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Fowlea yunnanensis (ANDERSON, 1879)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Yunnan Olive Keelback
Chinese: 滇西蛇 
SynonymAtretium schistosum var. yunnanensis ANDERSON 1879
Helicops schistosus var. andersonii WALL 1909
Helicops schistosus yunnanensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Helicops yunnanensis — POPE 1935: 159
Atretium yunnanensis SMITH 1943: 320
Atretium yunnanensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 84
Fowlea yunnanensis — CHENG et al. 2021
Fowlea yunnanensis — DEEPAK et al. 2021 
DistributionChina (W Yunnan)

Type locality: from ‘Muangla and Hotha at elevations of 2,000 and 4,500 feet’ (Muangla = Lianghe, Yingjiang County; Hotha = Husa, Longchuan County; both in Yunnan Province, southern China).  
TypesSyntypes: ZSI 4191–92, ZSI 4196 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The species can be diagnosed from other morphologically similar species by a combination of the following characteristics: (1) body relatively large, TL 710 – 943 mm; (2) dorsal scale rows 19 – 19 – 17; (3) internasals 2 – 3, triangular, if three, forming a “ ” shape; (4) prefrontal 2 – 4, usually paired; (5) supralabials 9, 4th and 5th entering orbit; (6) postoculars 3, rarely 4; (7) hemipenis bilobed, papillae present on the apex of both lobes, longitudinal folds present; (8) two oblique, parallel dark stripes on lateral head vague or absent; (9) dorsal surface ocher brown, with dark reticulate pattern, ventral surface cream white (Fig. 2) (Cheng et al. 2021: 213). 
CommentDistribution: Possibly also in Myanmar (MCDOWELL & JENNER 1988).

Comparisons (genera): Ren et al. 2019: 121 (Table 6) provide a morphological comparison of natricine genera (Opisthotropis, Paratapinophis, Isanophis, Trimerodytes balteatus, Hebius annamensis, Trachischium fuscum/guentheri, Rhabdops bicolor, Atretium = Fowlea yunnanensis, Pseudagkistrodon rudis multiprefrontalis). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Amarasinghe, A. A., Bandara, S. K., Weerakkody, S., Campbell, P. D., Marques, D. A., Danushka, A. D., ... & Vogel, G. 2022. Systematics of the Sri Lankan Water Snakes of the Genus Fowlea Theobald 1868 (Reptilia: Natricidae). Herpetologica 78(3) : 201-219 - get paper here
  • Anderson, J. 1879. Reptilia and amphibia. In: Anatomical and Zoological Researches: Comprising an Account of the Zoological Results of the Two Expeditions to Western Yunnan in 1868 and 1875. Volume I. [pages 703-860, 969-975 index.]. Bernard Quarich, London, Vol. I: 705– 860,[1878] - get paper here
  • Anderson, JOHN 1879. Anatomical and Zoological Researches: Comprising an Account of the Zoological Results of the Two Expeditions to Western Yunnan in 1866 and 1875; and a Monograph of the Two Cetacean Genera Platanista and Orcella. Volume II. Atlas. Bernard Quaritch, London "1878".; Atlas: 85 plates [herpetological plates 55-78, 75A, 75B]). - get paper here
  • Cheng, Yu-Qi; Jin-Long Ren, Guang-Xiang Zhu, Jia-Tang Li 2021. On the Taxonomy of Atretium yunnanensis Anderson, 1879 (Squamata: Natricidae), with Redescriptions and Natural History Data of the Poorly Known Species. Russian Journal of Herpetology 28 (4): 205-218 - get paper here
  • Deepak, V; Natalie Cooper, Nikolay A Poyarkov, Fred Kraus, Gustavo Burin, Abhijit Das, Surya Narayanan, Jeffrey W Streicher, Sarah-Jane Smith, David J Gower 2021. Multilocus phylogeny, natural history traits and classification of natricine snakes (Serpentes: Natricinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 195 (1): 279–298 [online 2021] - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • REN, Jinlong; Kai WANG, Peng GUO, Yingyong WANG, Tao Thien NGUYEN, and Jiatang LI 2019. On the Generic Taxonomy of Opisthotropis balteata (Cope, 1895) (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae): Taxonomic Revision of Two Natricine Genera. Asian Herpetological Research 10 (2): 105–128; DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.180091 - get paper here
  • Wall,F. 1909. Remarks on some little known Indian Ophidia. Records of the Indian Museum 3 (2): 145-150. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wang K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
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