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Achalinus pingbianensis LI, YU, WU, LIAO, TANG, LIU & GUO, 2020

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Higher TaxaXenodermidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Pingbian odd-scaled snake
Chinese: 屏边脊蛇 (Ping Bian Ji She) 
SynonymAchalinus pingbianensis LI, YU, WU, LIAO, TANG, LIU & GUO 2020 
DistributionChina (SE Yunnan)

Type locality: Dawei Mountain Nature Reserve, Pingbian County (N 103°42′01.02′′, E 22°55′02.78′′), southeastern Yunnan Province, China, at an elevation of 1, 968 m above sea level.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. YBU 18273, an adult male, collected by K. Li, M. Yu, L. H. Liao, and K. Tang at night on July 12, 2019. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A new species of Achalinus having the combination of (1) dorsal scales strongly keeled, 23 rows throughout; (2) tail relatively short, TaL/TL 24.3%; (3) length of suture between internasals subequal to that between prefrontals; (4) nasal divided into two sections by nasal cleft; (5) loreal fused with prefrontal, with the prefrontal extending towards the supralabials; (6) supralabials 7, the fifth and sixth widely in contact with eye; (7) infralabials 6, the first three touching the first pair of chin shields; (8) temporals 2+2+3 on right side and 2+2 on left side, the uppermost anterior temporal in contact with eye; (9) ventrals 164+2, subcaudals 56, arranged in single row; (10) anal entire; (11) uniform black, tinged weakly iridescent; (12) light black beneath (Li et al. 2020).

DSR (dorsal scale rows) were counted at one head length behind head (aDSR), at midbody (mDSR), and at one head length before vent (pDSR).

Coloration of holotype in life. Uniform black above, vertebral line unseen. All scales tinged iridescent and margin of scales greyish white. Uniform light black beneath. The ventral tail dark brown, the dorsal tail surface iridescent black (Figs. 3 and 4 in Li et al. 2020).

Comparisons. Achalinus pingbianensis sp. nov. differs from all other species of Achalinus, except A. jinggangensis and A. timi, by the absence of a loreal.
Achalinus pingbianensis sp. nov. further differs from A. jinggangensis, A. timi, A. ater, A. hainanus, A. rufescens, A. emilyae, A. yunkaiensis, and A. juliani by having length of suture between internasals subequal to that between prefrontals (vs. distinctly longer than that between prefrontals).
Achalinus pingbianensis sp. nov. can be easily distinguished from A. formosanus (mDSR 25–27), A. meiguensis (mDSR 19–21), A. timi (mDSR 25), and A. niger (mDSR 27) by having mDSR 23, and from A. hainanus and A. meiguensis by the presence of internasals.
In addition, the new species can be differentiated from some congeners in VS, SC, and Tal/TL ratio. Comparisons between the new species and its congeners are summarized in Table 4 in Li et al .2020. 
Comment 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality, Dawei Mountain Nature Reserve, Pingbian County, Southeastern Yunnan, China. 
References
  • LI, KE; MIN YU, YA-YONG WU, LIN-HONG LIAO, KUI TANG, QIN LIU, PENG GUO 2020. A new species of the genus Achalinus (Squamata: Xenodermatidae) from southeastern Yunnan Province, China. Zootaxa 4860 (1): 116–128 - get paper here
 
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