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Opisthotropis laui YANG, SUNG & CHAN, 2013

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Lau’s Mountain Stream Snake
Chinese: Liu Shi Hou Leng She 
SynonymOpisthotropis laui YANG, SUNG & CHAN 2013 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Beifengshan Forest Park, Mt. Gudou, Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province, China (22°14'20'' N, 112°55'05'' E, ca. 300 m elevation. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: KIZ 060100, female, collected by Bosco P.L. Chan and Michael W.N. Lau on 26 July 2002, preserved in 80% alcohol and deposited at Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China (KIZ). 
CommentOpisthotropis laui can be distinguished from other congeners by the combina- tion of the following characters: dorsal scales weakly keeled throughout, in 25:23:23 rows; 10 supralabials; 11 infralabials; two internasals, longer than wide, not touching the loreal; one loreal, not touching the eye; one preocular; two postoculars; one anterior temporal scale; 152 ventrals; 53 subcaudals; body and tail dark olive above, with light yellow crossbars.

Behavior: nocturnal

Diagnosis. Opisthotropis laui sp. nov. differs from other species of Opisthotropis by the combination of the following characters: dorsal scales weakly keeled throughout, in 25:23:23 rows; 10 supralabials; 11 infralabials; two internasals, longer than wide, not touching with the loreal; one loreal, not touching with the eye; one preocular; two postoculars; one anterior temporal scale; 152 ventrals; 53 subcaudals; body and tail dark olive above, with light yellow cross bars. See Table 1 for the detailed morphological comparison of the new species with other congeners. In the appearance, Opisthotropis laui sp. nov. greatly resembles O. cheni and O. guangxiensis since all three species present narrow light cross bars on dorsum (Zhao et al., 2006; David et al., 2011; Fig. 3). Opisthotropis laui sp. nov. differs from O. cheni by having dorsal scale rows 25:23:23 (vs. 17:17:17 in O. cheni), weakly keeled throughout (vs. all but the outer one weakly keeled in O. cheni); one preocular (vs. absent in O. cheni); more supralabials (10 vs. 7–9 in O. cheni); more infralabials (11 vs. 8–10 in O. cheni); loreal not touching the eye (vs. touching in O. cheni). Opisthotropis laui sp. nov. differs from O. guangxiensis by having dorsal scale rows 25:23:23 (vs. 17:17:17 in O. guangxiensis), weakly keeled throughout (vs. smooth throughout in O. guangxiensis); more infralabials (11 vs. 8–9 in O. guangxiensis); fewer ventral scales (152 vs. 166–174 in O. guangxiensis). 
EtymologyWe name this new species, “laui”, in honor of Michael Wai-Neng Lau from Hong Kong, in recognition of his long-term contribution to biodiversity, in particular herpetological research and conservation in Southern China. 
References
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YIK-HEI SUNG & BOSCO PUI-LOK CHAN 2013. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Guangdong Province, China. Zootaxa 3646 (3): 289–296 - get paper here
 
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