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Hebius septemlineatus (SCHMIDT, 1925)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Tengchong Keelback Snake
Chinese: 腾冲腹链蛇 (Teng Chong Fu Lian She) 
SynonymNatrix septemlineata SCHMIDT 1925
Hebius septemlineatus — HOU et al. 2021 
DistributionSW China (W Yunnan)

Type locality: Tengyueh (now Tengchong City), Yunnan Province, China  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: AMNH 21051, collected by R. C. Andrews and E. Heller in May 1917 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Hebius septemlineatus comb. nov. can be distinguished from its recognized congeners by a combination of the following characters: (1) TaL/ToL 23.5%–25.6%; (2) internasals narrowed anteriorly; (3) nasal divided, each half in contact with each other; (4) nostrils lateral; (5) loreal almost quadrilateral, higher than width, separated from orbit; (6) supralabials usually eight; (7) preocular one or two; (8) postoculars usually three; (9) mental triangles; (10) infralabials nine or ten, first pair in contact with each other, first–fifth infralabials in contact with anterior chin shields; (11) dorsal scales 19-19-17 rows; (12) dorsal scale rows reduced from 19 to 17 at position of third and fourth dorsal scale rows and from 97th to 101st ventrals; (13) ventrals 164–175; (14) subcaudals 80–96, paired; (15) anal divided; (16) four dorsal stripes on each side, not including ventrolateral stripe; and (17) ventral pale yellow (from Hou et al. 2021, based on n = 7).

Comparisons: H. octolineatus can be rather easily separated from H. septemlineatus comb. nov. by (1) number of ventrals (164–175 vs. 150–154), (2) number of subcaudals (80–96 vs. 70–80), (3) more posterior occurrence of reduction in dorsal scale rows from 19 to 17 (97th to 101st ventrals vs. 81st to 86th ventrals), (4) fourth and fifth supralabials yellow (vs. fourth and fifth supralabials yellow with back edge black); (5) vertebral behind head yellow and immediately after dark, continued to base of tail (vs. dorsum pale grayish brown) (Hou et al. 2021). 
CommentSynonymy: Pope (1935:112 synonymized Natrix septemlineata Natrix octolineatum, but Hou et al. 2021 resurrected H. septemlineatus and placed it in Hebius.

Similar species: Hebius octolineatus. 
References
  • Hou, S. B., Yuan, Z. Y., Wei, P. F., Zhao, G. G., Liu, G. H., Wu, Y. H., ... & Che, J. 2021. Molecular phylogeny and morphological comparisons of the genus Hebius Thompson, 1913 (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) uncover a new taxon from Yunnan Province, China, and support revalidation of Hebius septemlineatus (Schmidt, 1925). Zoological Research, 42(5): 620-625 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, KARL P. 1925. New Chinese amphibians and reptiles. American Museum Novitates (175): 1-3. - get paper here
  • 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
 
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