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Cylindrophis slowinskii BERNSTEIN, BAUER, MCGUIRE, ARIDA, KAISER, KIECKBUSCH & MECKE, 2020

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Higher TaxaCylindrophiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Slowinski’s pipesnake
G: Slowinski-Walzenschlange 
SynonymCylindrophis slowinskii BERNSTEIN, BAUER, MCGUIRE, ARIDA, KAISER, KIECKBUSCH & MECKE 2020 
DistributionMyanmar (Kachin)

Type locality: Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary in the vicinity of Lwe Mon Village, west of Indawgyi Lake, Mohnyin Township, Kachin State, Myanmar (ca. 25.1787° N, 96.2917° E, elevation 245 m).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. CAS 241554 (field number: CAS-MHS 26113), an adult specimen collected by J.A. Wilkinson, K.T. Kyaw, and J.V. Vindum on 26 July 2008 (Fig. 4).
Paratype. USNM 590030 (field number: CAS-MHS 26114), an adult specimen, collection data as for the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Cylindrophis, identified by a combination of the following characteris- tics: (1) small size: 297–333 mm SVL; (2) 17-19-17 dorsal scale rows; (3) 216–220 ventrals; (4) eight subcau- dals; (5) 65–69 very narrow diffuse pale ventral blotches that are branching, creating the impression of a diffuse reticulum; and (6) a pale bar running along the posterior border of the prefrontals (Fig. 4). These morphological characters are sufficient to distinguish C. slowinskii from all other species of Asian pipesnakes.

Comparisons with other species. Cylindrophis slowinskii (n = 2; characters listed in parentheses below), yet alone differs from all congeners by a combination of unique scalation characters, including 17-19-17 dorsal scale rows, a high number of ventrals (216–220), and eight subcaudals. Cylindrophis aruensis possesses 23 (19) dor- sal scale rows at midbody, 173−182 (216−220) ventrals, six or seven (eight) subcaudals, 44 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, and pale stripes on the head, running from the nasals onto the posterior temporals (a pale bar on the pre- frontals, no pale markings posterior to the eyes) (Boulenger 1920; McDowell 1975; Lang 2013; Amarasinghe et al. 2015). Cylindrophis boulengeri (n = 4) possesses 195−204 (216−220) ventrals, five or six (eight) subcaudals, 48−54 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, and pale wavelike markings along the labials that may run onto the prefrontals but are never connected to form a bar (no wavelike markings on the labials, a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis burmanus (n = 20) possesses 190−2202 [median = 209] (216−220; median = 218) ventrals, four to seven (eight) sub- caudals, and 29−61 (65−69) pale ventral blotches. Cylindrophis engkariensis (n = 1) possesses 17 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 230 (216−220) ventrals, five (eight) subcaudals, rugose (smooth) dorsals on the tail, 45 (65–69) pale ventral blotches, a dorsal pattern of two paravertebral rows of dark spots (transverse pale dorsolateral blotches), a pale postocular streak (no postocular streak), and dark prefrontals (a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis isolepis (n = 2) is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 500 mm (333 mm; see Amarasinghe et al. 2015) and possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, five or six (eight) subcaudals, nasals that are separated by the rostral (nasals in contact), 27−35 (65–69) pale ventral blotches that are reddish in living specimens, and no markings on the dorsal surface of the head (a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis jodiae (n = 90) is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 786 mm (333 mm) and possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 177−201 (216−220) ventrals, five to seven (eight) subcaudals, 30−55 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, pale wavelike markings along the labials or heavily blotched labials (labials without prominent pattern), and dark prefrontals (a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis lineatus (n = 1) is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 713 mm (333 mm) and possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 210−218 (216−220) ventrals, 31 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, a dorsal pattern of stripes that are red and black in living specimens (transverse pale dorsolateral blotches), a pale dorsal surface of head and tail, both being red in living specimens (no extensively colored dorsal surface of head and tail), and dark markings on the temporals and parietals (head uniformly dark with a pale bar on the pre- frontals) (see also Amarasinghe et al. 2015). Cylindrophis maculatus (n = 36) possesses 27−49 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, a dorsal pattern of large and roundish, paired pale blotches separated by a narrow dark network, with the blotches being reddish-brown in living specimens (very narrow and widely separated transverse pale blotches on a dark dorsum), and prefrontals that lack a pale bar (a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis melanotus (n = 39) is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 678 mm (333 mm) and possesses 228−268 (216−220) ventrals and 38−63 dark blotches on a pale-colored venter that is reddish or white in living specimens (65−69 very narrow dif- fuse pale blotches on a dark-colored venter). Cylindrophis opisthorhodus (n = 6) possesses 23 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 185−210 (216−220) ventrals, four to seven (eight) subcaudals, 46−61 (65−69) pale ventral blotches, a pale dorsum with dark speckles forming two paravertebral rows and occasionally a discontinuous vertebral line (very narrow transverse pale blotches on a dark dorsum), and dark speckles on the pale dorsal surface of the head (head uniformly dark with a pale bar on the prefrontals) (see also Amarasinghe et al. 2015). Cylindrophis osheai (n = 3) possesses 224–226 (216–220) ventrals, 25−28 dark ventral blotches, aligned to form a broad wavy stripe along most of the otherwise pale underside (venter almost entirely black with 65–69 diffuse pale blotches), and no pale bar on the prefrontals (a pale bar on the prefrontals). Cylindrophis ruffus (n = 244), as defined by Kieckbusch et al. (2016), is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 857 mm (333 mm) and possesses five to seven (eight) subcaudals and 33−66 (65–69) pale ventral blotches. Cylindrophis subocularis (n = 9) possesses a subocular scale (no subocular scale), 190−196 (216−220) ventrals, six or seven (eight) subcaudals, and 40−48 pale ventral blotches that are usually as broad as the dark blotches (65–69 very narrow diffuse pale blotches that are widely separated by dark color). Cylindrophis yamdena (n = 5) is a relatively large species with a maximum SVL of 671 mm (333 mm) and possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 183−195 (216−220) ventrals, and no pattern on the dorsal surface of the body and no ventral blotches in adults (a pale bar on the prefrontals, pale blotches on the dorsum and venter). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym to honour the American herpetologist Joseph Bruno “Joe” Slowinski (1962–2001) and his pioneering work on herpetofauna, especially in Myanmar. In 2001, Joe led a multidisciplinary expedition to Kachin State, Myanmar, the type locality of the new species described herein. For bio- graphical details see Donnelly & Crother (2003) and James (2008). 
References
  • BERNSTEIN, JUSTIN M.; AARON M. BAUER, JIMMY A. MCGUIRE, EVY ARIDA,<br />HINRICH KAISER, MAX KIECKBUSCH & SVEN MECKE 2020. Molecular phylogeny of Asian pipesnakes, genus Cylindrophis Wagler, 1828 (Squamata: Cylindrophiidae), with the description of a new species from Myanmar. Zootaxa 4851 (3): 535–558 - get paper here
  • Donnelly, Maureen A. & Brian I. Crother 2003. Obituary: JOSEPH BRUNO SLOWINSKI 1962–2001. Copeia 2003 (2): 424–428 - get paper here
  • James, J. 2008. The Snake Charmer. Hyperion eBooks, 260 pp.
 
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