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Opisthotropis hungtai WANG, LYU, ZENG, LIN, YANG, NGUYEN, LE, ZIEGLER & WANG, 2020

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Hung-Ta Chang’s mountain Keelback
Chinese: 张氏后棱蛇 (Zhang Shi Hou Leng She) 
SynonymOpisthotropis hungtai WANG, LYU, ZENG, LIN, YANG, NGUYEN, LE, ZIEGLER & WANG 2020
Opisthotropis maculosa — YANG et al. (2011) (part)
Opisthotropis maculosa — STUART & CHUAYNKERN 2007
Opisthotropis maculosa — REN et al. 2019 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Heishiding Nature Reserve, Fengkai County, Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, 300 m a.s.l., P.R. China.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. SYS r000946, adult male, collected by Jian Zhao on 2 September 2014.
Paratypes (N = 7). SYS r001350, Adult female collected by Zhi-Tong Lyu on 15 August 2015, adult female SYS r000720 collected by Ying-Yong Wang on 28 June 2012, and adult female SYS r001525 collected by Zhi-Tong Lyu and Ying-Yong Wang on 1 July 2016, from the same locality as the holotype. Adult male KFBG 2002.01 collected by Zhi Xiao on 2 July 2002, adult male SYS r002017 collected by Jian Wang on 14 June 2018, and adult male SYS a001515 collected by Jian Wang on 8 July 2017, all from Dawuling Forestry Station, Xinyi City, Maoming City, Guangdong Province, ca 1150 m a.s.l., P.R. China. Adult male SYS a000538, collected by Qing Du and Runlin Li on 14 July 2009 from Mt. Wuhuang, Pubei County, Qinzhou City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, ca 360 m a.s.l., P.R. China. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Opisthotropis hungtai sp. nov. is characterized by the following combination of characters: (1) TL 464.3–501.2 mm in adult males, 393.2–511 mm in females, (2) tail moderate, TaL/TL 0.20–0.26 in males, 0.19–0.22 in females, (3) internasal not in contact with loreal, prefrontal not touching supraocular, frontal touching preocular, (4) one preocular, one or two postocular(s), (5) temporals 1+1, (6) supralabials seven, the fourth and fifth in contact with eye; (6) maxillary teeth 16–18, (7) anterior pair of chin shields longer than or equal to posterior pair; (8) ventrals 170–189 (+ 2 preventrals) in males, 168–175 (+ 2 preventrals) in females, (9) subcaudals 76–98 in males, 69–84 in females, (9) nasal cleft pointing to the second supralabial, (10) body scale in 15–15–15 rows, (11) body scales smooth, tail scales smooth or indistinctly keeled, (12) chin shields yellow with brownish black mottling, and (13) body and tail dorsum dark, each with a light spot per scale.

Comparisons. Opisthotropis hungtai sp. nov. is compared with O. maculosa and O. haihaensis, which share a very similar appearance. Measurements, scalation and body proportions of O. haihaensis and Opisthotropis hungtai sp. nov. are listed in Table 3.
Opisthotropis hungtai sp. nov. differs from O. maculosa by prefrontal not touching supraocular (vs. prefrontal touching supraocular in O. maculosa), by frontal touching preocular (vs. frontal not touching preocular in O. maculosa), by fourth and fifth supralabials in contact with eye (vs. fourth supralabial in contact with eye in O. maculosa), by anterior pair of chin shields longer than or equal to posterior pair (vs. anterior pair of chin shields shorter than posterior pair in O. maculosa), by a higher number of subcaudals, 76–98 in males (vs. 67 in the single male holotype of O. maculosa), and by chin shields yellow with brownish black mottling (vs. immaculate in O. maculosa).
Opisthotropis hungtai sp. nov. differs from O. haihaensis by having seven supralabials, the second last one significantly enlarged, narrow and long, significantly wider than high (vs. eight supralabials, the second last one slightly enlarged, slightly wider than high in O. haihaensis) (Fig. 5), and MT 16–18 (vs. MT 22–24 in O. haihaensis). 
CommentHabitat: The specimen from Mt. Wuhuang was collected in a rocky stream. Besides, specimens from Heishiding Nature Reserve were found in pelitic gutterways along the dirt path, and specimens from Dawuling Forestry Station were collected in a pelitic stream. The collection sites were all surrounded by well-preserved, dense deciduous forest. 
EtymologyThe species name “hungtai” refers to Professor Hung-Ta Chang (=Hong-Da Zhang, 张宏达), an outstanding botanist, who established the Tropical and Subtropical Forest Ecosystem Experimental Center in Heishiding Nature Reserve, promoting the development of ecological research in southern China. 
References
  • Wang, J., Lyu, Z-T., Zeng, Z-C., Lin, C-Y., Yang, J-H., Nguyen, T. Q., Le, M. D., Ziegler, T. and Wang, Y-Y. 2020. Re-examination of the Chinese record of Opisthotropis maculosa (Squamata, Natricidae), resulting in the first national record of O. haihaensis and description of a new species. ZooKeys 913: 141-159.
 
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