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Pareas andersonii (BOULENGER, 1888)

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Anderson’s Slug Snake
G: Andersons Schneckennatter 
SynonymPareas andersonii BOULENGER 1888: 601
Amblycephalus andersoni — WALL 1908: 783
Pareas macularius – SMITH 1943 (in part)
Amblycephalus andersoni — DEUVE 1961: 30
Pareas macularius – WOGAN et al. 2008 (in part)
Pareas macularius – WALLACH et al. 2014 (in part)
Pareas margaritophorus – BIAKZUALA & LALREMSANGA 2019
Pareas macularius – DEEPAK et al. 2020 (in part)
Pareas margaritophorus – LI et al. 2020 (in part)
Pareas andersonii — VOGEL et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Mizoram, Nagaland), N Myanmar (= Burma), China (Yunnan)

Type locality: Bhamò and Kakhinen Hills, Burma (now Kachin State, Myanmar).  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: MSNG 30861, Paralectotype. MSNG 30860, designated by Capocaccia (1961).
Other material: NHMUK, CAS, MZMU (see Vogel et al. 2020). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Pareas andersonii differs from all other members of the genus by the combination of the following characters: slender grayish body; medium size (total length 278–481 mm); two anterior temporals, elongated; frontal scale is hexagonal with shield-shaped with the lateral sides converging posteriorly; anterior pair of chin shields are longer than broad; loreal not contacting the eye; prefrontal contacting the eye; one subocular elongate, crescent and one postocular; median vertebrals not enlarged; 7–8 infralabial scales; 15 dorsal scale rows with 5–9 rows slightly keeled at midbody; 141–162 ventrals; 35–47 subcaudals, divided; body color grey to dark grey, dorsal pattern consists of irregularly scattered black and white bicolored spots not forming cross-bands; no markings on the head, no collar; belly with rows of squarish, black blotches (Vogel et al. 2020: 558).

Colouration. In life dorsum and body sides with glossygrey background coloration with bluish tint (see Fig. 8A, B), covered with numerous black spots of one scale in size posteriorly edged with white; dorsal black and white spots form few irregular rows anteriorly, and are scattered randomly at midbody and posteriorly; head dark grey, dorsally with numerous black spots and vermiculations, light nuchal spot or collar absent, laterally head with dense white mottling, labial scales white with dark spots marking the edges; ventral surfaces of head white with black spots; ventral surfaces of body and tail with light beige background densely covered with numerous rectangular spots on every ventral shield; dark spots form a line on the ventralmost row of dorsals edging the lighter coloration of ventrals. In preservative (based on MSNG 30860-30861) head and dorsal glossy blackish dorsum with few bicolored spots, not clear; upper labials, loreal region mottled white; ventral cream with rows of rectangular, black blotches (Fig. 3 in Vogel et al. 2020).

Comparison. Pareas andersonii shares most morphological characters with the closely related species of the P. margaritophorus-macularius complex (Table 4, Fig. 7, 8).
P. andersonii differs from P. macularius by having: slightly smaller size (maximum to 481 mm vs. 517 mm), lower number of subcaudals (41.38±3.48 vs. 46.20±4.33); nuchal collar colour and pattern (indistinct vs. usually distinct W or butterfly-shaped whitish or brown); few cross-bands of bicolored spots (vs. many); body grey to dark grey (vs. brownish-grey); belly with squarish black blotches (vs. dense speckling); head thicker, rounded (vs. compressed, oval); head slightly distinct from neck (vs. clearly distinct); anterior temporal elongated and long (vs. shorter).
P. andersonii differs from P. modestus (see below) by having: a slight larger size (maximum to 482 mm vs. 357 mm); dorsals slightly keeled in 5 – 9 rows at midbody (vs. 3 – 5 rows), body grey to dark grey with few bicolored spots (vs. uniform greyish black to blackish); belly with squarish black blotches (vs. uniform whitish).
P.andersonii differs from P.margaritophorus by having a larger size (391.08 ± 68.74 mm vs. 310.18 561± 43.48 mm), a higher number of ventrals (158.33±6.24 vs. 144.67 ± 6.63), 5 – 9 dorsal rows slightly keeled at midbody (vs. all rows smooth), nuchal collar colour and pattern (indistinct vs. usually cream or pinkish, speckles); without cross-bands of bicolored spots (vs. present); body grey to dark grey (vs. brownish-grey); belly with squarish black blotches (vs. sparse speckling) (Vogel et al. 2020). 
CommentBehavior: nocturnal.

Synonymy: Pareas andersonii was synonymized with Pareas
margaritophorus by HUANG 2004. However, genetic data suggests it is a valid species (e.g. Zaher et al. 2019). Vogel et al. 2020 revalidated P. andersonii from the synonymy of P. margaritophorus.

Distribution: See map in Vogel et al. 2020: 554 (Fig. 1).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018, by implication). 
EtymologyAfter the Latin “margarita” = pearl, and Greek “phorus” = carrying. 
References
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1888. An account of the Reptilia obtained in Burma, north of Tenasserim, by M. L. Fea, of the Genova Civic Museum. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, ser. 2, 6: 593-604 - get paper here
  • DEEPAK, V.; SURYA NARAYANAN, SANDEEP DAS, K.P. RAJKUMAR, P.S. EASA, K.A. SREEJITH, DAVID J. GOWER 2020. Description of a new species of Xylophis Beddome, 1878 (Serpentes: Pareidae: Xylophiinae) from the Western Ghats, India. Zootaxa 4755 (2): 231–250 - get paper here
  • Deuve, J. 1961. Liste annotee des Serpents du Laos. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Laos 1:5-32.
  • Ding, Li; Zening Chen, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Tan Van Nguyen, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, & Gernot Vogel 2020. A new species of the Pareas hamptoni complex (Squamata: Serpentes: Pareidae) from the Golden Triangle. TAPROBANICA 9 (2): 174–193
  • Li, J-N., Liang, D., Wang, Y-Y., Guo, P., Huang, S., Zhang, P. 2020. A Large-scale Systematic Framework of Chinese Snakes Based on a Unified Multilocus Marker System. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - 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.
  • Wall,F. 1908. Remarks on some recently acquired snakes. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 18: 778-784 - 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.
  • Wogan, Guinevere O. U.; Jens V. Vindum, Jeffery A. Wilkinson, Michelle S. Koo, Joseph B. Slowinski, Htun Win, Thin Thin, Sai Wunna Kyi, San Lwin Oo, Kyi Soe Lwin and Awan Khwi Shein 2008. NEW COUNTRY RECORDS AND RANGE EXTENSIONS FOR MYANMAR AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES. Hamadryad 33 (1): 83 – 96
 
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