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Opisthotropis maxwelli BOULENGER, 1914

IUCN Red List - Opisthotropis maxwelli - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Maxwell's Mountain Keelback
Chinese: 福建后棱蛇 
SynonymOpisthotropis maxwelli BOULENGER 1914: 483
Opisthotropis maxwelli — BROWN & LEVITON 1961
Opisthotropis maxwelli — ZHAO 2006: 242
Opisthotropis maxwelli — LI et al. 2010
Opisthotropis maxwelli — WALLACH et al. 2014: 510 
DistributionChina (SW Fujian, Guangx ?i, S Jiangxi, SE Guangdong), elevation 425–1000 m

Type locality: “South Fokien, China” = Southern Fukien = Fujian Province, China.  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.13.22 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species is characterized by the combination of (1) TL 319–442 mm; (2) tail relatively long, TaL 20–23% of TL; (3) rostral small, RW 28–32% of HW; (4) nasal in contact with first and second supralabials ventrally; (5) nasal cleft invariably pointing to the apex angle of first supralabial; (6) loreal not entering orbit, 1.4–1.7 times as long as deep; (7) supralabials 6–7, the last one longest; (8) infralabials 8; (9) dorsal scale rows 17:17:17; (10) dorsal scales smooth on the anterior neck, those following feebly keeled, rather strongly keeled on posterior part of body up to the tail; (11) ventrals 147–157, subcaudals 53–62; (12) olive-brown to olive- green above in life, body and tail with distinct or barely perceptible longitudinal black stripes, crossing each scale; yellow beneath, ventral surface of head and tail mottled with blackish grey (Wang et al. 2017).
 
CommentO. maxwelli (Boulenger, 1914) was described originally from a single female specimen, and re-described based on six old, faded specimens (Zhao et al. 1998). Thus, the pattern and coloration in life are not known.

Habitat: aquatic, inhabiting flowing streams.

Diet: fishes, frogs, tadpoles, freshwater shrimp and earthworms.

Behavior: nocturnal 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the types, Mr. J. Preston Maxwell. 
References
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1914. Descriptions of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (8) 14 (84): 482-485. - get paper here
  • Brown,W.C. & Leviton,A.E. 1961. Discovery of the snake genus Opisthotropis in the Philippine Islands, with description of a new species. Occasional Papers of the Natural History Museum of Stanford University (8): 1-11
  • DAVID, PATRICK; CUONG THE PHAM, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2011. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Natricidae) from the highlands of Kon Tum Province, Vietnam. Zootaxa 2758: 43–56 - get paper here
  • LI, Cao, LIU, Qin and GUO, Peng 2010. Expanded Description of a Chinese Endemic Snake Opisthotropis cheni (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae). Asian Herpetological Research 1 (1): 57-60 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; ANNE LOTTIER, PATRICK DAVID, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN & GERNOT VOGEL 2014. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 from northern Laos (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa 3774 (2): 165–182 - 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
  • WANG, YING-YONG; QIANG GUO, ZU-YAO LIU, ZHI-TONG LYU, JIAN WANG, LIN LUO, YAN-JUN SUN, YAN-WU ZHANG 2017. Revisions of two poorly known species of Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) with description of a new species from China. Zootaxa 4247(4): 391-412; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4247.4.3 - get paper here
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YIK-HEI SUNG & BOSCO PUI-LOK CHAN 2013. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Guangdong Province, China. Zootaxa 3646 (3): 289–296 - get paper here
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YING-YONG WANG, BING ZHANG, MICHAEL WAI-NENG LAU & WEN-HAO CHOU 2011. Revision of the diagnostic characters of Opisthotropis maculosa Stuart and Chuaynkern, 2007 with notes on its distribution and variation, and a key to the genus Opisthotropis (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa 2785: 61–68 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Patrick David, Vu Ngoc Thanh 2008. A new natricine snake of the genus Opisthotropis from Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Province, northern Vietnam (Squamata, Colubridae). Zoosystematics and Evolution 84 (2): 197 -203 - get paper here
 
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