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IUCN Red List - Elaphe zoigeensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Zoige Ratsnake
Chinese: Ruoergai Jinshe (Bopomofo) 
SynonymElaphe zoigeensis HUANG, DING, BURBRINK, YANG, HUANG, LING, CHEN & ZHANG 2012
Elaphe zoigeensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 263 
DistributionChina (Sichuan)

Type locality: 20 m from the mouth of Jiangzha Hot Spring (3200 m elevation, N 34°12’18’’, E 102°42’48’’) in Zoige County, Sichuan, China.  
TypesHolotype: HSU (also as HUM) 20110001, adult female captured at 12:00 on 26 July 2010 (Museum of Huangshan University) Paratypes: Captured on gravel by a stream (HUM 20110002, adult female, about 40 m from the mouth of Jiangzha Hot Spring) and in a small soil hole by the same stream (HUM 20110003, adult male, about 30 m from the mouth of Jiangzha Hot Spring), same place and time as the those of the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Elaphe zoigeensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Elaphe by several sets of characters involving color and scutellation. Color pattern is distinct in having a red brown, “M” shaped marking on the back of the head at the margins of the supraoculars and adjacent posterior frontal and the presence of 4 longitudinal, parallel rows of spots on the dorsum extending from the neck to vent. Each spot usually encompasses an entire scale and is red brown, while the edges of the spot and bordering scales are puce. The spots from each of the parallel rows are similar in size and shape, and rank at a relatively regular interval of one or two scales of slightly red brown color. Additionally, this species has 3 preoculars, rather than 1–2 found in all other species (Schulz, 1996). 
EtymologyThe specific name refers to the type locality, Zoige County, Sichuan, China. 
  • HUANG, Song; Li DING, Frank T. BURBRINK, , Jun YANG, Jietang HUANG, Chen LING, Xin CHEN, and Yaping ZHANG 2012. A New Species of the Genus Elaphe (Squamata: Colubridae) from Zoige County, Sichuan, China. Asian Herpetological Research 3 (1): 38–45 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2013. Liste der im Jahr 2012 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (3): 52-67 - get paper here
  • Qi, S., Shi, J. S., Ma, Y. B., Gao, Y. F., Bu, S. H., Grismer, L. L., Li, P.P. & Wang, Y. Y. 2021. A sheep in wolf's clothing: Elaphe xiphodonta sp. nov.(Squamata, Colubridae) and its possible mimicry to Protobothrops jerdonii. ZooKeys 1048: 23-47 - 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.
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
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