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Oligodon lipipengi JIANG, WANG, LI, DING, DING & CHE, 2020

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Medog Kukri Snake 
SynonymOligodon lipipengi JIANG, WANG, LI, DING, DING & CHE in CHE et al. 2020: 701 
DistributionChina (Tibet)

Type locality: Beibeng, Medog, Tibet (29.239° N, 95.176° E, 680 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: KIZ 011055, adult male, collected on May 28, 2011, by Pipeng LI. Paratypes: KIZ011042, adult male, collected as same locality and date as holotype; KIZ019520, adult male, collected from the road of Didong to Xi.rang, Beibeng (29.183° N, 95.033° E, 810 m), Medog on April 17, 2016, by Ke JIANG, Yufan WANG, and Cheng LI; KIZ032540, adult male, collected from Dexing, Medog in June 2018, by Xiaoyong DING; holotype and above 3 paratypes are deposited in the Zoological Museum, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. SYNU04II6240, adult male, collected from Medog County in August 2004, by Dingqi RAO and Wenge ZHAO, deposited in henyang Normal University. CIB9894, adult female, collected from Beibeng, Medog on July 21, 1983, y Shengquan LI; CIB9895, adult female, collected from Medog in 1974, collector is unknown, above 2 paratypes are deposited in the Herpetological Museum, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (1) size large (TOL 720 to 900 mm, n=6); (2) 11 maxillary teeth, the last four distinctly enlarged; (3) dorsal scale rows 19-19-15; (4) cloacal plate entire; (5) loreal single; (6) 7 supralabials, the third and fourth entering orbit; (7) 191-195 ventrals and 62-65 pairs ofsubcaudal in males (n=4), 198-200 ventrals and 49-52 pairs of subcaudal in females (n=2); (8) tail short, ratio TAL/TOL: 0.181-0.203 in males (n=4), 0.144-0.164 in females (n=2); (9) the background of dorsal side brown, with 23-24 oval, black-edged and dark brown blotches on body, and 4-5 butterfly-shaped blotches on the tail; (10) venter yellowish-white, heavily marked with dark grey blotches; and (11) hemipenis reaching in situ the 30th subcaudal, unforked, with two papillae (from Jiang et al. 2020: 702)

Comparisons: Gloydius lipipengi sp. nov. and G. swild sp. nov. can be differentiated from the species in the G. blomhoffii complex by having three palatine teeth (versus four palatine teeth), from the G. halys complex by having 21 rows of mid-body dorsal scales (versus 22 or 23 rows). Gloydius lipipengi sp. nov. differs from other species in G. strauchi complex by the third supralabial scale not touching the orbit, from G. strauchi, G. huangi, and G. rubromaculatus by having large irregular black markings on the back (versus four irregular longitudinal stripes or discrete blotches in G. strauchi, complete dark brown patches in G. huangi, and large red crossbands in G. rubromaculatus (Wang et al. 2019), from G. monticola by having seven supralabials (versus always six supralabials) and more subcaudal scales (46 pairs versus always fewer than 30 pairs), from G. qinlingensis and G. liupanensis by its greyish brown body color (versus yellowish-brown body color) and lacking a lateral white line on each lateral side (versus possessing a lateral white line on each side). Gloydius lipipengi sp. nov. can be differentiated from G. himalayanus by possessing an indistinct canthus rostralis (versus very distinct canthus rostralis; Gloyd and Conant 1990). (Shi et al. 2021).

Color in life: Eye dark brown on the upper half while black on the bottom half, pupil black, vertical with light yellow margins; postorbital stripe wide, greyish brown and black bordered on the lower edge, extending from the posterior orbit to the ventral surface of the neck; supralabials and infralabials greyish brown, scattered with very small irregularly sized black blotches. One black triangular mark on the anterodorsal head, covering the caudomedial part of prefrontals. One bold black M-shaped mark on the dorsomedial head, covering the caudal part of lateral frontals, the lateral part of parietals, merged with the postorbital stripe at the largest temporal scale (but not covering the upper postorbital). The upper postorbital white while the top part of the bottom postorbital is black (covered by the postorbital stripe). (Shi et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after Professor Pipeng LI who collected the holotype of this species. 
  • Che J, Jiang K, Yan F, Zhang Y. 2020. Amphibians and Reptiles in Tibet––Diversity and Evolution. Science Press, Beijing, China. 803 pp
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