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Cylindrophis subocularis KIECKBUSCH, MECKE, HARTMANN, EHRMANTRAUT, O’SHEA & KAISER, 2016

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Higher TaxaCylindrophiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymCylindrophis subocularis KIECKBUSCH, MECKE, HARTMANN, EHRMANTRAUT, O’SHEA & KAISER 2016 
DistributionIndonesia (C Java)

Type locality: Grabag, Purworejo Regency (formerly Koetoardjo), Central Java Province (Jawa Tengah), Java, Indonesia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: RMNH RENA 8785 (Figs. 3−4; Table 1), an adult female, collected by Felix Kopstein in February 1937. The original label for this specimen states “Grabag, Koetoardjo, Midden Java. +10 m.”
Paratypes. All RMNH.RENA specimens were collected by Kopstein at the type locality. RMNH.RENA 8958 (Fig. 5A), a gravid female, was collected in October 1937; RMNH.RENA 8959 (Fig. 5B), an adult female, was collected in November 1937; RMNH.RENA 11257 (Fig. 5C), an adult male, was collected in August 1937; RMNH.RENA 11263 (Fig. 5D), an adult male, was collected in August 1937; RMNH.RENA 47929 (Fig. 5E), an adult male, was collected in November 1937. NMW 21559.1 (Fig. 5F), an unsexed adult specimen from Java (no precise locality provided), was also collected by Kopstein, presumably during 1937, but the date is unknown. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Cylindrophis that can be readily distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) presence of a single subocular scale, positioned between 3rd and 4th or 4th and 5th supralabial, contacting postocular and separating 4th or 5th supralabial from orbit (Fig. 4B); (2) prefrontal in very narrow contact with or separated from orbit; (3) 19 smooth dorsal scale rows at midbody; (4) 6−7 supralabials; (5) 6−7 infralabials; (6) 190−196 ventrals; (7) 6−7 subcaudals; (8) 40−48 transverse light ventral blotches, and (9) light blotches on lateral surfaces of prefrontals (Fig. 3A, 4A & B in Kieckbusch et al. 2016).

Comparisons. Cylindrophis subocularis sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from all congeners by the presence of a single subocular, positioned between the 3rd and 4th (rarely between the 4th and 5th)6 supralabial, contacting the postocular and separating the 4th (or 5th) supralabial from the orbit (e.g., Fig. 4B in Kieckbusch et al. 2016). In the following comparisons, ranges are followed by mean ± standard deviation and sample size (n), with the measures and counts for C. subocularis provided in parentheses. Whenever range and mean ± standard deviation are not provided, the respective character was invariable within a species.
Cylindrophis aruensis possesses 23 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody and 173–182 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals (Boulenger 1920; McDowell 1975; Amarasinghe et al. 2015). Cylindrophis boulengeri possesses 197–204, 200.3 ± 3.5, n = 3 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals; and wavelike markings on supralabials, which may run onto prefrontals (uniformly dark supralabials and light blotches on prefrontals). Cylindrophis burmanus possesses 201−210, 208.3 ± 7.7, n = 6 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals. Cylindrophis engkariensis possesses 17, n = 1 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody; 2307, n = 1 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals; rugose (smooth) dorsals on tail; a dorsal pattern of two paravertebral rows of spots (dorsal pattern of transverse, light, dorsolateral blotches); and uniformly colored prefrontals (light blotches on prefrontals). Cylindrophis isolepis possesses 21, n = 2 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody; and nasals separated by rostral (nasals in contact). Cylindrophis jodiae possesses 21, n = 77 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody; and wavelike markings on supralabials (uniformly dark supralabials). Cylindrophis lineatus possesses 21, n = 1 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody; 2108, n = 1 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals; 9, n = 1 (6–7, 6.6 ± 0.5, n = 8) subcaudals; and a dorsal pattern of stripes (dorsal pattern of transverse, light, dorsolateral blotches). Cylindrophis maculatus does not possess light blotches on prefrontals (present); has a relatively longer snout, with SL/IOD = 1.03–1.25, 1.13 ± 0.06, n = 34 (0.94–1.03, 1.00 ± 0.03, n = 7); and a dorsal pattern of reddish-brown, large and round blotches (dorsal pattern of transverse9, light, dorsolateral blotches). Cylindrophis melanotus (including its synonyms Tortrix rufa var. celebica Schlegel, 1844, T. rufa var. celebensis Gray, 18499, C. celebensis Smith, 1927, and C. heinrichi Ahl, 1933) possesses 230–268, 245.3 ± 10.5, n = 35 (190–196, 193.7 ± 2.0, n = 8) ventrals; and predominantly light-colored supralabials, including a characteristic dark bar running down the supralabials below eye (completely dark supralabials and light blotches on prefrontals). Cylindrophis opisthorhodus possesses 23, n = 6 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody; and has a light dorsum with dark speckles forming two paravertebral rows and occasionally a discontinuous vertebral line (dorsal pattern of transverse, light, dorsolateral blotches). Cylindrophis ruffus sensu lato (including its synonyms Anguis striatus Gmelin, 1789, A. scytale Russell, 1801, C. resplendens Wagler, 1828, and C. mirzae), and C. rufa var. javanica Gray, 1849 (inferred from the relevant descriptions, drawings, figures, or examination of type material) do not have a subocular scale (present). Javanese C. ruffus sensu lato have the prefrontal usually in broad contact with the orbit (Fig. 6; Table 1), with PrefO/ED = 0.28–0.60, 0.38 ± 0.08, n = 51 (prefrontal in narrow contact with or separated from the orbit [Fig. 4B]; with PrefO/ ED = 0.0–0.27, 0.11 ± 0.11, n = 8); results of Mann-Whitney U-test: Z = 0.29, p < 0.001***. Cylindrophis yamdena possesses 21 (19, n = 8) dorsal scale rows at midbody, and a pale light dorsum without any pattern (Smith & Sidik 1998) (dorsal pattern of transverse, light, dorsolateral blotches).
 
CommentSimilar species: C. ruffus

Abundance: known from only 8 specimens collected around 1937. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet subocularis is a compound adjective of sub (Latin: ‘under,’ ‘beneath’) and ocularis (Latin: ‘pertaining to the eye’), referring to the presence of a subocular scale in the new species. 
References
  • KIECKBUSCH, MAX; SVEN MECKE, LUKAS HARTMANN, LISA EHRMANTRAUT, MARK O’SHEA & HINRICH KAISER 2016. An inconspicuous, conspicuous new species of Asian pipesnake, genus Cylindrophis (Reptilia: Squamata: Cylindrophiidae), from the south coast of Jawa Tengah, Java, Indonesia, and an overview of the tangled taxonomic history of C. ruffus (Laurenti, 176 Zootaxa 4093 (1): 001–025 - get paper here
 
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