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Bungarus persicus ABTIN, NILSON, MOBARAKI, HOOSEINI & DEHGANNEJHAD, 2014

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymBungarus persicus ABTIN, NILSON, MOBARAKI, HOOSEINI & DEHGANNEJHAD 2014 
DistributionIran (Baluchistan)

Type locality: north of Sarbaz, Baluchistan, Iran  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMGU 3121 (Golestan University). Female. Leg. Elham Abtin. Date September 29, 2013.
Paratype: ZMGU 3256 (Golestan University, Female from Bamposht of Saravan area, 20 km S of Sirkan, Geravani village
(26°44'52.6" N 62°39'53" E), Baluchistan, Iran. Leg. Mousa Dehgan Nejhad. Date July 2014. 
Commentdiagnosis. A species of Bungarus with 17 dorsal midbody scale rows and with the vertebral row enlarged. A high number of ventral (236 – 238) and subcaudal (50 – 53) plates. The prenasal is penetrating deep down in between the rostral and first supralabial and nearly reaching the edge of mouth and almost separating rostral from the first supralabial on both sides. A small loreal plate on both sides makes the holotype specimen unique amongst elapid snakes, although a variable character as the paratype has no such loreal division. Preocular region and postnasal are white while the small loreal area is black in the holotype. The same area of the snout is also black in the paratype.
In the holotype the back is mostly black with 25 light triangle shaped pairs of crossbars plus two light triangular sports on each side of neck. The triangular pairs are all ending in pairs of rectangular whitish dots or short crossbars along the vertebral section (Fig. 8). The triangles are very pronounced. Three crossbars on tail. Head is black above and yellowish white below with a sharp border be- tween the colors along the upper edge of the supralabials. In the paratype the back is mostly black with 26 light triangle shaped pairs of crossbars plus two light triangular sports on each side of neck. The belly is yellowish white in both specimens.
This new species is somewhat different from B. sindanus, which normally has a larger dorsal section black on anterior part of body and more straight transverse bands. Total length of holotype is 630 mm; tail length 80 mm. Total length of the paratype is 1190 mm.
Bungarus persicus sp. nov. differs from all congeners except B. sindanus by the combination of wide black and narrow white rings on body and tail and dorsal scales arranged in 17 rows.

Habitat: flat plains as well as seasonal rivers bed with disperse vegetation compromising mainly with shrubs and some trees. The main plant species of the area are: Box Thorn Lycium edgeworthii (Local Name: Zirok), Rhazya Rhazya stricta (LN: Eshvarak), Oleander Nerium indicum (LN: Djor), Pickleweed Hammada salicornia (LN: Terat), Mazari Palm Nannorrhops ritchiana (Daz), Indian Mesquite Prosopis spicigera (Kahoor), Tamarisk Tamarix sp. (Gaz), Saltwort Salsola drummondii (Alaf Shoor), Common Reed Phragmites australis (LN: Ney), Esfand Peganum harmala (Esfand). 
References
  • Abtin, Elham; Göran Nilson, Asghar Mobaraki, Ashraf Ali Hosseini, Mousa Dehgannejhad 2014. A New Species of Krait, Bungarus (Reptilia, Elapidae, Bungarinae) and the First Record of that Genus in Iran. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (4): 243-250
 
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