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Calamaria andersoni YANG & ZHENG, 2018

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAnderson’s Reed Snake 
SynonymCalamaria andersoni YANG & ZHENG 2018 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: China, Yunnan Province, Yingjiang County, Tongbiguan Town, 24°32’53.30’’N, 97°35’59.10’’E, approx. 1520 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: SYS r001699, male, Jian-Huan Yang, 6 May 2016. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.—Calamaria andersoni can be distinguished from all other species of Calamaria by the combination of the following characters: nine modified maxillary teeth; four supralabials, second and third supralabials entering orbit; one preocular; mental not touching anterior chin shields; six shields and scales surrounding the paraparietal; dorsal scales in 13:13:13 rows; 171 ventral scales; 23 subcaudals; tail slowly tapering anteriorly, then abruptly tapering at tip; dorsal scales reduced to four rows on tail at last two subcaudals; dorsum of body and tail brownish with indistinct narrow black stripes on sides; dark collar on neck absent; light rings/blotches on neck and tail absent; and ventral scales with dark outermost corners.

Comparisons.—We compared Calamaria andersoni with 14 species of Calamaria from China and mainland southeast Asia (including Malay Peninsula), i.e., C. abramovi Orlov; C. albiventer (Gray); C. buchi Marx and Inger; C. concolor Orlov, Nguyen, Nguyen, Ananjeva, and Ho; C. gialaiensis Ziegler, Nguyen, and Nguyen; C. lovii Boulenger; C. lumbricoidea Boie; C. pavimentata; C. prakkei Lidth De Jeude; C. sangi Nguyen, Koch, and Ziegler; C. schlegeli Dume ́ril, Bibron, and Dume ́ril; C. septentrionalis; C. thanhi Ziegler, and Quyet; and C. yunnanensis. Unrelated Sundaland clade taxa from the Great Sunda Islands are omitted from comparisons for simplicity.
Calamaria andersoni can be readily distinguished from C. albiventer, C. lumbricoidea, C. prakkei, and C. schlegeli by having a lower number of supralabials (4 vs. 5) and the pattern of supralabials shields touching the orbit (second and third supralabials touching orbit vs. third and fourth supra- labials touching orbit in C. albiventer, C. lumbricoidea, C. prakkei, and C. schlegeli). Additionally, these four species only occur south of the Isthmus of Kra in Peninsular Malaysia.
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. abramovi by having eye diameter larger than distance from eye to mouth edge (vs. reverse condition in C. abramovi), posterior chin shields meeting in midline (vs. separated in C. abramovi), fewer ventral scales in male (171 vs. 159 in C. abramovi), fewer subcaudals in male (23 vs. 26 in C. abramovi), and a distinctly different coloration (body black with yellow-orange spots on venter in C. abramovi).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. buchi by having rostral shield width larger than length (vs. reverse condition in C. buchi), eye diameter larger than distance from eye to mouth edge (vs. equal to or shorter in C. buchi), mental not touching anterior chin shields (vs. touching in C. buchi), six shields and scales surrounding paraparietal (vs. five in C. buchi), and ventral scales with dark outermost corners (vs. ventral scales immaculate yellow in C. buchi).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. concolor by having four supralabials (vs. five in C. concolor), eye diameter larger than distance from eye to mouth edge (reverse condition in C. concolor), mental not touching anterior chin shields (touch- ing in C. concolor), tail not flatted (versus slight flatted laterally in C. concolor), fewer ventral scales in male (171 vs. 209 in C. concolor), and a distinctly different coloration (body uniform brown above and immaculate cream below in C. concolor).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. gialaiensis by having mental not touching anterior chin shields (vs. touching in C. gialaiensis), lower number of ventral scales in male (171 vs. 191 in C. gialaiensis), absence of dark collar in nuchal region (vs. an indistinct dark collar present in nuchal region in C. gialaiensis), absence of a distinct dark longitudinal line under of tail (vs. present in C. gialaiensis), tail not as thick as body (vs. tail as thick as body, not tapering, with rounded end in C. gialaiensis), light blotches/rings absent at tail (vs. presence of two pairs of light blotches on tail in C. gialaiensis).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. lovii by having a preocular scale (vs. absent in C. lovii), absence of light blotches/rings on neck (vs. present in C. lovii), the end of tail abruptly tapering at tip (vs. tail tip bluntly rounded in C. lovii). Calamaria andersoni further differs from the subspecies C. l. ingermarxorum from southern Vietnam by having mental not touching anterior chin shields (vs. touching in C. l. ingermarxorum), fewer ventral scales in males (171 vs. 205 in C. l. ingermarxorum), and ventral scales with dark outermost corners (vs. ventral scales immaculate yellow in C. l. ingermarxorum); Calamaria andersoni further differs from the subspecies C. l. gimletti from Malay Peninsula by having higher number of subcaudals in male (23 vs. 14–20 in C. l. gimletti).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. pavimentata by having rostral shield width larger than length (vs. reverse condition in C. pavimentata), higher number of ventral scales in males (171 vs. 125–168 in C. pavimentata), the end of tail abruptly tapering at tip (tail tapering gradually to a point in C. pavimentata), absence of dark collar at nuchal region (vs. a
broad dark collar present in nuchal region in C. pavimentata), absence of light blotches/rings on neck and tail (vs. light blotches/rings on neck and tail present on tail in C. pavimentata).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. sangi by having mental not touching anterior chin shields (vs. touching in C. sangi), lower number of ventral scales (171 vs. 190 in C. sangi), absence of dark collar in nuchal region (vs. a dark collar present in nuchal region in C. sangi), light blotches/rings on tail absent (vs. presence of an indistinct thin yellow ring on tail), venter without dark transverse bands (vs. venter cream with narrow dark transverse bands in C. sangi).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. septentrionalis by having the end of tail abruptly tapering at tip (vs. tail tip broadly rounded in C. septentrionalis), higher number of ventral scales in males (171 vs. 148–166 in C. septentrionalis), higher number of subcaudals in males (23 vs. 15–19 in C. septentrionalis), dorsal scales reduced to four rows at tail (vs. dorsal scales not reduced to four rows at tail in C. septentrionalis), absence of light blotches/rings on neck and tail (vs. light blotches/rings on neck and tail present on tail in C. septentrionalis).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. thanhi by having a preocular scale (vs. absent in C. thanhi), dorsal scales reduced to four rows at tail (vs. dorsal scales reduced to five rows at tail in C. thanhi), dorsum of body without light bands (vs. dorsum of body with four yellowish bands in C. thanhi), absence of light blotches/rings on tail (vs. present in C. thanhi).
Calamaria andersoni differs from C. yunnanensis by having a preocular scale (vs. absent in C. yunnanensis, Fig. 4), fewer ventral scales in males (171 vs. 179–201 in C. yunnanensis), higher number of subcaudals in males (23 vs. 15–22 in C. yunnanensis), all dorsal scale rows with dark pigmentation (vs. the outermost one or two dorsal scale rows immaculately light colored in C. yunnanensis, Fig. 4); ventral scales with dark outermost corners (vs. ventral scales immaculate in C. yunnanensis, Fig. 4). 
CommentCurrently (2018) only known from a single specimen.

Distribution: the type locality is close to the Myanmar border, so the species is likely to occur in Myanmar as well. 
EtymologyNamed in honor of John Anderson (1833–1900) for his great pioneering work on the biodiversity inventory and research of the region. From Scotland, Anderson visited the western part of Yunnan Province, China twice during 1867–1875 and published the first monograph of the fauna in the region (Anderson, 1878). 
References
  • Yang, Jian-Huan and Xi Zheng 2018. A New Species of the Genus Calamaria (Squamata: Colubridae) from Yunnan Province, China. Copeia 106 (3): 485-491 - get paper here
 
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