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Hebius chapaensis (BOURRET, 1934)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Vietnam Water Snake
Chinese: 沙坝腹链蛇 
SynonymPararhabdophis chapaensis BOURRET 1934
Pararhabdophis chapaensis — SMITH 1943: 316
Pararhabdophis chapaensis — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Pararhabdophis chapaensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 533
Hebius chapaensis — KIZIRIAN et al. 2018
Hebius chapaensis — REN et al. 2018
Hebius chapaensis — DAVID et al. 2021: 23 
DistributionVietnam (Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Son La, Thanh Hoa), China (Yunnan), Laos (Houaphan, Luangphrabang, Xaisomboun, Vientiane)

Type locality: Chapa, Tong-King (= Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province, North Vietnam)  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1938.0125 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderately sized species of the genus Hebius characterized by the combination of (1) a body elongate in both sexes; (2) head distinct from the neck; (3) 17–18 (rarely 19)-17-17 dorsal scale rows, distinctly keeled at midbody, strongly keeled posteriorly, especially before vent but smooth or feebly keeled on the 1st dorsal scale row; (4) scales around the base of the tail very strongly keeled; (5) eye average with a pupil variable in shape, i.e., usually round but also elliptic or even asymmetrically and irregularly shaped, 1.0–1.2 times the distance be- tween the lower margins of eye and of lip; (6) 29–34 maxillary teeth, progressively increasing in size in a continu- ous series, the last two or three abruptly and strongly enlarged, not separated from anterior teeth by a diastema; (7) nostrils piercing laterally or slightly dorsolaterally; (8) tail long but with a ratio Tal/TL lower than 0.30; (9) 159–177 VEN; (10) 90–114 subcaudals, paired; (11) internasals abruptly truncated; (12) 2 prefrontal scales, (13) 1 anterior temporal, (14) venter dark, blackish-brown or black, with some paler, more or less faint longitudinal streaks and sometimes a pale blotch or streak on the outer margin of ventrals; (15) background colour dark brown or blackish- brown; (16) dorsal pattern made of more or less elongate cream, pale yellow or pale orange-brown blotches on a faint dorsolateral stripe; (17) an elongate, cream or pale ochre-yellow blotch, or isolated blotches on the nape; (18) a strong postocular streak; (19) upper head surface with strong, yellow vermiculations; and (20) supralabials cream, ochre-yellow or pale yellowish-brown, edged with dark brown, or divided into a pale and dark area (David et al. 2021). 
CommentType species: Pararhabdophis chapaensis BOURRET 1934 is the type species of the genus Pararhabdophis BOURRET 1934.

Synonymy: Kizirian et al. 2018 and Ren et al. 2018 synonymized Parahelicops with Hebius. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Bourret, R. 1934. Notes herpétologiques sur l'Indochine Française I. Ophidiens de Chapa. Bull. Gen. Instr. Pub. Hanoi 7 (March 1934): 129-138
  • BRAKELS, PETER; THAO THU THI MAI & TAN VAN NGUYEN. 2021. HEBIUS CHAPAENSIS (Sapa Keelback Snake). DIET. Herpetological Review 52 (1): 159. - get paper here
  • DAVID, PATRICK; GERNOT VOGEL, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, NIKOLAI L. ORLOV, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, ALEXANDRE TEYNIÉ, THOMAS ZIEGLER 2021. A revision of the dark-bellied, stream-dwelling snakes of the genus Hebius (Reptilia: Squamata: Natricidae) with the description of a new species from China, Vietnam and Thailand. Zootaxa 4911: 1–61 - get paper here
  • KIZIRIAN, DAVID; NGUYEN QUANG TRUONG, HANH THI NGO, AND MINH DUC LE, 2018. Parahelicops, Pararhabdophis, Paraphyly: Phylogenetic Relationships among Certain Southeast Asian Natricine Snakes (Hebius). American Museum Novitates, (3906):1-7 - get paper here
  • Le, Dzung Trung; Anh Ngoc Dao, Dat Thang Pham, Thomas Ziegler, and Truong Quang Nguyen 2018. New records and an updated list of snakes from Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 11: 101-108 - get paper here
  • Luu, V. Q., Dinh, T. S., Lo, O. V., Nguyen, T. Q. and Ziegler, T. 2020. New records and an updated list of reptiles from Ba Vi National Park, Vietnam. Bonn Zoological Bulletin 69: 1-9.
  • Maury, N., David, P., & Sudavanh, S. 2023. THE SNAKE FAUNA OF LAOS WITH NEW PROVINCIAL RECORDS. TAPROBANICA 11 (2): 84–93 - get paper here
  • Maury, Nathanaël; Patrick David & Somchit Sudavanh 2022. THE SNAKE FAUNA OF LAOS WITH NEW PROVINCIAL RECORDS TAPROBANICA 11 (02): 84–93 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Pham AV, Ziegler T, Nguyen TQ 2020. New records and an updated checklist of snakes from Son La Province, Vietnam. Biodiversity Data Journal 8: e52779 - get paper here
  • REN, JIN-LONG; KAI WANG, TAO THIEN NGUYEN, CHUNG VAN HOANG, GUANG-HUI ZHONG, KE JIANG, PENG GUO, JIA-TANG LI 2018. Taxonomic re-evaluation of the monotypic genus Pararhabdophis Bourret, 1934 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) with discovery of its type species, P. chapaensis, from China. Zootaxa 4486 (1): 031–056 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • 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
  • XU, Y. H., YANG, D. C., GONG, Y. A., WU, J. X., HUANG, R. Y., LIU, Y. J., ... & HUANG, S. 2023. A new species of the Genus Hebius Thompson, 1913 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Baise, Guangxi, China. Zootaxa 5319 (1): 76-90 - get paper here
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