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Lycodon ruhstrati (FISCHER, 1886)

IUCN Red List - Lycodon ruhstrati - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesLycodon ruhstrati abditus VOGEL, DAVID, PAUWELS, SUMONTHA, NORVAL, HENDRIX, RU & ZIEGLER 2009
Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati (FISCHER 1886) 
Common NamesE: Mountain Wolf Snake, Formosa Wolf Snake
G: Berg-Wolfszahnnatter
Chinese: 黑背白环蛇 
SynonymOphites Ruhstrati FISCHER 1886: 16
Dinodon septentrionalis — BOULENGER 1893: 363 (part.)
Dinodon septentrionalis var. ruhstrati — BOULENGER 1899: 165
Dinodon septentrionale ruhstrati — STEJNEGER 1907: 370
Ophites ruhstrati — ZHAO & ADLER 1993
Lycodon ruhstrati — LANZA 1999
Dinodon ruhstrati — WEB SITE
Lycodon ruhstrati — ZIEGLER 2002: 241
Lycodon cf. ruhstrati — ZIEGLER et al. 2007
Lycodon ruhstrati — WALLACH et al. 2014: 395

Lycodon ruhstrati abditus — LUU et al. 2018 
DistributionTaiwan, China (Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, northward to Anhui and west to Sichuan [elevation 800-1850 m] and SE Gansu), N Vietnam (elevation 500-1500 m)

ruhstrati: Taiwan (endemic)

abditus: Vietnam, Laos. Type locality: U Bo region, Phong Nha – Ke Bang NP, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam.

Type locality: Süd-Formosa [= South Taiwan], China.  
TypesSyntypes: LMNMO 918 (formerly LMNMO 37c & 73), a 583+ mm male, and LMNMO 919 (formerly LMNMO 37b & 74)
Syntypes. REP 918-19
Holotype: ZFMK 86451 (GenBank: EU999209), adult female. Collected by Thomas Ziegler, 20 June 2006 (mentioned as Lycodon cf. ruhstrati in Ziegler et al. 2007), paratypes in ZFMK, MNHN and ZMB [abditus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Lycodon, is characterized by: (1) a loreal not entering the orbit; (2) 17 dorsal scale rows at the forepart of the body and at midbody; (3) upper dorsal rows distinctly keeled; and (4) a banded body and tail.

Diagnosis (ruhstrati): A species of the genus Lycodon, characterized by: (1) a loreal not entering orbit; (2) 17 dorsal scale rows at the forepart of the body and at midbody; (3) upper dorsal rows distinctly keeled; (4) 212-228 ventrals in males and 217-224 in females; (5) 105-114 Sc in males and 97-108 in females; (6) a relative tail length of 0.220-0.248 in males and 0.211-0.239 in females; (7) 33-46 bands on body; (8) the first band starting at Ven 8-16.

Diagnosis (abditus): A subspecies of Lycodon ruhstrati, characterized by: (1) a loreal not entering orbit; (2) 17 dorsal scale rows at the forepart of the body and at midbody; (3) three to five upper dorsal scale (including vertebral) rows distinctly keeled; (4) 214-224 ventrals in males and 220-229 in females; (5) 90-100 Sc in males and 92-103 in females; (6) a relative tail length of 0.208-0.237 in males and 0.207-0.236 in females; (7) 19-43 bands on body; (8) the first band starting at Ve 12-17; and (9) 6-7 + 3-4 + 2 much enlarged upper maxillary teeth, each group of teeth separated by a wide gap.
This new subspecies differs from the nominate subspecies by (1) a lower ratio of TaL/TL in males, 0.208-0.237 (x = 0.218, s = 0.009) vs 0.220-0.248 (x = 0.230, s = 0.009) in L. ruhstrati ruhstrati, (2) a lower number of SC, 90-100 (x = 93.5, s = 3.2) in males and 92-103 (x = 96.0, s = 4.1) in females vs 105-114 (x = 107.8, s = 3.4) and 97-106 (x = 103.1, s = 3.8) respectively in the nominate subspecies, and (3) a lower number of bands on the body, 29-43 (x = 34.6, s = 3.6) vs 33-46 (x = 38.6, s = 3.6) in the nominate subspecies. 
CommentTaxonomy and nomenclature: For a discussion of nomenclatorial issues concerning the genera Lycodon and Ophites see Zhao & Adler (who listed this species under Ophites). Dinodon futsingensis POPE 1928, previously a synonym of L. ruhstrati, has been revalidated by VOGEL et al. 2009. Lycodon ruhstrati multifasciatus (MAKI 1931) has been elevated to full species status by VOGEL et al. 2009.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Mr. Ruhstrat, who collected the types in southern Taiwan.

abditus: The subspecific nomen of this subspecies is the Latin adjective abditus (-a, -um), meaning “hidden”, in allusion to the long confusion of this species with Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati. 
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