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Pareas chinensis (BARBOUR, 1912)

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Chinese Slug Snake
Chinese: 中国钝头蛇 
SynonymAmblycephalus chinensis BARBOUR 1912: 132
Pareas chinensis — HU et al. 1980: 110
Amblycephalus monticola chinensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Amblycephalus monticola yunnanensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Amblycephalus monticola kuangtungensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Amblycephalus monticola kwangtungensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Pareas chinensis — ZHAO & ADLER 1993: 249
Pareas chinensis — GUO et al. 2011
Pareas chinensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 535 
DistributionS China (Fujian, Jiangxi, Guandong, Guangxi, W Guizhou, Sichuan, E Tibet, Yunnan, Hong Kong), NE Myanmar?

Type locality: Luluping (= Ebian Co.), western Szechwan (= Sichuan Prov.), China

not recognized any more:

kuangtungensis: China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi); Type locality: Southern China

yunnanensis: Yunnan; Type locality: Southern China  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-7326 
CommentSimilar species: Due to the overlapping number of ventrals and subcaudals, Jiang (2004b) concluded that P. chinensis should be a synonym of P. formosensis. However, molecular phylogenetic results indicate that the two species are not especially closely related within Pareas. Pareas formosensis is the sister species to P. hamptoni, and P. chinensis the sister of P. boulengeri. Close examination of maxillary teeth is consistent with this result. Both P. formosensis and P. hamptoni have 7–8 maxillary teeth, while P. chinensis and P. boulengeri have only 4–5 maxillary teeth (Rao and Yang, 1992).

Synonymy partly after ZHAO & ADLER 1993, Jiang (2004) and Guo & Deng 2009 but after the revalidation of chinensis from formosensis by Guo et al. 2011. Zhao 2006 listed Pareas chinensis as synonym of P. formosensis.

Subspecies: it is unclear whether the subspecies listed by MELL 1931 are synonyms of chinensis or possibly formosensis.

Distribution: Mell (1922) gave the type locality of Amblycephalus kuangtungensis as Su-liu-gun (=Shiliuguan), Lofau (=Mt. Luofu), 500 meters, and east of Siu-dsau (=Qujiang Co.), Drachenkopf (=Longtoushan), 600 meters, both Guangdong Province, and that of A. yunnanensis as Talifu (=Dali Co.), western Yunnan Province, 2,200meters, and Drachenkopf (=Longtoushan), Guangdong Province.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).

Group: The Pareas chinensis species group includes P. stanleyi, P. boulengeri, and P. chinensis (POYARKOV et al. 2022). 
  • Barbour, Thomas 1912. Some Chinese Vertebrates: Amphibia and Reptilia. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 40 (4): 125-136 - get paper here
  • Fellowes JR, Lau MWN, Dudgeon D, Reels GT, Ades GWJ, Carey GJ, Chan BPL, Kendrick RC, Lee KS, Leven MR, Wilson KDP and Yu YT. 2002. Wild Animals to Watch: Terrestrial and Freshwater Fauna of Conservation Concern in Hong Kong. Memoirs of the Hong Kong Natural History Society 25(123-158).
  • Francis, A. 2021. A field guide to the snakes of Hong Kong. Regal Printing, Hong Kong - get paper here
  • Guo, Keji & Deng, Xuejiang 2009. A new species of Pareas (Serpentes: Colubridae: Pareatinae) from the Gaoligong Mountains, southwestern China. Zootaxa 2008: 53-60 - get paper here
  • GUO, YUHONG; GUANGLI WANG, DINGQI RAO 2020. Scale microornamentation of five species of Pareas (Serpentes, Pareidae) from China. Zootaxa 4742 (3): 565–572 - get paper here
  • GUO, YUHONG;, YUNKE WU,, SHUNPING HE, HAITAO SHI & ERMI ZHAO 2011. Systematics and molecular phylogenetics of Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareatidae). Zootaxa 3001: 57–64 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hu, Bu-Qing, Mei-Hua Huang, Zhan-ai Xie, Er-mi Zhao, Yao-Ming Jiang, Qing-Yun Huang, Yu Zong, and Jil-Fan Ma 1980. Atlas of Chinese Snakes [in Chinese]. Shanghai Press Sci. Technol., Shanghai. (3), 5, 3, 166 pages
  • JIANG, Yaoming 2004. Pareas chinensis (Babour, 1912) should be a junior synonym of Pareas formosensis (Van Denburgh, 1909). Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 23(3), 209–210 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Poyarkov NA, Nguyen TV, Pawangkhanant P, Yushchenko PV, Brakels P, Nguyen LH, Nguyen HN, Suwannapoom C, Orlov N, Vogel G. 2022. An integrative taxonomic revision of slug-eating snakes (Squamata: Pareidae: Pareineae) reveals unprecedented diversity in Indochina. PeerJ 10: e12713 - 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
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
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