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Liopeltis pallidonuchalis POYARKOV, NGUYEN & VOGEL, 2019

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Pale-necked Ringneck
Vietnamese: Rắn đai gáy nhạt màu
Russian: Blednyi Gladkiy Kamyshovyi Uzh
G: Blasse Halsbandnatter 
SynonymLiopeltis pallidonuchalis POYARKOV, NGUYEN & VOGEL 2019
Liopeltis frenatus – SMITH 1943: 183 (partim)
Liopeltis frenatus – ZIEGLER et al. 2007: 10–11, Figure 11 (?)
Liopeltis frenatus – ZIEGLER & HOANG 2009: 115 
DistributionC Vietnam (Annamite [Truong Son] Mountains)

Type locality: forest trail in the evergreen montane tropical forest in Kon Chu Rang N.R. (14.5034° N, 108.5383° E, at elevation of 1010 m asl), Gia Lai Province, central Vietnam (Figures 2–4 in Poyarkov et al. 2019)  
TypesHolotype: ZMMU R-15682, adult male (hemipenis everted), collected by Nikolay A. Poyarkov on 29 May 2016.
Paratypes: DTU 307 (adult female) roadkill specimen from the road in the evergreen montane tropical forest in Bach Ma N.P. (16.2035° N, 107.8540° E, at an elevation of 950 m asl), Thua Thien–Hue Province, central Vietnam (Figure 5), collected by The Anh Nguyen and Phuong Nhu Hoang on 18 June 2018; ZFMK 83105 (adult female) from Bach Ma N.P. (no elevation data available), Thua Thien–Hue Province, central Vietnam, col- lected by Quang Xuan Hoang and students before August 1998.
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species can be separated from its congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) one single (or missing) loreal; (2) one single nasal shield; (3) dorsal scales in 15-15-15 rows, all smooth; (4) 1 preocular, 2 postoculars and 1 + 2 temporals; (5) 7 supralabials, of which 3d and 4th in contact with the eye; (6) 8 infralabials; (7) nasal contacting internasal; (8) prefrontal touching or separated from supralabials; (9) ventral scales 126–138; (10) subcaudal scales 67–73, paired; (11) relative tail length about 0.274–0.301; (12) an uniform bronze body coloura- tion; (13) a thin postocular stripe extending from eye to end of the neck becoming indistinct posteriorly. The new species can be distinguished from all other congeners by its low subcaudal scales count, and by its characteristic colouration. Poyarkov et al. 2019 provide more detailed comparisons with other species of the genus Liopeltis appear below. 
CommentKnown from 4 specimens.

Habitat: montane evergreen tropical forest 
EtymologyThe specific name ‘pallidonuchalis’ is a Latinised adjective in the nominative singular (feminine gender), derived from Latin ‘pallidus’ for ‘pale’ and Medieval Latin ‘nucha’, derived from Arabic ‘nuka’ for ‘nape’, ‘dorsal surface of neck’, referring to the pale postocular marking of the new species disappearing in nuchal area. 
  • Kwet, A. 2020. Liste der im Jahr 2019 neubeschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2020 (3): 44-67
  • Poyarkov Jr, Nikolay A.; Tan Van Nguyen & Gernot Vogel 2019. A new species of the genus Liopeltis Fitzinger, 1843 from Vietnam (Squamata: Colubridae). Journal of Natural History, 53:27-28, 1647-1672 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Ziegler T, Hoang QX. 2009. Liopeltis frenatus. Herpetological Review 40 (1):115 - get paper here
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; RALF HENDRIX, VU NGOC THANH, MARTINA VOGT, BERNHARD FORSTER & DANG NGOC KIEN 2007. The diversity of a snake community in a karst forest ecosystem in the central Truong Son, Vietnam, with an identification key. Zootaxa 1493: 1-40 - get paper here
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