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Lycodon liuchengchaoi ZHANG, JIANG, VOGEL & RAO, 2011

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesChinese: 刘氏白环蛇 
SynonymLycodon liuchengchaoi ZHANG, JIANG, VOGEL & RAO 2011
Lycodon liuchengchaoi — LEI et al. 2014
Lycodon luichengchaoi — GRISMER et al. 2014 (in error)
Lycodon liuchengchaoi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 395
Lycodon liuchengchaoi — GAO et al. 2022 
DistributionChina (Sichuan, Hunan)

Type locality: Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve (32.5439°N, 104.8322°E, elevation 1360m), Qingchuan County, Sichuan Province, P. R. China  
TypesHolotype: CWNU 867001 (Figs. 1–3), an adult male. Collected by Qixiang Deng in July, 1986. Paratypes. CWNU84002, an adult female, collected from an elevation of 1230 m in the Tangjiahe, by Qixiang Deng on the same date as holotype; FMNH 15148, Monping, Szechwan (=Baoxing County, Sichuan Province), collected by Herbert Stevens, 28 August 1929. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Lycodon liuchengchaoi sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Lycodon by the following combination of characters: (1) 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody, several median rows feebly keeled; (2) 7–8 supralabials, the third and fourth or the third to fifth entering eye; (3) loreal entering orbit but not in contact with internasals; (4) anal divided; (5) more than 40 well-defined yellow rings evenly spaced along the entire length of the black body, and more than 10 yellow rings evenly spaced along the black tail; (6) hemipenis not forked at the tip.

In terms of pattern, L. liuchengchaoi is most similar to L. fasciatus except for the fact that the bands are yellow instead of whitish-brown or cream, but differs by the following traits: seven supralabials in two of the three specimens, the third and fourth entering orbit (in one case the third, fourth and fifth) (eight supralabials in all 72 specimens of L. fasciatus examined by us except one, which has 9 on one side, with the third, fourth and fifth entering eye); usually 8 infralabials (L. fasciatus usually 9); anal divided (anal entire in L. fasciatus); hemipenis has no nick at the tip (hemipenis of L. fasciatus has a nick at the tip, Fig. 4 in ZHANG et al. 2011). 
CommentHabitat: floor of broad-leaved deciduous forest. 
EtymologyThe species is named after Dr. Cheng-chao Liu (now spelled Chengzhao Liu; 1900–1976), one of the founders of modern Chinese herpetology. Since 1938, Dr. Liu taught in West China Union University (West China University of Medical Science later) until the end of his life, and established the Department of Herpetology in Chengdu Institute of Biology in the 1960s. His best-known book “Amphibians of Western China” was published in 1950. He contributed substantially to the taxonomy and life history of amphibians and reptiles. 
  • GAO, ZHIWEI; TIANYU QIAN, JIANPING JIANG, DEJIA HOU, XUEJIAN DENG & DAODE YANG. 2022. Species diversity and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Hunan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (2): 21290, 1–15 - get paper here
  • 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 - get paper here
  • Janssen HY, Pham CT, Ngo HT, Le MD, Nguyen TQ, Ziegler T 2019. A new species of Lycodon Boie, 1826 (Serpentes, Colubridae) from northern Vietnam. ZooKeys 875: 1-29 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2012. Liste der im Jahr 2011 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (3): 46-57 - get paper here
  • LEI, Juan; Xiaoyu SUN, Ke JIANG, Gernot VOGEL, David T. BOOTH, Li DING 2014. Multilocus Phylogeny of Lycodon and the Taxonomic Revision of Oligodon multizonatum. Asian Herpetological Research 5 (1): 26–37 - get paper here
  • VOGEL, GERNOT; PATRICK DAVID 2019. A new species of the Lycodon fasciatus complex from the Khorat Plateau, eastern Thailand (Reptiles, Squamata, Colubridae). Zootaxa 4577 (3): 515–528 - 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, 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
  • ZHANG, JUN; KE JIANG, GERNOT VOGEL & DINGQI RAO 2011. A new species of the genus Lycodon (Squamata, Colubridae) from Sichuan Province, China. Zootaxa 2982: 59–68 - get paper here
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