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Oligodon saintgironsi DAVID, VOGEL & PAUWELS, 2008

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymOligodon saintgironsi DAVID, VOGEL & PAUWELS 2008
Oligodon saintgironsi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 502 
DistributionS Vietnam (Dong Nai Province), Cambodia

Type locality: “Arboretum de Trang Bôm”, now Arboretum of Bien Hoa, Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1974.1264 (adult male). Deposited by Sergeant Poilane, no date but probably collected around 1930–40 Paratypes. MNHN-RA 1877.0050 (adult male), “Cambodge”, Cambodia. Deposited by Mr. Harmand; MNHN-RA 1974.1272 (adult female), “Institut de Recherches agronomiques, Saïgon”, now in Ho Chi Minh City. Deposited by Sergeant Poilane, no date. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Oligodon cyclurus-group, characterized by (1) very long, deeply forked hemipenes, reaching to at least 28th SC, thin, smooth and not spinose throughout; (2) a long and thick tail in males with a ratio Tal/TL > 0.19; (3) 19–17(18)–15 dorsal scale rows; (4) reductions between 19 and 17 rows occurring between VEN 62 and 84 (x = 77.3); (5) 10–12 maxillary teeth, the last three strongly enlarged; (6) anal plate single; (7) full complement of head scales, including a presubocular in all specimens; (8) 8 supralabials; (9) 2 anterior temporals; and (10) blotched dorsal pattern, with large blotches.
Oligodon saintgironsi spec. nov. can be diagnosed by the combination of 19 dorsal scale rows on the anterior half to third of the body, 17–18 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a long and strong tail in both sexes, very long, deeply forked hemipenes, and a blotched dorsal pattern. It differs from all other species of the Oligodon cyclurus-group by the combination of (1) the length of hemipenes, (2) the relative length of the tail, and (3) in having only 17 or 18 scale rows at midbody vs. 19, 21, and 23 rows in all others. Oligodon saintgironsi spec. nov. differs from O. chinensis which has also 17 MSR by (1) much longer hemipenes (28–29 SC vs. 12–13 SC in O. chinensis), and the dorsal scale row formula, 19–17(18)–15 in O. saintgironsi vs. 17–17–15 in O. chinensis. Additional comparisons with other species of the Oligodon cyclurus-group and of the genus Oligodon appear below in the Discussion.
The specimens do not seem to have been mentioned previously under any name in the literature, although specimens of Oligodon cyclurus with “rarely 17 rows” cited in Campden-Main (1970: 40) may refer to O. saintgironsi spec. nov. Wagner (1975) had not examined these specimens. 
EtymologyThis species is named in honour of Dr. Hubert Saint Girons (1926–2000), noted French histologist and herpetologist, formerly in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, in the Paris University and in the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. This name is a genitive based on the author’s last name. Although a specialist of European vipers, H. Saint Girons conducted research in Cambodia (a. o., Saint Girons, 1972) and was the first recent author to recognize the validity of Oligodon ocellatus (Morice, 1875) for Indochinese populations with 19 dorsal scale rows, and the synonymy of O. analepticos with this taxon. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Campden-Main, S.M. 1970. The Identity of Oligodon cyclurus (CANTOR, 1839) and Revalidation of Oligodon brevicauda (STEINDACHNER, 1867) (Serpentes: Colubridae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 82 (58): 763-765 - get paper here
  • Campden-Main, S.M. 1970. A field guide to the snakes of South Vietnam. Smithson. Instit., Wash., D.C 114 pp [reprint 1984]
  • David, P.; Vogel, G. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2008. A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from southern Vietnam and Cambodia. Zootaxa 1939: 19–37 - get paper here
  • DAVID, PATRICK; TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, TAO THIEN NGUYEN, KE JIANG, TIANBO CHEN, ALEXANDRE TEYNIÉ & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2012. A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from northern Vietnam, southern China and central Laos. Zootaxa 3498: 45–62 - get paper here
  • NEANG, THY; L. LEE GRISMER & JENNIFER C. DALTRY 2012. A new species of kukri snake (Colubridae: Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826) from the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia. Zootaxa 3388: 41–55 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • NGUYEN, SANG NGOC; VU DANG HOANG NGUYEN, SON HONG LE, ROBERT W. MURPHY 2016. A new species of kukri snake (Squamata: Colubridae: Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826) from Con Dao Islands, southern Vietnam. Zootaxa 4139 (2): 261–273 - get paper here
  • Vassilieva, Anna B.; Eduard A. Galoyan, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, and Peter Geissler 2016. A Photographic Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Lowland Monsoon Forests of Southern Vietnam. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main. 324 pp.; ISBN 978-3-89973- 465-2
  • VASSILIEVA, ANNA B.; PETER GEISSLER, EDUARD A. GALOYAN, NIKOLAY Jr A. POYARKOV, ROBERT WAYNE VAN DEVENDER, WOLFGANG BÖHME 2013. A new species of Kukri Snake (Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826; Squamata: Colubridae) from the Cat Tien National Park, southern Vietnam. Zootaxa 3702 (3): 233–246 - 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.
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