (continuous to tail) present; loreal scale absent; maxillary teeth 21–24; ventrals 158–177; subcaudals 137–162; black spots on head absent; supracephalic plates of head not edged with black pigment; adult color pattern lacking dark oblique bands; keels absent on first dorsal scale rows; hemipenis unilobed, capitate, with undivided sulcus spermaticus. The new species is distinguished from L. ahaetulla ahaetulla by the Light Emerald Green (142) to Robin's Egg Blue (161) (in life) dorsolateral stripes separated from each other by a Pale Buff (1) to Smoke Gray (266) vertebral stripe (at least anteriorly), and by having white to Pale Sulphur Yellow (92) scales on the first (on anterior region of body) to fourth (midbody region) scale rows [vs. Light Grass Green (109) to Light Emerald Green (142) with Yellow Ocher (14), Cinnamon-Drab (50) or Sulphur Yellow (80) vertebral stripe; second to third—occasionally the fourth—scale rows Sulphur Yellow (80), at least anteriorly], wider snout (vs. narrow), postocular stripe wider (vs. narrow), basal region of hemipenis with 10–14 spines and first row of hemipenial body with 8–9 spines (vs. 18–22 in the basal region and 5–8 in the first row). The new species differs from L. a. liocercus, which is also distributed in the Northeast Region Brazil with a small overlap in distribution, by the dorsolateral stripes (vs. dorsum unstriped), and 18–22 spines in the fourth row of the hemipenial body (vs. 11–18). Recognition of the new species is also consistent with uncorrected pairwise distances between 16S rDNA sequences.
Nelson Rufino de Albuquerque, Fernanda Martins dos Santos, Diva Maria Borges-Nojosa and Robson Waldemar Ávila. 2022. A New Species of Parrot-Snake of the Genus Leptophis Bell, 1825 (Serpentes, Colubridae) from the Semi-Arid Region of Brazil. South American Journal of Herpetology. 23 (2), 7-24. DOI: 10.2994/SAJH-D-19-00113.1
Pesquisadores descobrem nova espécie de cobra na Caatinga