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Calamaria strigiventris POYARKOV, NGUYEN, ORLOV & VOGEL, 2019

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Striped- belly reed snake
Vietnamese: Rã ́n mai gãÌm býòng soòc ðen
Russian: Polosatobriukhaya kalamariya
G: Gestreifte Zwergschlange 
SynonymCalamaria strigiventris POYARKOV, NGUYEN, ORLOV & VOGEL 2019: 337 
DistributionS Vietnam (Langbian Plateau: Biduop-Nui Ba NP), elevations 1970 – 2030 m

Type locality: high-elevation elfin montane evergreen forest on the summit of Bidoup Mt. in Biduop-Nui Ba NP., Da Chais Commune, Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. ZMMU R-16043, adult male (sex determined based on gonadal dissection, field number NAP-00520) collected from under a rotten tree-log (Figs. 2 – 4) by Nikolay A. Poyarkov on May 9, 2009 (12.1118°N 108.6593°E; at an elevation of 1980 m a.s.l.).
Paratypes. Six specimens including ZMMU R-16045 (adult male, field number NAP-00486), ZMMU R-16044 (juvenile female, field number NAP-00485) collected on May 9, 2009 with other collection information same as the holotype; ZMMU R-16046 (adult male, field number NAP-01410), ZMMU R-16049 (adult female, field number NAP-01409), ZMMU R-16047 (adult female, field number NAP-01411), ZMMU R-16048 (juvenile female, field number NAP-01412) collected on June 2, 2010, by Nikolay A. Poyarkov from the same location with holotype at elevation range from 1970 to 2030 m a.s.l.. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Calamaria characterized by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) 9 – 11 modified maxillary teeth; (2) rostral wider than high; (3) prefrontal shorter than frontal, touching first two supralabials; (4) mental separated from anterior chin shields; (5) dorsal scales in 13 – 13 – 13 rows, all smooth; (6) single preocular; (7) single postocular; (8) 4 supralabials, the 2nd and 3rd contacting the eye; (9) eye diameter less than eye-mouth distance; (10) 5 infralabials; (11) six scales surrounding the paraparietal; (12) prefrontal touching 1st and 2nd supralabials; (13) ventral scales 130 – 183; (14) subcaudal scales 20 – 33, paired; (15) tail relatively short (8.4 – 17.9% of the total length), nearly as thick as body, slowly tapering anteriorly, then abruptly tapering to tip; (16) dorsal scales reducing to four rows above 17th subcaudal on tail; (17) dorsum uniform gray-brown, venter bright yellow with three interrupted longitudinal black stripes, one wide in the middle and a pair on the lateral edge of the ventrals.

Comparisons. Comparative morphological data for the new species and currently recognized members of the genus Calamaria from Indochina (including Malay Peninsula) to southern China are presented in Table 3.
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. can be readily distinguished from C. albiventer (Gray), C. ingeri Grismer, Kaiser et Yaakob, C. lumbricoidea Boie, C. schlegeli Duméril, Bibron et Duméril by having 4 supralabials, 2nd and 3rd in contact with the eye (vs. 5 supralabials, 3rd and 4th in contact with the eye). Additionally, these four species only occur south of the Isthmus of Kra in Peninsular Malaysia and have not been recorded on the mainland part of Indochina.
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. abramovi Orlov by having a slightly higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males, 20 – 30 in females vs. 26 in male, 20 in female), a smaller total length in females (178 – 367 mm vs. 482 mm), slightly greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 13.0% in one male, 7.1% in one female), a dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. uniform black) and the ventral surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. back blazing yellow-orange spots).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. dominici Ziegler, Tran et Nguyen from which only 2 females are known by having a slightly higher number of subcaudals (20 – 30 in females vs. 17 or 18), a slightly smaller total length (178 – 367 mm in females vs. 421 mm), a slightly greater relative tail length (8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 6.2%), in having the tail tapering (vs. slightly tapered), and the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. obtuse pointing), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. dark with irregular yellow blotches) and the ventral surface yellow with black stripe in the middle (vs. dark with few yellow blotches and bands).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. andersoni Yang and Zheng by having a lower number of ventrals in males (130 – 157 vs. 171), a generally greater relative tail length in males (13.8 – 17.9% vs. 9.2%), the tail tapering (vs. not tapering), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. brownish with indistinct narrow black stripes on sides) and the venter surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. orange-yellow without black stripes in the middle).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. buchi Marx and Inger by having the mental not touching the chin shields (vs. touching), the paraparietal surrounded by six shields and scales (vs. five), a generally lower number of ventrals in females (158 – 183 vs. 221 – 236), higher number of subcaudals in females (20 – 30 vs. 13 – 14), a greater relative tail length in females (8.4 – 11.5% vs. 3.9 – 4.1%), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. blackish with small light spots) and the venter surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. yellow, immaculate).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. concolor Orlov, Nguyen, Nguyen, Ananjeva et Ho by having 4 supralabials (vs. 5 supralabials), the mental not touching the chin shields (vs. touching), the paraparietal surrounded by six shields and scales (vs. five), a lower number of ventrals in males (130 – 157, vs. 209), a smaller total length (171 – 362 mm in males, vs. 578 mm in the male), a greater relative tail length (8.4 – 8.5% in females vs. 7.2% in female), the tail tapering (vs. slight tapering), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. obtuse rounded), the dorsal surface uniform gray-brown (vs. uniform red) and the venter surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. bright red, immaculate).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. gialaiensis Ziegler, Nguyen and Nguyen by having the mental not touching the chin shields (vs. touching), paraparietal surrounded by six shields and scales (vs. five), a lower number of ventrals (130 – 157 in males, vs. 191 in the single male), a higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males, vs. 23 in the male), a smaller total length (171 – 362 mm in males, vs. 457 mm in the male), much greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, vs. 8.1% in the male), the tail tapering (vs. not tapering), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. rounded), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. light grayish brown, with an indistinct dark neck collar and few dark blotches along posterior vertebral region) and ventrally yellow with black stripe in the middle (vs. yellowish to beige, immaculate).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. lovii Boulenger by having a preocular scale (versus absent), by the absence of light blotches or rings on the neck (vs. present) and by the end of the tail abruptly tapering to a tip (vs. blunt); the new species further differs from the subspecies C. l. ingermarxorum Darevsky and Orlov from southern Vietnam by having the mental not touching chin shields (vs. touching), a lower number of ventrals (130 – 157 in males vs. 205 in the male), a higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males vs. 23 in the male), a greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, vs. 7.4% in the male), the dorsum uniform graybrown (vs. immaculate bluish gray, with light spots covering four scales on each side of the neck) and the ventral surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. dark gray, immaculate). The new species further differs from the subspecies C. l. gimletti Boulenger from Malay Peninsula by having a lower number of ventrals especially in females (130 – 157 in males, 158 – 183 in females vs. 161 – 202 in males, 215 – 249 in females), a higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males, 20 – 30 in females vs. 14 – 20 in males, 10 – 12 in females), a much greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 6.2 – 8.4% in males, 3.0 – 3.7% in females), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. gray to brown with or without a pair of cream blotches on either side of the neck) and the belly yellow with black stripes (vs. whitish, immaculate).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. pavimentata Duméril, Bibron et Duméril by having a greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 6.9 – 16.9% in males, 3.7 – 8.5% in females), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. gradually tapering to a point), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. with narrow, dark longitudinal stripes and with solid black collar immediately behind neck) and the ventral surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. bright yellow immaculate).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. sangi Nguyen, Koch et Ziegler by having the mental not touching the chin shields (vs. touching), a lower number of ventrals (130 – 157 in males, 158 – 183 in females vs. 190 in unknown gender), a higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males, 20 – 30 in females vs. 19 in unknown gender), a generally greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 6.2% in unknown gender), the tail tapering (vs. slightly tapering), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. obtusely pointed), dorsal surface uniform gray-brown (vs. grayish-brown, with fine dark mottling), and the ventral surface with a black stripe in the middle (vs. cream with narrow dark transverse bands).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. septentrionalis Boulenger by having a higher number of subcaudals especially in females (29 – 33 in males, 20 – 30 in females vs. 15 – 19 in males, 6 – 11 in females), a greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 6.3 – 8.6% in males, 2.6 – 4.3% in females), the tail tapering (vs. not tapering), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. rounded), the dorsum uniform gray-brown (vs. dark brown or black and usually has a narrow yellow ring in the region about six to eight scales length behind the head), and the ventral surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. yellowish with small black spots).
Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. thanhi Ziegler and Le by having a preocular scale (versus absent), a lower number of ventrals (130 – 157 in males, 158 – 183 in females vs. 184 in one male, 198 in one female), a smaller total length (171 – 362 mm in males, 178–367mminfemalesvs.461mminamale,455ina female), a greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 9.9% in the male, 6.8% in the female), the end of tail abruptly tapering (vs. gradually to a point), the dorsal surface uniform gray-brown (vs. dark with 4 – 6 light body bands) and the ventral surface with a black stripe in the middle (vs. yellowish, immaculate).
Finally, Calamaria strigiventris sp. nov. differs from C. yunnanensis Chernov by having a preocular scale (versus absent), a lower number of ventrals (130 – 157 in males, 158 – 183 in females vs. 173 – 201 in males, 184 – 179 in females), a generally higher number of subcaudals (29 – 33 in males, 20 – 30 in females vs. 20 – 21 in males, 15 – 22 in females), a greater relative tail length (13.8 – 17.9% in males, 8.4 – 11.5% in females vs. 4.9 – 8.2% in males, 5.7 – 8.8% in females), the tail tapering (vs. not tapering), the end of the tail abruptly tapering (vs. rounded), the dorsal surface uniform graybrown (vs. uniform blackish), and the ventral surface yellow with a black stripe in the middle (vs. orange-yellow, immaculate). 
CommentHabitat: fossorial; primary non-disturbed high-elevation elfin ever-green forest. 
EtymologyThe specific name “strigiventris” is a Latin adjective in the nominative singular, feminine gender, derived from Latin words “strigilis” for “striped pattern” and “venter” for “belly,” referring to the distinctive black striped pattern of the ventral surface of the new species. 
References
  • Poyarkov, Nikolay A.; Jr., Tan Van Nguyen, Nikolai L. Orlov, Gernot Vogel 2019. A New Species of the Genus Calamaria Boie, 1827 from the Highlands of the Langbian Plateau, Southern Vietnam (Squamata: Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 26 (6): 335-348 - get paper here
 
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