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Rhabdophis kaiyuanensis QIN, BIN, XINHONG, YANGMEI & PENG, 2023

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Kaiyuan Keelback
Chinese: 开远颈槽蛇 (Kaiyuan Jingcao She) 
SynonymRhabdophis kaiyuanensis QIN, BIN, XINHONG, YANGMEI & PENG 2023 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: Yangjie Town, Kaiyuan City, Yunnan Province, China  
TypesHolotype: YBU 14271, Adult female, collected in July 2014 by Guanghui Zhong at an elevation of 1, 600 m (Fig. 1).
Paratypes: YBU series 14062, 14270, 14273, adult females; YBU 14272, adult male. Same locality and date as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Rhabdophis kaiyuanensis sp. nov. can be morphologically diagnosed from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: 1) body large, up to 758 mm; 2) supralabials 6, 3rd and 4th touching eye, 5th largest; 3) infralabials 8, first four in contact with anterior chin-shields; 4) dorsal scales in 17-15(17)-15 rows, feebly keeled, or outer one or two rows smooth; 5) ventrals 147-153; 6) subcaudals 44-58, paired; 7) black oblique bands in supralabials absent. (Qin et al. 2023) 
CommentThe first two published pdf versions of the Qin et al. paper did not have a Zoobank registration (at least not at the time this database release was finalized, Aug 31, 2023), hence, technically, the species name has not been validly published. 
EtymologyThe name “kaiyuan” is in reference to the type locality of the new
287 species. 
  • Qin, L., Bin, L., Xinhong, X., Yangmei, Z., & Peng, G. 2023. Genomic evidence sheds new light on phylogeny of Rhabdophis nuchalis (sensu lato) complex (Serpentes: Natricidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 107893 - get paper here
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