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Rhabdophis guangdongensis ZHU, WANG, TAKEUCHI & ZHAO, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesGuangdong Keelback 
SynonymRhabdophis guangdongensis ZHU, WANG, TAKEUCHI & ZHAO 2014 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Aizhai Village (24°56′16.58′′ N, 113°39′57.82′′ E; 132 m a.s.l., datum = WGS84), Renhua County, Guangdong Province, China  
TypesHolotype: SYSU r000018, adult female, collected by Ying-Yong Wang, on May 26, 2008 (Sun Yat-sen University = SYS, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Rhabdophis guangdongensis sp. nov. can be diagnosed by the combination of the following characters: 1) head distinct from the neck; 2) the presence of a nuchal groove, with enlarged and paired scales on each side; 3) maxillary teeth 20, the posterior-most three teeth abruptly enlarged, not grooved, and not separated by diastemata from the rest of the series; 4) nostril large and lateral, in a completely divided nasal; 5) supralabials six, the third and fourth touching the eye; 6) seven infralabials, the first four contact with anterior chin-shields; 7) dorsal scales in 15 rows throughout, feebly keeled, the outer row smooth; 8) ventrals 126; 9) anal divided; 10) subcaudals 39, paired; (11) the presence of a final spine at tip of tail; 12) top of head, occiput and nape before black collar grey; 13) a broad black collar, posteriorly bordering a reverse V-shaped orange mark on the nape; 14) dorsal surface of body and tail brown-grey, with narrow black cross-bars; 15) body and tail with two dorsolateral longitudinal brownish-red lines, respectively with a series of white spots in cross-bars.; 16) lips with two conspicuous black oblique bands; 17) ventral surface of head and neck cream with black spots, posteriorly gradually becoming entirely black.
CommentSympatry: Rhabdophis subminiatus.

Abundance: rare; only known from 4 specimens (2014). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • ZHU, GUANG-XIANG; YING-YONG WANG,HIROHIKO TAKEUCHI & ER-MI ZHAO 2014. A new species of the genus Rhabdophis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guangdong Province, southern China. Zootaxa 3765 (5): 469–480
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