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Trachischium apteii BHOSALE, GOWANDE & MIRZA, 2019

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTrachischium apteii BHOSALE, GOWANDE & MIRZA 2019 
DistributionIndia (Arunachal Pradesh)

Type locality: Pange camp, Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh (27.5493228 N, 93.8971388 E, elevation 1890 m)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BNHS 3550, adult female, collected by a party that included Harshal Bhosale, Gaurang Gowande, Mandar Savant, and Pushkar Phansalkar on 19 June 2019.
Paratype: juvenile male, BNHS 3551, collected on 16 June 2019, same data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Large-sized member of the genus, reaching SVL of 293–299 mm. Tail comprising of 11–13% of total length. Dorsal scales smooth and glossy, arranged in 15 rows throughout the body. Six supralabials, third and fourth in contact with orbit. Temporals 1 + 1, anterior temporal long. Ventrals 143–150, subcaudals 25–28. Dorsum colouration dark brown to black with faint dorsal longitudinal lines, lacking yellow patch on the neck and the belly being yellowish.

Comparison: A Trachischium resembling T. monticola (and its putative junior synonyms, detailed comparison provided below), differs from T. fuscum, T. guentheri, T. laeve, and T. tenuiceps in possessing 15 dorsal scale rows instead of 13 at mid-body. The new species differs from T. monticola and its synonyms, in possessing higher ventral count 143–150 (versus 113–125 in T. monticola, T. rubiventer & T. albiventer), very faint dorsal longitudinal lines, lacking yellow patch on the neck and the belly being yellowish (versus distinct longitudinal light and dark stripes throughout with a clear yellow patch on the neck with a red belly T. monticola & T. rubiventer). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym, honouring Dr. Deepak Apte, Director of the Bombay Natural History Society, marine biologist and conservationist for his contribution to conservation, and for his continued support to HB and to the Arunachal Expedition, which led to the discovery of the new species. 
References
  • Bhosale, H. S., Gowande, G. G. & Mirza, Z. A. 2019. A new species of fossorial natricid snakes of the genus Trachischium Günther, 1858 (Serpentes: Natricidae) from the Himalayas of northeastern India. Comptes Rendus Biologies (2019) - get paper here
 
External links  
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