Bungarus suzhenae CHEN, SHI, VOGEL, DING & SHI, 2021
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Suzhen’s krait|
Chinese: 素贞环蛇 (sù zhēn huán shé)
|Synonym||Bungarus suzhenae CHEN, SHI, VOGEL, DING & SHI 2021: 51|
Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus – YANG & RAO 2008
|Distribution||China (Yunnan), Myanmar (Kachin State)|
Type locality: China, Yunnan Province, Yingjiang County (24.466941°N, 97.648691°E), 934 m elevation
|Types||Holotype: CIB 116088, subadult male, collected from a road through rice fields in Yingjiang County, Yunnan Province, China (97.584451,24.662632, 922 m A.S.L), by Ding Li, in 2017.|
Paratypes: (n = 3): CIB
|Diagnosis||Assigned to genus Bungarus based on the presence of a row of enlarged, hexagonal scales on the vertebral scale row, enlarged prezygapophyseal accessory process and relatively high neural spine (Slowinski 1994).|
Diagnosis: The new species differs from its congeners by having a combination of the following characters: (1) posterior maxilla teeth three, slightly curved behind; (2) fangs feebly curved; (3) dorsal scales in 15 rows; (4) ventrals 220–229 (n = 4); (5) subcaudals undivided, 51–54 (n= 3); (6) anterior chin shields larger than the posterior ones; (7) prefrontal suture 2.7–3.4 (n = 3) times length of internasal suture; (8) adult and subadult heads uniform black (Figs 10–12); (9) dorsal body color black, with 39.3 ±4.7 (26–38) white narrow bands present on midbody, covering 1.5 ± 0.4 (1.0–2.0)vertebral scales; (10) ventral surface uniform white, underside of tail white with tiny brown dots in the middle or immaculate; (11) ventral scales connected with the black bands of the dorsal body by small dark patches in lateral view, patches smaller than half the width of a dorsal scale; (12) tail relatively long, TaL/TL =0.136–0.150 (n = 3); (13) hemipenes reaching 7th subcaudal; (14) large, elongated and pointed spines on hemipenes, in fang-shaped; (15) tips of the large spinesstrongly keratinized, without distinct boundary with the main body of large spines. (CHEN et al. 2021).
Comparisons: Morphologically, B. suzhenae. is similar to the B. candidus/multicinctus/wanghaotingi complex but differs from these taxa by a combination of dental morphology, squamation, coloration pattern, as well as hemipenial morphology. (CHEN et al. 2021).
Color in life: Dorsal surface of head, upper part of sides of the head, including upper part of supralabials, uniform black; lower half of head, including lower part of supralabials and rostral yellowish-white; ventral head uniform yellowish-white; iris dark black. (CHEN et al. 2021).
|Comment||Diet: In captivity, they prey on eels like Monopterus albus and small snakes such Xenochrophis flavipunctatus, Pareas spp., but refuse mice and frogs (CHEN et al. 2021).|
|Etymology||The specific epithet of the new species was named after Su-Zhen Bai, a famous powerful goddess of Chinese myth The legend of the White snake (白蛇传), in honor of her courage to true love and kindness to people.|
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