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Gloydius huangi WANG, REN, DONG, JIANG, SHI, SILER & CHE, 2019

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesPinyin: Lan Cang Fu (original Chinese in paper but not copyable)
E: Lancang Plateau Viper
Chinese: 澜沧蝮 
SynonymGloydius huangi WANG, REN, DONG, JIANG, SHI, SILER & CHE 2019
Gloydius strauchi — HU et al. 1987: 143
Gloydius strauchi — ZHAO et al. 1999: 413–419
Gloydius strauchi — ZHAO 2006: 127–129
Gloydius strauchi — LI et al. 2010: 153–155 
DistributionChina (Tibet)

Type locality: Jinduo, Chagyab County, Chamdo, Tibet, China (30.2050°N, 97.2869°E, WGS 84, 3,046 m elevation).  
TypesHolotype: KIZ 027654, adult female, collected by Kai Wang and Gadeng Nima on 10 June 2016 (Figs. 3–5 in Wang et al. 2019).
Paratypes: KIZ 027665, adult male and KIZ 027666, subadult male, collected from Tongsha, Markam County, Chamdo, Tibet, China (29.9853°N, 98.0764°E, WGS 84, 3,307 m elevation) by Kai Wang, Jinlong Ren, and Gadeng Nima on 20 June 2016. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Gloydius huangi sp. nov. can be differentiated from all congeners by a combination of the following morphological characteristics: 1) moderate body size with SVL up to 532 mm; 2) head robust, round, oval in shape; 3) snout blunt, upper jaw not projecting forward; 4) mid-dorsal scale count 21; 5) ventral scale count 158–174; 6) subcaudal scale count 42 or 43; 7) internasal scales rectangular shaped, not truncated anteriorly; 8) dorsal body scales matte, not glassy, without metallic luster; 9) long spines present on hemipenes, extending beyond the fork point toward tips; 10) dorsal background coloration ranging from light buff (color 2) to pale pinkish buff (color 3); 11) distinct olive horn color (color 16) transverse patches with jet black (color 300) edges across dorsal body from neck to tail; 12) ventrolateral lines absent; and 13) a jet black (color 300) C-shaped pattern on occipital region of head, with the opening of the C figure facing anterior direction.

Comparisons: Gloydius huangi sp. nov. is phenotypically most similar to topotypic G. strauchi, but can be distinguished by having a larger maximum body size (up to SVL 532 mm vs. <450 mm), a matte dorsal scale texture (vs. glossy with metallic luster), and a light buff (color 2) to pale pinkish buff (color 3) dorsal background coloration (vs. light neutral gray [color 297]).
Compared with closely related congeners, G. huangi sp. nov. differs from G. monticola by having a more robust head with a blunt snout (vs. slender head with a pointy snout), a greater number of dorsal scale rows at midbody (21 vs. 19), a greater number of subcaudal scales (42 or 43 pairs vs. <34 pairs), a matte dorsal scale texture (vs. glossy with metallic luster), distinct, regular transverse patches on dorsal surface of the body (vs. irregular patterns or vertebral zig-zag stripes), and a light buff (color 2) to pale pinkish buff (color 3) background coloration (vs. olive sulphur yellow [color 90]); from G. rubromaculatus by having a blunt snout that does not project forward (vs. pointy and projecting forward), enlarged spines of the hemipenes extending beyond the fork point (vs. short spines, absent beyond the fork point), a jet black (color 300) C-shaped pattern on occipital region of head, with the opening of the C figure facing anterior direction (vs. a pair of C-shaped dark salmon color [color 252] patterns on dorsolateral head, with the opening of the C figures facing laterally toward each other), transverse patches along the dorsal body (vs. paired twin spots), and an olive horn color (color 16) dorsal ornamentation pattern (vs. dark salmon color [color 252]) (Figs. 4 and 5; Table 6).
Additionally, the new species differs from G. angusticeps by having a more robust head and a blunt snout (vs. slender head and pointy snout), a matte scale texture (vs. glossy with weak metallic luster), and regular transverse patches on dorsal surface of the body (vs. two to four lateral rows of spots); from G. himalayanus by distinct coloration and ornmentation patterns of dorsal patches (jet black [color 300] outlines with olive horn color [color 16] vs. uniform dark neutral gray [color 299] or sepia [color 279]); from G. qinlingensis and G. liupanensis by having a distinct dorsal background coloration (light buff [color 2] or pale pinkish buff [color 3] vs. true cinnamon [color 260] for G. qinlingensis, fawn color [color 258] for G. liupanensis) and by the absences of ventrolateral lines from neck to tail (vs. presence) and enlarged spines at the hemipene base (vs. presence). Finally, G. huangi sp. nov. differs from all remaining members of the G. halys-intermedius (G. cognatus, G. changdaoensis, G. halys, G. intermedius, G. rickmersi, G. shedaoensis, and G. stejnegeri) and G. blomhoffii (G. blomhoffii, G. brevicaudus, G. tsushimaensis, and G. ussuriensis) species complexes by having fewer dorsal scale rows at mid-body (21 vs. 23–25) and rectangular-shaped internasal scales (vs. comma-shaped) (Fig. 5) [from Wang et al. 2019]. 
EtymologyNamed after Chinese herpetologist Dr. Song Huang from Huangshan University, who has made continuous contributions to research on Chinese snakes in Tibet and the HMR 
  • Hu S. et al. 1987. Amphibia-Reptilia of Xizang. [In Chinese] Beijing: Science Press, 153 pp.
  • Li P. P., Zhao E. M., Dong B. J. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Tibet. [In Chinese] Beijing: Science Press, 251 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
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Wenjie Dong, Ke Jiang, Jingsong Shi, Cameron D. Siler and Jing Che 2019. A New Species of Plateau Pit Viper (Reptilia: Serpentes: Gloydius) from the Upper Lancang (= Mekong) Valley in the Hengduan Mountain Region, Tibet, China. Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 224-236 - get paper here
  • Zhao E. M., Zhao K., Zhou K. Y. 1999. Fauna Sinica, Reptilia, Vol. 2, Squamata, Lacertilia. [In Chinese] Beijing: Science Press, 394 pp
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
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