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Achalinus juliani ZIEGLER, NGUYEN, PHAM, NGUYEN, PHAM, VAN SCHINGEN, NGUYEN & LE, 2019

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Higher TaxaXenodermidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesJulian’s Burrowing Snake 
SynonymAchalinus juliani ZIEGLER, NGUYEN, PHAM, NGUYEN, PHAM, VAN SCHINGEN, NGUYEN & LE 2019 
DistributionN Vietnam (Cao Bang)

Type locality: forest of Duc Quang Commune (22°43.084’N, 106°39.653’E, at an elevation of 477 m above sea level), Ha Lang District, Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. IEBR A.2018.8 (Field no. CB 2014.18), an adult male, collected by C.T. Pham on 14 June 2014.
Paratypes. IEBR A.2018.9 (Field no. CB 2014.19), a female, from Phia Oac-Phia Den National Park (22°36.147’N, 105°52.726’E, at an elevation of 1461 m above sea level), Nguyen Binh District, Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam, collected by T.H. Pham on 24 May 2014; VNMN 06924 (Field no. TAO 766), an adult male, from forest of Thanh Cong Commune within Phia Oac-Phia Den National Park (22°60.556’N, 105°87.530’E, at an elevation of 1590 m above sea level), Nguyen Binh District, Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam, collected by T.T. Nguyen on 10 May 2010. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Achalinus, characterized by a combination of the following characters: 1) maxillary teeth 28; 2) suture between internasals distinctly longer than that between the prefrontals; 3) internasal not fused to prefrontal; 4) loreal not fused with prefrontal; 5) infralabials 6; 6) mental separated from anterior chin shields; 7) two elongated anterior temporals, in contact with eye, and two posterior temporals; 8) dorsal scales in 25–23–23 rows, keeled; 9) ventrals 173–179; 10) subcaudals 77–91, unpaired; 11) a total length of at least 413 mm (with a maximum tail length of 109 mm, and a tail/total length ratio of 0.22–0.37); 12) dorsum in preservative reddish to greyish brown above, the lower and posterior head sides paler; venter greyish cream, with the underside of the tail being somewhat darker.

Comparisons. Achalinus juliani sp. nov. can be differentiated from the remaining Achalinus representatives from Vietnam by having more subcaudals, more dorsal scale rows on anterior part of the body, more ventrals, more infralabials, and a longer internasal suture (see Tables 3, 5).
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. ater in having more dorsal scale rows in the anterior part of the body (25 versus 21–23) and more subcaudals (77–91 versus 47–70).
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. rufescens by having more infralabials (6 versus 5), more ventrals (163–179 versus 131–158), more subcaudals (77–91 versus 54–82), and more maxillary teeth.
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. spinalis by the internasal suture being distinctly longer than that between the prefrontals (versus as long as or shorter), more dorsal scale rows in the anterior part of the body (25 versus 21–24), more subcaudals (77–91 versus 39–67), by lacking a black mid-dorsal line, and by having more maxillary teeth.
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. formosanus by having the internasal suture distinctly longer than prefrontal suture (versus internasal suture almost as long as prefrontal suture), by the loreal not being fused with prefrontal, fewer dorsal scale rows (25–23–23 versus 25–29 – 25–27–25), more maxillary teeth (28 versus 14–17), and by lacking a black mid-dorsal line; in addition, Achalinus juliani sp. nov. can be distinguished from A. f. formosanus by having more subcaudals (77–91 versus 61–83), and from A. f. chigirai by having fewer subcaudals (77–91 versus 96–97).
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. hainanus by having 6 versus 5 infralabials, 2 versus 1 anterior temporal, more dorsal scale rows in the anterior part of the body (25 versus 23), and more subcaudals (77–91 versus 67–69).
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. jinggangensis by loreal not being fused with prefrontal, having more ventrals (163–179 versus 156–164), more subcaudals (77–91 versus 51–64), and more maxillary teeth.
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. meiguensis by mental being separated from anterior chin shields, internasal not fused to prefrontal, by different dorsal scale row counts (25–23–23 versus 21–23 – 19–23 – 19), by having more subcaudals (77–91 versus 39–62), and by having more maxillary teeth.
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. niger by the internasal suture being distinctly longer than that between the prefrontals (versus almost as long as or shorter), fewer midbody dorsal scale rows (23 versus 25), more subcaudals (77–91 versus 52–72), and keeled body scales (versus smooth on anterior part of body).
Achalinus juliani sp. nov. differs from A. werneri by the internasal suture being distinctly longer than that between the prefrontals (versus almost as long as), and by lacking a black mid-dorsal line and a dark subcaudal streak. 
CommentHabitat: lowland forest and limestone karst forest. 
EtymologyNamed after Julian L. Ziegler. 
References
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, CUONG THE PHAM, TAO THIEN NGUYEN, ANH VAN PHAM, MONA VAN SCHINGEN, THAM THI NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE 2019. Three new species of the snake genus Achalinus from Vietnam (Squamata: Xenodermatidae). Zootaxa 4590 (2): 249-269 - get paper here
 
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