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Lycodon cavernicolus GRISMER, QUAH, ANUAR M.S., MuiN, WOOD & NOR, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesGua Wang Burma Wolf Snake 
SynonymLycodon cavernicolus GRISMER, QUAH, ANUAR M.S., MuiN, WOOD & NOR 2014 
DistributionPeninsular Malaysia (Perlis)

Type locality: Gua Wang Burma, Perlis State Park, Perlis, Peninsular Malaysia (6°41.594N 100°11.400E at 175 m elevation). Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: LSUHC 9985, adult female, collected on 12 March 2011 by Evan S.H. Quah and Shahrul Anuar M.S.
Paratype. Juvenile male (LSUHC 10500) has the same data as the holotype except for being collected on 23 May 2010. 
CommentDiagnosis. Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is separated from all other species of the L. ruhstrati and L. fasciatus groups by having the combination of an elongate loreal scale that enters the orbit; 245 (male) and 232 (female) ventral scales; 113 (male) and 92 (female) paired subcaudal scales; a single precloacal plate; nine or 10 supralabials; 10 or 11 infralabials; a maximum total length of 508 mm for the single female; relative tail length 0.25–0.27; venter immaculate as juveniles and with dark edging on the posterior margins of the ventral scales in adults; and bands in juveniles that are white (Tables 2,3).

Comparisons. Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is distinguishable from all species of the ruhstrati group by having a single loreal scale that enters the orbit as opposed to the loreal scale not entering the orbit. From the species of the fasciatus group it differs by having more ventral scales (232–245 vs. 182–227 collectively); more subcaudal scales in the male (113 vs. 65–92 collectively); a much smaller adult female total length (508 vs. 615–762 collectively); more caudal bands (29–41 vs. 7–23 collectively); and a belly pattern that lacks wide, dark bands or dark spots (Table 2). Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is further separated from its closest relative L. butleri by the loreal and internasals being separat as opposed to contacting and having an uncorrected p-distance of 9.3% (Table 4). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “cavernicolus” is an adjective derived from the Latin caverna meaning “cave” and the Latin cola meaning “dweller of” and refers to this species being a cave-dweller. 
References
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; EVAN S.H. QUAH, SHAHRUL ANUAR M.S,, MOHD ABDUL MUIN, PERRY L. WOOD, JR & SITI AZIZAH MOHD NOR 2014. A diminutive new species of cave-dwelling Wolf Snake (Colubridae: Lycodon Boie, 1826) from Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa 3815 (1): 051–067
 
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