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Pareas menglaensis WANG, CHE, LIU, KI, JIN, JIANG, SHI & GUO, 2020

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mengla Snail-eating Snake
Chinese: 勐腊钝头蛇 (Mengla Dun-tou-she) 
SynonymPareas menglaensis WANG, CHE, LIU, KI, JIN, JIANG, SHI & GUO 2020 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: Mengla County, Yunnan Province, China, at an elevation of 700 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype. YBU 14124, adult female, collected in June 2014.
Paratypes. YBU 14141 and YBU 14142, two adult males from the same locality as the holotype but collected in July 2012. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. (1) prefrontal separating from orbit; (2) three chin-shield pairs, anterior pair smaller than other two; (3) 9–13 rows of mid dorsal scales keeled; (4) three rows of mid dorsal scales enlarged; (5) single loreal, not bordering orbit; (6) two preoculars, 2–3 suboculars, single postocular; (7) 9–11 temporals (3+3+3, 3+4+4, or 3+4+3); (8) seven supralabials, not bordering orbit; (9) 7–8 infralabials; (10) 3–5 maxillary teeth; (11) cloaca undivided; (12) dorsal scales in 15 rows throughout; (13) 176–177 ventral scales; (14) 65–79 subcaudals, paired.

Comparison. Pareas menglaensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. carinatus by 11 rows of dorsal scales strongly keeled at mid-body (vs. 3–5 rows feebly keeled), from P. nuchalis by prefrontal separated from orbit (vs. prefrontal bordering orbit), and from all other species of Pareas by two or three distinct narrow suboculars (vs. one thin elongated subocular). 
EtymologyThe specific species is named after the type locality, Mengla County, Yunnan, China. 
  • Wang P, Che J, Liu Q, Li K, Jin JQ, Jiang K, Shi L, Guo P 2020. A revised taxonomy of Asian snail-eating snakes Pareas (Squamata, Pareidae): evidence from morphological comparison and molecular phylogeny. ZooKeys 939: 45-64 - get paper here
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