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Blythia hmuifang VOGEL, LALREMSANGA & VANLALHRIMA, 2017

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Higher TaxaColubridae, incertae sedis, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Mizoram Ground Snake
G: Mizoram Bodennatter
Mizo: Lunghnuairul 
SynonymBlythia hmuifang VOGEL, LALREMSANGA & VANLALHRIMA 2017 
DistributionIndia (Mizoram)

Type locality: Hmuifang Community forest, Aizawl District, Mizoram, India, 23°27'13.5"N; 92°45'09.5"E, elevation 1,442 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MZMU 714, male, collected by H.T. Lalremsanga and Zodinliana Fanai on 14th April 2015. Paratypes (n=3). MZMU 715, female, the same locality as the holotype, 23o47'52.7"N; 92o 43'40.8"E, elevation 1,458 m asl, collected by Mr. R. Lalthlengliana on 22nd April 2015; MZMU 716 (male) and MZMU 717 (female), both collected by C. Siamkima near Lungkawlh village, Serchhip district, Mizoram, India on 4th and 8th April 2016, respectively. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Blythia characterized by the combination of: (1) 114–117 ventrals; (2) 18– 21 subcaudals; (3) a long tail in females (TaL/TL 0.109–0.116); (4) light upper labials with dark upper margins (5) venter bright orange-red or cream in life.

Comparisons. Blythia hmuifang spec. nov. differs from B. reticulata, the only known species of the genus in the number of ventral scales (114–117 vs. 129–149), the number of subcaudal scales in males (20–21 vs. 22–32), the proportion of tail length/total length in females (0.109–0.116 vs. 0.076–0.098), the colour of the venter (bright orange-red in smaller specimens, cream in the largest specimen vs. black in all ages), the colouration of the supralabials (lower part of the supralabials pale vs. totally dark) and other smaller differences in the colouration (Smith, 1943 and examined specimens [Appendix]). The hemipenis of the new species also differs from that of Blythia reticulata (sparsely spinous vs. uniformly spinose; longitudinal folds absent vs. present; terminate with blunt vs. lobe, see Fig. 5). 
CommentSympatry: Blythia reticulata, Trimeresurus popeiorum Smith, T. erythrurus (Cantor), Pareas monticola (Cantor), Oligodon albocinctus (Cantor), Boiga ochracea (Theobald) and Rhabdophis subminiatus (Schlegel). 
EtymologyThe new species is named in honour of the people of the Hmuifang village who have gone to great lengths to preserve their natural landscape. 
References
  • VOGEL, GERNOT; HMAR TLAWMTE LALREMSANGA, VANLALHRIMA VANLALHRIMA 2017. A second species of the genus Blythia Theobald, 1868 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Mizoram, India. Zootaxa 4276 (4): 569–581 - get paper here
 
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