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Paikwaophis kruki KOK & MEANS, 2023

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymPaikwaophis kruki KOK & MEANS 2023: 10 

Type locality: ‘Sloth Camp’ [5.247074° N, 60.705471° W; ~1180 m elevation; Cuyuni-Mazaruni District (Region 7), Guyana, South America], which is located on a broad ridge running downhill along the west fork of the Paikwa River from the bottom of the talus slope below the vertical cliff wall of Wei-Assipu-tepui (Fig. 2).  
TypesHolotype: RBINS 2734 (field number CPI11310; Figs 4–13), an immature female, collected by D. Bruce Means on 24 February 2021. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Paikwaophis can be differentiated from all other Xenodontinae (and Dipsadidae) by the combination of the following morphological characters: head poorly distinct from neck; body robust, slightly wider than high; tail short, ~13% of total length in female; snout short and blunt; rostral wider than high, visible from above; undivided nasal; paired internasals; paired prefrontals; subtriangular frontal; absence of loreal; presence of minute cephalic sensory pits; eye medium in size, with vertically oval pupil, iris dark reddish orange; single supraocular; one preocular, two postoculars; three rows of temporals; chinshields medium in size, anterior chinshields projecting frontolaterally; body scales rhomboid, smooth, lacking keels or apical pits, 17 dorsal scale rows without reduction; subcaudals paired; anal entire; aglyphous, presence of a diastema; low number of teeth: 7 prediastemal maxillary teeth, 2 enlarged postdiastemal maxillary teeth, 8 pterygoid teeth, 5 palatine teeth, 12 dentary teeth; neural spines smooth, ungrooved and not laterally expanded; 175 trunk vertebrae; absence of hypapophyses on posterior vertebrae; caudal vertebrae with distinct haemapophyses; lacrimal foramen large and vertically ovoid; and postorbital bone highly reduced, free from the frontal bone. 
EtymologyNamed after Professor Andrzej Kruk (born 1971), the current Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection at the University of Łódź, Poland, for his friendship and his influential contribution in enhancing the quality of research at the University of Łódź. The name is a noun in the genitive case.

The generic name is derived from the river name “Paikwa” (referring to the type locality) and the Greek ‘ophis’ (meaning snake). 
  • Kok, P. J., & Means, D. B. 2023. Hiding in the mists: molecular phylogenetic position and description of a new genus and species of snake (Dipsadidae: Xenodontinae) from the remote cloud forest of the Lost World. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, zlad082 - get paper here
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