Eirenis yassujicus FATHINIA, RASTEGAR-POUYANI & SHAFAEIPOUR, 2019
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Eirenis yassujicus?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Synonym||Eirenis yassujicus FATHINIA, RASTEGAR-POUYANI & SHAFAEIPOUR 2019|
|Distribution||Iran (Kohgilouyeh & Boyer Ahmad Province)|
Type locality: Damkoreh Region (30.63057N and 51.41985E), Dasht-e- Room, Kohgilouyeh & Boyer Ahmad Province, Iran
|Types||Holotype. YUZM CE.1 (Yasouj University Zoological Museum), adult female, 3 May 2016 (Figure 1 in Fathinia et al. 2019)|
|Diagnosis||Description. Pholidosis. Head small, not distinct from the neck; pupil round; nasal undivided; internasal suture shorter (1.1 mm) than suture between the prefrontals (1.6 mm); frontal longer (4.4 mm) than wide (3.1 mm); supraoculars narrower anteriorly than posteriorly; parietals large, longer than the frontal; loreals rectangular; one preocular and two postoculars; subocular absent; temporals 1+2; 7 supralabials (3rd and 4th in contact with eye); 9 infralabials, the first pair contiguous behind the mental; a large pair of anterior chin shields, larger than posterior ones, in contact with the first four infralabials, but not in contact with mental; both anterior and posterior chin shields in contact with each other; 17 dorsal scales at level of the 10th ventral plate, 17 scales at midbody, and 15 scales at level of the 10th plate before the cloaca; 160 ventrals; anal divided; 66 divided subcaudals.|
Morphometric characters: Snout-vent length 390 mm; tail length 114.9 mm; head length 17.7 mm; head width 9.1 mm.
Colour pattern: Upper surface of body from snout to tail tip uniformly light olive, with four thin, extremely faded dark lines on dorsum and lateral sides of body. Ventral surfaces from mental to tail tip are cream with no markings.
Comparison. Morphologically two distinct groups, based on the number of dorsal scales at mid-body, are distinguished within the genus Eirenis: a group with 15 scales comprising E. collaris, E. coronella, E. coronelloides, E. kermanensis, E. medus, E. nigrofasciatus, E. persicus, E. occidentalis, E. rechingeri and E. walteri) and another group with 17 scales (comprising E. africanus, E. decemlineatus, E. hakkariensis, E. levantinus, E. lineomaculatus, E. modestus and E. punctatolineatus) (Latifi, 2000). Eirenis yassujicus sp. n. is nested within the latter group, so it is easily distinguished from its’ congeners having 15 dorsal scales at midbody. It is distinguished from those congeners with 17 dorsal scales at mid-body by having a combination of different meristic, metric and colour pattern characteristics: E. yassujicus sp. n. has larger number of ventrals and subcaudals than E. lineomaculatus, and lower number of subcaudals than E. africanus and E. modestus. Posterior chin-shields in E. yassujicus sp. n. are in contact unlike those in E. modestus and like those in E. decemlineatus and E. punctatolineatus. Loreal scale in E. lineomaculatus are mostly absent while it is present in E. yassujicus sp. n. and other seven congeners having 17 mid-dorsal scales. E. yassujicus sp. n. has a neck colour similar to the dorsum ground colour (the same is true for E. hakkariensis and some specimens of E. decemlineatus amongst all the congeners with 17 mid-dorsal scales). The head region is totally patternless in E. yassujicus sp. n. with head colour exactly the same as dorsum ground colour like that in E. hakkariensis among other congeners having 17 mid-dorsal scales. Dorsal pattern in E. yassujicus sp. n. is totally different from all other congeners with 17 mid-dorsal scales. Eirenis yassujicus sp. n. has a patternless ventral body like other congeners having 17 mid-dorsal scales except E. lineomaculatus (Supplementary Table S1; Figures 1–3).
|Comment||Habitat. Eirenis yassujicus sp. n. was found in a forest in the highlands of mid-Zagros Mountains (Figure 4). The habitat substrate is composed of rocky outcrops covering with annual and perennial plants, bushes and trees like Gramineae (annual grasses), Astragalus spp., Amygdalus sp., Acantholimon spp., Fraxinus angustifolia, Pyrus glabra, Crataegus punctata, Lonicera nummulariifolia, Pistachia atlantica and Quercus brantii.|
Sympatry: Agamidae: Laudakia nupta, Trapelus ruderatus; Lacertidae: Ophisops elegans, Gekkonidae: Mediodactylus aspratilis, Microgecko sp.; Scincidae: Ablepharus pannonicus, Heremites auratus; Typhlopidae: Xerotyphlops vermicularis; Colubridae: Eirenis punctatolineatus, Hemorhois ravergieri, Platyceps rhodorachis, Malpolon insignitus, Zamenis hohenackeri; Viperidae: Macrovipera lebetina.
Key: Fathinia et al. 2019 provide a key to the 14 species of Eirenis in Iran.
|Etymology||Eirenis yassujicus sp. n. is named after Yasouj, capital of Kohgilouyeh & Boyer-Ahmad Province, a small town having good-weather, attracting many visitors from much warmer provinces of southern and central Iran.|