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

Type locality: Süd-Formosa [= South Taiwan], China. 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.
TypesSyntypes: LMNMO 918 (formerly LMNMO 37c & 73), a 583+ mm male, and LMNMO 919 (formerly LMNMO 37b & 74)
Syntypes. REP 918-19
Holotype (abditus): ZFMK 86451 (GenBank: EU999209), adult female. Collected by Thomas Ziegler, 20 June 2006 (mentioned as Lycodon cf. ruhstrati in ZieGler et al. 2007). 
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.

Diagnosis. 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. 
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. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1899. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians made by Mr. J. D. La Touche in N.W. Fokien, China. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1899: 159-172 - get paper here
  • Fischer, J. G. 1886. Herpetologische Notizen. Abh. Geb. Naturw. Hamb. 9: 51-67 (1-19) - get paper here
  • KUCHARZEWSKI, CH. & TILLACK, F. & FUHRMANN, K. 2009. Rediscovery and redescription of the type specimens of Ophites ruhstrati FISCHER, 1886. Herpetozoa 22: - get paper here
  • Lanza,B. 1999. A new species of Lycodon from the Philippines, with a key to the genus (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae). Tropical Zoology 12: 89-104 - get paper here
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  • NEANG, THY; TIMO HARTMANN, SEIHA HUN, NICHOLAS J. SOUTER & NEIL M. FUREY 2014. A new species of wolf snake (Colubridae: Lycodon Fitzinger, 1826) from Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia. Zootaxa 3814 (1): 068–080
  • NORVAL, G. & J.-J. MAO 2006. Die Berg-Wolfszahnnatter (Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati [FISCHER, 1886]): Eine Beschreibung ihres Abwehrverhaltens. Sauria 28 (4): 47-50 - get paper here
  • Norval, G. & Mao, J.J. 2008. An instance of Japalura swinhonis as prey of Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati in Chiayi County, Taiwan. Sauria 30 (3): 43-45 - get paper here
  • Norval, G. & Mao, J.J. 2008. An instance of arboricolous predation by a Mountain Wolf Snake (Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati [FISCHER], 1886]) on a Brown anole (Norops sagrei DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1837). Sauria 30 (1): 59-62 - get paper here
  • Norval, Gerrut; Charles R. Bursey, Stephen R. Goldberg and Jean-Jay Mao. 2009. The first record of Kiricephalus pattoni Stephens, 1908 as a parasite of Lycodon ruhstrati ruhstrati Fischer, 1886 from Chiayi County, Taiwan. Herpetology Notes 2: 79-80. - get paper here
  • Orlov, N. L., R. W. Murphy & T. J. Papenfuss 2000. List of snakes of Tam-Dao mountain ridge (Tonkin, Vietnam). Russ. J. Herpetol. 7 (1): 69-80. - get paper here
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  • Pope, CLIFFORD H. 1928. Seven new reptiles from Fukien Province, China. American Museum Novitates 320: 1-6. - get paper here
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  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Vogel, G. & Brachtel, N. 2008. Contribution to the knowledge of Lycodon ruhstrati (FISCHER, 1886) in Vietnam - taxonomy and biology of a little-known species. Salamandra 44 (4): 207-224 - get paper here
  • Vogel, G. & Luo, J. 2011. A new species of the genus Lycodon (Boie, 1826) from the southwestern mountains of China (Squamata: Colubridae). Zootaxa 2807: 29–40 - get paper here
  • Vogel, G., T. Q. Nguyen, P. Kingsada & T. Ziegler 2012. A new species of the genus Lycodon BOIE, 1826 from Laos (Squamata: Colubridae). North-Western Journal of Zoology, 8: 344-352 - get paper here
  • Vogel, G.; David, P.; Pauwels, O.S.G.; Sumontha, M.; Norval, G.; Hendrix, R.; Vu, N.T. & Ziegler, T. 2009. A revision of Lycodon ruhstrati (Fischer 1886) auctorum (Squamata Colubridae), with the description of a new species from Thailand and a new subspecies from the Asian mainland. Tropical Zoology 22: 131-182 - get paper here
  • Vogel, Gernot 2010. Zur Systematik der Schlangen der orientalischen Region: Forschungsdefizite führen zur Unterschätzung der Artenvielfalt. Ophidia 4 (2): 18-26 - get paper here
  • Vogel, Gernot & Patrick David 2010. A new species of the genus Lycodon (Boie, 1826) from Yunnan Province, China (Serpentes: Colubridae). Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (2): 289–296 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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  • Ziegler, T. 2002. Die Amphibien und Reptilien eines Tieflandfeuchtwald-Schutzgebietes in Vietnam. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 342 pp. - get paper here
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; RALF HENDRIX, VU NGOC THANH, MARTINA VOGT, BERNHARD FORSTER & DANG NGOC KIEN 2007. The diversity of a snake community in a karst forest ecosystem in the central Truong Son, Vietnam, with an identification key. Zootaxa 1493: 1-40 - get paper here
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