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Liopholidophis baderi GLAW, KUCHARZEWSKI, NAGY, HAWLITSCHEK & VENCES, 2013

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Pseudoxyrhophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLiopholidophis baderi GLAW, KUCHARZEWSKI, NAGY, HAWLITSCHEK & VENCES 2013 
DistributionCE Madagascar (Andasibe)

Type locality: near Hotel Feon'ny Ala (18° 56.845'S, 48° 25.078'E, ca. 940 m a. s. l.), at ca. 2.5 km distance from the village of Andasibe, central eastern Madagascar  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 62235, probably adult male (right hemipenis partially everted), collected dead, on 31 January 1996 by F. Glaw.
Paratype MNHN 1988.331, probably adult male (hemipenes fully everted), collected at Perinet [=Andasibe], central eastern Madagascar, on 19 December 1966 by E. R. Brygoo (according to Domergue 1988), but see Cadle (1996a: 455). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species attributed to the genus Liopholidophis because of its general morphology and its position in the molecular phylogenetic tree (Fig. 1 in GLAW et al. 201). The new species differs from all species of Liopholidophis, the superficially similar Liophidium , and all other Madagascan lamprophiid snakes by the presence of only 15 dorsal scale rows around the midbody (versus at least 17 scale rows at midbody in all other advanced Malagasy snakes). In addition it differs from all other species of Liopholidophis except L. rhadinaea by much smaller size of males (maximum total length 12.5 mm versus 889–166 mm), lower number of subcaudals in males (71–77 versus 88– 221), short relative tail length (male tail length/total length 0.28–0.29 versus 0.0–0.55), presence of three light spots in the neck (versus absence) and a uniformly red belly in life that fades in preservative (never red in all other species). The new species is similar in general habitus and colouration (red belly in life, light spots in the neck) to Liopholidophis rhadinaea (Fig. 5) but differs from this species by having fewer ventrals in males (149–158 versus 170–179), fewer subcaudals in males (71–77 versus 126–17), and smaller size (maximum total length of males 12.5 mm versus 749 mm, maximum snout-vent length of males 221.5 mm versus 429 mm). L. baderi is the sister species and most similar to L. oligolepis sp. nov., which will be described and diagnosed below. L. baderi differs furthermore from all other Liopholidophis species by substantial genetic differentiation. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific name is a patronym for Frank Bader (Germany) in recognition of his support of research and nature conservation through the BIOPAT initiative. 
References
  • Glaw, Frank; Christoph Kucharzewski; Zoltán T. Nagy; Oliver Hawlitschek; Miguel Vences 2013. New insights into the systematics and molecular phylogeny of the Malagasy snake genus Liopholidophis suggest at least one rapid reversal of extreme sexual dimorphism in tail length. Org Divers Evol, DOI 10.1007/s13127-013-0152-4 - get paper here
 
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