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Opisthotropis shenzhenensis WANG, GUO, LIU, LYU, WANG, LUO, SUN & ZHANG, 2017

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Shenzhen Mountain Stream Snake
Chinese: Shenzhen Hou Leng She 
SynonymOpisthotropis shenzhenensis WANG, GUO, LIU, LYU, WANG, LUO, SUN & ZHANG 2017 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Mt. Wutong (22°34′54.8′′N, 114°12′2.7′′E; 260 m a.s.l.), Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. SYS r001018, adult male, collected by Jian Zhao and Run-Lin Li on 15 September, 2014. Paratypes: SYS r000635, an adult male, collected by JHY and RLL on 11 April, 2012 from the same locality as the holotype. Three adult female specimens: SYS r000636 collected by JHY and RLL on 11 April, 2012 from the same locality as the holotype; SYS r001021 collected by JZ and RLL on 17 September, 2014 from Sanzhoutian (22°38′52.16′′N, 114°16′32.08′′E; 314 m a.s.l.), Shenzhen City; SYS r001032 collected by JZ and RLL on 19 September, 2014 from Mt. Tiantou (22°41′1.75′′N, 114°24′17.58′′E; 327 m a.s.l.), Shenzhen City; SYS r001145 collected by JW and ZTL on 13 April, 2015 from Mt. Yingping (22°52′40.54′′N, 114°9′12.27′′E; 155 m a.s.l.), Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China. 
CommentDiagnosis. Opisthotropis shenzhenensis sp. nov. differs from other species of Opisthotropis by a combination of the following characters: (1) TL 328–412 mm; (2) tail short, TaL 16–19% of TL; (3) rostral, narrowed, RW 25– 30% of HW; (4) nasal in contact with first, second and third supralabials; (5) nasal cleft invariably pointing to the middle of upper edge of second supralabial; (6) loreal 1.3–1.6 times as long as deep; (7) loreal not entering the orbit, not in contact with second supralabials in all known specimens; (8) supralabials 9–10, the last one smaller than adjacent preceding one; (9) infralabials 8–10; (10) dorsal scale rows 19:19:19; (11) dorsal scales keeled throughout, weakly keeled on neck, posteriorly strongly keeled; (12) ventrals 162–179; subcaudals 53–60; (13) olive-green above in life, each scale with black edge, forming fine mesh pattern; yellow beneath, ventral surface of head and tail mottled with blackish grey.

Comparisons. Opisthotropis shenzhenensis sp. nov. is mostly similar to O. andersonii and O. maxwelli in habitus, color and pattern. In our phylogenetic tree, the new species is the sister taxon of O. andersonii, from which it differs in having (1) DSR 19:19:19 vs. 17:17:17; (2) dorsal scales keeled throughout, weakly keeled on neck, posteriorly strongly keeled vs. smooth on the anterior neck, posteriorly feebly keeled, rather strongly keeled on posterior part of body; (3) rostral small, RW 25–30% of HW vs. rostral slightly large, RW 31–37% of HW; (4) nasal in contact with first, second and third supralabials vs. only with first and second, not in contact with third; (5) loreal 1.3–1.6 times as long as deep vs. 2.1–2.9 times as long as deep; (6) loreal not in contact with second supralabial vs. loreal in contact with second supralabial. Opisthotropis shenzhenensis sp. nov differs from O. maxwelli in having (1) DSR 19:19:19 vs. 17:17:17; (2) tail short, TaL 16–19% of TL vs. TaL 20–23% of TL; (3) the last supralabial smaller than adjacent preceding one vs. the last supralabial is the longest one; (4) dorsal scales keeled throughout, weakly keeled on neck, posteriorly strongly keeled vs. smooth on the anterior neck, feebly keeled posteriorly, rather strongly keeled on posterior part of body; (5) nasal cleft invariably pointing to the middle of upper edge of second supralabial vs. invariable pointing to the apex angle of first supralabial; (6) nasal in contact with first, second and third supralabials vs. in contact only with first and second, but not with third. See Fig. 6 in Wang et al. 2017.
Opisthotropis shenzhenensis sp. nov., O. andersonii, O. lateralis and O. kuatunensis are sympatric species from Mt. Wutong, Shenzhen. O. shenzhenensis differs from O. lateralis by having DSR 19:19:19 vs. 17:17:17; a single preocular vs. two preoculars; uniformly olive-green above with black mesh pattern on dorsal surface of body and tail vs. brown above, with a distinct longitudinal black stripe on both sides of body. O. shenzhenensis differs from O. kuatunensis by having 9–10 supralabials, all of which entire vs. 13–16 supralabials, first six to eight entire, posterior ones divided horizontally; dorsal scales weakly keeled on neck, strongly keeled on body and tail vs. extremely strongly keeled throughout; olive-green above with black mesh pattern on dorsal body and tail vs. brown above, with black longitudinal stripes on body and tail.
Opisthotropis shenzhenensis sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from other Chinese congeners as follows: It differs from O. latouchii in having DSR 19:19:19 vs. 17:17:17; loreal not entering the orbit vs. entering the orbit; olive-green above with black mesh pattern vs. yellowish green above, with alternate longitudinal black and yellow stripes. It differs from O. cheni in having DSR 19:19:19 vs. 17:17:17; loreal not entering the orbit vs. entering the orbit; olive-green above with black mesh pattern vs. dark olive brown above, with yellow crossbars or marks. It differs from O. laui in having DSR 19:19:19 vs. 25:23:23; olive-green above with black mesh pattern vs. dark olive above, with pale yellow crossbars. It differs from O. balteata in having DSR 19:19:19 vs. 19:19:17; V 162–179, SC 53–60 vs.V 190–205, SC 56–86; dorsal scales keeled throughout, weakly keeled on neck, posteriorly strongly keeled vs. smooth anteriorly, keeled posteriorly; olive-green above with black mesh pattern on dorsal body and tail vs. yellow or orange-yellow above, with at least 40 pairs of black bands. It differs from O. guangxiensis in having DSR 19:19:19 vs.17:15:15; dorsal scales keeled vs. smooth; olive-green above with black mesh pattern vs. olive- brown above, with narrow light yellow crossbars. It differs from O. maculosa in having DSR 19:19:19 vs.15:15:15; dorsal scales keeled vs. smooth; olive-green above, each scale with black edge vs. olive-brown above, each scale with single yellow spot. Lastly, it differs from O. jacobi in having DSR 19:19:19 vs.15:15:15; dorsal scales keeled vs. smooth.
Opisthotropis shenzhenensis differs from the other 10 congeners not occurring in China in having DSR 19:19:19 vs. DSR 17:17:17 in O. daovantieni Orlov, Darevsky & Murphy, 1998 and O. spenceri Smith, 1918, 19:17:17 in O. tamdaoensis Ziegler, David & Vu, 2008, 19:17:15 in O. rugosa (Lidth de Jeude, 1890), 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody in O. atra Günther, 1872, 19:21:17 in O. durandi Teynié, Lottier, David, Nguyen & Vogel, 2013, 15 dorsal scale rows at midbody in O. kikuzatoi Okada & Takara, 1958; loreal not in contact with internasal in both sides of head vs. in contact in O. alcalai Brown & Leviton, 1961, O. cucae David, Pham, Nguyen & Ziegler, 2011, O. typica (Mocquard, 1890), O. atra, O. daovantieni, O. durandi, O. rugosa and O. spenceri; SPL 9– 10 vs. 12–13 in O. alcalai, 7 in O. atra and O. cucae, 6–7 in O. durandi, 12–13 in O. rugosa, 11–12 in O. typica; V 162–179 and SC 53–60 vs. V 195 in O. alcalai, V 191 and SC 44 in O. cucae, V 189–194 and SC 39–47 in O. daovantieni, SC 88–90 in O. durandi, V 180–198 in O. kikuzatoi, SC 82–95 in O. typica; dorsal scales keeled throughout vs. smooth throughout in O. alcalai, O. cucae, O. daovantieni, O. durandi, and O. spenceri.

Sympatry: Opisthotropis shenzhenensis, O. andersonii, O. kuatunensis and O. lateralis.
 
EtymologyThe specific name “shenzhenensis” is derived from the type locality of the new species, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China. 
References
  • WANG, YING-YONG; QIANG GUO, ZU-YAO LIU, ZHI-TONG LYU, JIAN WANG, LIN LUO, YAN-JUN SUN, YAN-WU ZHANG 2017. Revisions of two poorly known species of Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) with description of a new species from China. Zootaxa 4247(4): 391-412; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4247.4.3 - get paper here
 
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