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Colubroelaps nguyenvansangi ORLOV, KHARIN, ANANJEVA, THIEN TAO & QUANG TRUONG, 2009

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Sibynophiinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesEnglish: Nguyenvansang’s Snake.
Vietnamese: Ran nguyen van sang 
SynonymColubroelaps nguyenvansangi ORLOV, KHARIN, ANANJEVA, THIEN TAO & QUANG TRUONG 2009
Colubroelaps nguyenvansangi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 175 
DistributionVietnam (Lam Dong, Binh Phuoc)

Type locality: Loc Bac Forest Enterprise, Lam Dong Province, southern Vietnam (elevation 720 m, 11°47’07’’ N, 107° 36’ 14’’ E).  
TypesHolotype: ZISP/IEBR 25682, female collected by Nguyen Van Sang in May 2003. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus and species): Colubroelaps is unique among Southeast Asian snakes in having the following combination of characters: it is not large, very thin colubrid snake with elapsoid morphotype; body vermiform round in crosssection, total length — 500 mm (snout-vent length 393 mm, tail length from vent to tip 107 mm). This snake has great similarity with elapid snakes of Elapinae subfamily (Calliophis, Maticora, Sinomicrurus) but has no fangs and venomous glands (Figs. 5 and 6 in ORLOV et al. 2009). Tiny small head is roundish and short, not distinguished from the body, slightly dorso-ventrally depressed and covered by large regular shields. Eyes are very small with round pupil. No loreal shield (Figs. 7 and 8). Dorsal scales uniform, rhomboid, tile-shaped, smooth; the number of scale rows around the body is almost equal along all the length of body (Sq1 — 15, Sq2 — 15, Sq3 — 15, Sq around anus — 13); anal plate divided (Figs. 9 – 13). Maxillae slightly arched, long, longer than palatinum and hardly shorter than pterygoideum; it is situated far forward behind palatinum in horizontal plane, directed far backwards under the orbit and join praefrontale at a big distance from its frontal end. Palatinum with external process, joined with internal process of maxillae. Pterygoideum with triangular hollow for palatinum; accordingly palatinum has triangular projection for pterygoideum its lower part. Maxillae with 14 teeth, heterodonty is not developed; no diastema between teeth. Palatinum has 7 teeth, perygoideum — 7 teeth, dentale — 12 (right) and 12 (left). Frontale oval, wideroundish. Parietale almost rectangular laterally. Quadratum is oriented downwards and forward, joins with pterygoideum. There are 279 trunk vertebrae and 83 caudal vertebrae. Hypapophyses are developed only in anterior trunk vertebrae (Figs. 14 – 19). 
CommentType species: Colubroelaps nguyenvansangi ORLOV et al. 2009 is the type species of the genus Colubroelaps ORLOV, KHARIN, ANANJEVA, NGUYEN & NGUYEN 2009. 
EtymologyNamed after the name of a famous zoologist and outstanding expert in the field of study squamate reptiles of Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen Van Sang (IEBR, Hanoi), who collected the holotype and made many new country records for Vietnamese herpetofauna as well as described many new species.

Etymology (genus): Generic name is a combination of two Latinized Greek words: Coluber — type genus of Colubridae family (to which a new species is referred) and Elaps — type genus of Elapidae family, with a number of which members a new species has strong affinity. Grammatical genus masculine (genus masculinum). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Nguyen, Thomas Ziegler & Truong Quang; 2010. New discoveries of amphibians and reptiles from Vietnam. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (2): 137–147 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L.; Vladimir E. Kharin, Natalia B. Ananjeva, Nguyen Thien Tao, and Nguyen Quang Truong 2009. A New Genus and Species of Colubrid Snake (Squamata, Ophidia, Colubridae) from South Vietnam (Lam Dong Province). Russ. J. Herpetol. 16 (3): 228-240 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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