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Oligodon phangan PAUWELS, THONGYAI, CHANTONG & SUMONTHA, 2021

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesThai: Ngu Pee Kaew Ko Pha-Ngan
E: Pha-Ngan Kukri Snake
F: Oligodon de Pha-Ngan
G: Pha-Ngan Kukrinatter 
SynonymOligodon phangan PAUWELS, THONGYAI, CHANTONG & SUMONTHA 2021 
DistributionThailand (Surat Thani Province: Pha-Ngan Island)

Type locality: Wat Phu Khao Noi (9°44’02.8”N, 99°59’25.1”E), Ko Pha-Ngan Sub-district, Ko Pha-Ngan District, Pha-Ngan Island (= Ko Pha-Ngan or Koh Phangan), Surat Thani Province, peninsular Thailand.  
Reproductionoviparous; Two captive Oligodon phangan were observed mating on 21 December 2018 (Pauwels et al. 2021) 
TypesHolotype: PSUZC R 732
Paratype: PSUZC R 733 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Oligodon phangan can be distinguished from all other congeneric species by a combination of its maximal known SVL of 369.1 mm; 12 maxillary teeth, the posterior three enlarged; two internasals; two prefrontals; eight supralabials; loreal present; two postoculars; 17-17-15 dorsal scale rows; 163–166 ventrals and 33–42 divided subcaudals; a single anal; dorsal color brown with a pair of discreet paravertebral and lateral stripes; no dorsal or supracaudal bands, blotches or crossbars; background color of belly pinkish-orange; underside of tail immaculate (Pauwels et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Its single anal plate separates Oligodon phangan from the following species which show a divided anal plate: O. catenatus, O. cruentatus, O. dorsalis, O. eberhardti, O. jintakunei, O. mcdougalli, O. planiceps and O. theobaldi. With its 17 MSR, Oligodon phangan is easily distinguished from Oligodon annamensis (13), O. catenatus (13), O. cyclurus (19), O. dorsalis (15), O. eberhardti (13), O. fasciolatus (21), O. inornatus (15), O. jintakunei (15), O. kampucheaensis (15), O. mcdougalli (13), O. ocellatus (19), O. planiceps (13), O. purpurascens (19 or 21), O. rostralis (15), O. taeniatus (19) and O. vertebralis (15). Its striped, non-reticulated, non-blotched, dorsal pattern allows distinguishing it from Oligodon annamensis (banded), O. arenarius (indistinct pattern), O. barroni (blotched), O. booliati (banded), O. cattienensis (blotched), O. cinereus (indistinct/banded pattern), O. cruentatus (reticulated), O. cyclurus (reticulated/blotched) , O. fasciolatus (reticulated/blotched), O. inornatus (patternless), O. jintakunei (banded), O. joynsoni (reticulated/ banded), O. kampucheaensis (banded), O. moricei (striped and reticulated), O. mouhoti (two blotches above tail), O. ocellatus (reticulated/blotched), O. planiceps (reticulated), O. purpurascens (blotched/reticulated), O. rostralis (blotched/reticulated), O. saintgironsi (blotched/reticulated), O. saiyok (banded/blotched), O. signatus (blotched /banded) and O. vertebralis (blotched). The ventral number of Oligodon phangan (163–166) is distinctly higher than in O. arenarius (131–144), O. booliati (143–153), O. deuvei (140–155), O. planiceps (132–145), O. pseudotaeniatus (137–156), O. signatus (141–157), and O. vertebralis (136–154), and distinctly lower than in O. jintakunei (189), O. joynsoni (186–198), O. mcdougalli (199) and O. saiyok (181–187). Its possession of 12 maxillary teeth distinguishes Oligodon phangan from O. annamensis (8), O. arenarius (6–8), O. catenatus (7), O. cattienensis (8–10), O. cruentatus (14–16), O. cyclurus (9–10), O. dorsalis (6–7), O. eberhardti (7), O. fasciolatus (9–10), O. huahin (6), O. jintakunei (6), O. kampucheaensis (11), O. macrurus (13), O. mcdougalli (6), O. mouhoti (14–16), O. ocellatus (9–11), O. octolineatus (9–10), O. planiceps (10), O. pseudotaeniatus (15), O. purpurascens (9–10), O. rostralis (6), O. saiyok (13), O. signatus (7–8), O. taeniatus (14–17), O. theobaldi (15–16) and O. vertebralis (8–9) (number of maxillary teeth unknown in O. booliati). Oligodon phangan shows morphological similarities with the Vietnamese O. condaoensis, endemic to Hon Ba Island, from which it can be separated by its lower ventral number (163–166 vs. 168–176), higher subcaudal number in males (42 vs. 37), its pinkish-orange (vs. cream to grayish) belly, and the absence (vs. presence) of dark dots under the tail (Pauwels et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsal surface of the head light brown, with poorly contrasted, difficult-to-see darker marks: an interorbital transversal bar and a suborbital bar. The lateral sides of the head are light brown, lighter on the supralabials. The dorsum is light brown. Two paravertebral stripes, poorly contrasted as they are slightly darker than the background color, each less than two dorsals wide, begin on the neck and run along the dorsum. Two parallel lateral stripes, similarly poorly contrasted, less than one dorsal wide. The ventral color of the head is pinkish white. The belly is pinkish-orange, with light speckling posteriorly. No dark blotches on belly. The underside of tail is pinkish orange, without any speckling or dark marks. In preservative, the general color darkens, and the dorsal vertebral stripes nearly disappear; the belly and underside of tail become whitish (Pauwels et al. 2021). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in apposition, invariable, referring to Pha-Ngan Island where the type-locality lies. 
References
  • PAUWELS, O. S., THONGYAI, K., CHANTONG, P., & SUMONTHA, M. 2021. Two new Kukri Snake species (Colubridae: Oligodon) from the Nakhon Si Thammarat Mountain Range, and addition of O. ocellatus to the fauna of Thailand. Zootaxa, 4908(4): 537-557 - get paper here
 
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