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Asthenodipsas lasgalenensis LOREDO, WOOD, QUAH, ANUAR, GREER, AHMAD & GRISMER, 2013

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesMirkwood Forest Slug Snake 
SynonymAsthenodipsas lasgalenensis LOREDO, WOOD, QUAH, ANUAR, GREER, AHMAD & GRISMER 2013 
DistributionPeninsular Malaysia (Perak)

Type locality: Bukit Larut, Perak, Malaysia (4° 44.596’ N, 100° 45.537’ E; 1184 m elevation. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 8869, adult male, collected by L. Lee Grismer, P. L. Wood Jr., J. L. Grismer, and C. K. Onn on 2 March 2008.
Paratypes. Adult female (LSUHC 9050) bears the same data as the holotype. Adult male (LSUHC 9098) collected by L. Lee Grismer, P. L. Wood Jr., J. L. Grismer, and C. K. Onn on 6 June 2008 on Pine Tree Trail at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, West Malaysia (3o 43.234’ N, 101o 45.478’ E; 1203 m). Adult female (LSUHC 6954) collected by L. Lee Grismer and C. K. Onn on trail 11 at Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia (4°31.275’N, 101°23,193’E; 2050 m). Adult female (LSUHC 9150) collected by Norhayati Ahmad and L. Lee Grismer on Bishop’s Trail at Fraser’s Hill, Pahang, Malaysia (3o 42.590’ N, 101o 44.236’ E; 1239 m). 
CommentDiagnosis. Asthenodipsas lasgalenensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of the Pareatidae by the unique combination of having of a maximum TL 771 (Smedley 1931); 15/15/14–15 dorsal scale rows167–190 ventrals; 54–77 subcaudal scales; one or two postorbitals; 1–2+1–3+1–2 temporals; 6–8 supralabials and infralabials; whitish ventral scales bearing small dark lateral spots; dorsum of adults unicolor dark brown; dorsum of hatchlings and juveniles bearing an orangish to light gray ground color overlain with 42–56 irregularly shaped rhomboidal darker bands beginning posterior to dark nuchal bar and extending the length of body and tail and onto lateral spots; edges of ventral scales but not encircling body; a light vertebral stripe; whitish labials usually edged in darker color; dark brown to black head; dark red to red-orange eyes. These character states are summarized across all species in Table 3 (LOREDO et al. 2013). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet lasgalenensis is derived from the name Eryn Lasgalen which means in the “Wood of Greenleaves” in the fictional Sindarian language from J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1955). It was the name used by the Wood Elves for the Mirkwood Forest after its cleansing following the War of the Ring. This name was chosen because Tolkien’s (1955) description of this forest showed great similarity to the cloudy, upland forests within which this species is found. 
References
  • Goldberg, S. R. and L. L. Grismer 2016. Asthenodipsas lasgalenensis (Mirkwood Forest Slug Snake) reproduction. Herpetological Review 47(3): 472.
  • LOREDO, ARIEL I.; PERRY L. WOOD, JR., EVAN S. H. QUAH, SHAHRUL ANUAR, LEE F. GREER, NORHAYATI AHMAD & L. LEE GRISMER 2013. Cryptic speciation within Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900) (Squamata: Pareatidae), the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia, and the resurrection of A. tropidonotus (Lidth de Jude, 1923) from Sumatra: an integrative taxono Zootaxa 3664 (4): 505–524 - get paper here
 
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