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Pareas victorianus VOGEL, NGUYEN, ZAW & POYARKOV, 2021

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Victoria slug snake
Burmese: Natmataung khayusar mwe 
SynonymPareas victorianus VOGEL, NGUYEN, ZAW & POYARKOV 2021
Pareas monticola – WOGAN et al. 2008: 87 (in part) 
DistributionW Myanmar (Chin State)

Type locality: montane tropical forest between Kanpetlet town and Nat Ma Taung Mt., in Nat Ma Taung NP, Chin Hills, Mindat District, Chin State, western Myanmar (21.207556°N, 94.020056°E; at an elevation of 2280 m asl).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. CAS 235254, adult male collected on 21 May 2006, by A.K. Shein and L. Shein. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from all other members of the genus Pareas by the combination of the following morphological characters: a slender yellow-brown medium-sized snake (total length 487 mm); frontal scale subhexagonal with the lateral sides converging posteriorly; anterior pair of chin shields longer than broad; loreal contacting the eye; prefrontal contacting the eye; preocular and presubocular absent; temporals 2 + 3; slightly enlarged median vertebral row; 7 supralabials; 6 or 7 infralabial scales; 7 scale rows slightly keeled at midbody; 164 ventrals without lateral keels; 58 subcaudals, all divided; about 64 slightly billowing vertical dark bars on the trunk; 2 slight thin black postorbital stripes starting from lower and upper edges of postorbital scales; lower postorbital stripe reaching the anterior part of seventh supralabial, not continuing to the lower jaw and chin; the left and right upper postorbital stripes merge forming a black nuchal collar.

Comparisons. Comparative morphological information on species diagnostics in the genus Pareas is summarised in Table 6. Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from P. andersonii by loreal in contact with eye (vs not in contact); by preoculars absent (vs present); by the shape of temporal scales (short vs elongated); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs vertebral scales not enlarged); by a slightly higher number of ventrals (164 vs 141–162); by a higher number of subcaudals (58 vs 35– 47); and by body colouration (light brown vs dark grey). The new species differs from P. atayal by loreal in contact with eye (vs not in contact); by preoculars absent (vs present); by a lower number of vertebral scales enlarged (1 vs 3); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 174–188); by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 71–79); and by indistinct transverse bands on the body (vs distinct). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. boulengeri by a lower number of infralabials (6 or 7 vs 8 [rare 9 or 7]); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 176–187); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 62– 77). The new species differs from P. carinatus and from P. menglaensis by frontal scale shape (subhexagonal with the lateral sides converging posteriorly vs hexagonal with the lateral sides parallel); by anterior pair of chin shields longer than broad (vs broader than long); by loreal in contact with eye (vs not in contact); by prefrontal contacting eye (vs not in contact); by preoculars absent (vs present); by 2 anterior temporals (vs 3); and by a lower number of enlarged vertebral scales (1 vs 3). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. chinensis by loreal contacting eye (vs not in contact); by preoculars absent (vs present); by a lower number of enlarged vertebral scales (1 vs 3); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 169–180); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 69–76). The new species differs from P. formosensis by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by preoculars absent (vs present); by 7 dorsal scale rows at midbody keeled (vs all smooth); by a lower number of enlarged vertebral scales (1 vs 3); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 170–180); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 69–82). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. hamptoni by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 195); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 96). The new species can be distinguished from P. iwasakii by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by a lower number of infralabials (6 or 7 vs 9–11); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 189–194); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 76–84). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from P. komaii by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by a lower number of keeled dorsal scales at midbody (7 vs 9–13); by a lower number of enlarged vertebral scales (1 vs 3); and by a slightly lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 60–76). The new species can be distinguished from P. macularius by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a higher number of subcaudals (58 vs 39–53); and by different colouration of body (light brown vs dark grey). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from P. margaritophorus by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by shorter temporal scales (vs temporals elongated); by 7 keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody (vs all smooth); by enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a slightly higher number of ventrals (164 vs 133–160); by a slightly higher number of subcaudals (58 vs 35–54); and by different body colouration (light-brown vs dark grey). The new species can be distinguished from P. mengziensis by light-brown colouration of dorsum with indistinct darker crossbars (vs solid black marking on back of head extending to dorsum); by preoculars absent (vs present); by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs 3 rows); and by a slightly lower number of ventrals (164 vs 167–173). The new species can be distinguished from P. modestus by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by preoculars absent (vs present); by shorter temporal scales (vs elongated); by a slightly higher number of keeled dorsal scales at midbody (7 vs 3–5); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a slightly higher number of ventrals (164 vs 151–159); by a higher number of subcaudals (58 vs 35–46); and by different colouration of body (light-brown vs dark grey to black). The new species differs from P. nigriceps by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by 2 anterior temporals (vs 1); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 175–184); by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 73–77); by 2 black postorbital stripes (vs no postocular stripes); and by indistinct transverse bands on the body (vs distinct). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from P. nuchalis by the shape of the frontal scale (subhexagonal with the lateral sides converging posteriorly vs hexagonal with the lateral sides parallel); by the anterior pair of chin shields longer than broad (vs broader than long); by loreal contacting eye (vs not contacting); by the absence of preoculars (vs presence); by 7 keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody (vs all smooth); by 2 anterior temporals (vs 3); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 201–220); and by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 102–120). The new species can be distinguished from P. stanleyi by a slightly lower number of keeled dorsal scales at midbody (7 vs 13); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a slightly higher number of ventrals (164 vs 151–160); and by supralabials not touching the eye (vs usually touching). Pareas victorianus sp. nov. differs from P. vindumi by the absence of presubocular (vs presence); by a higher number of supralabials (7 vs 6); by 7 keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody (vs all smooth); by a single row of enlarged vertebral scales (vs not enlarged); by a lower number of ventrals (164 vs 178); and by dark collar and cross bands present on body (vs absent). Finally, Pareas victorianus sp. nov. can be distinguished from its sister species P. monticola by the absence of presubocular (vs presence); by 7 keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody (vs all smooth); by a much lower number of ventrals (164 vs 178–199); by a lower number of subcaudals (58 vs 69–90); and by eye separated from supralabials by a subocular scale (vs 4th or 4th–5th supralabials touching eye) (Figures 4(a,b), 5(c,d) and 6). 
CommentOnly limited data provided as authors did not respond to request for details. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet ‘victorianus’ is a Latin adjective in nominative singular (masculine gender), and is given in reference to the type locality of this species, which was collected near the Nat Ma Taung Mt. (historically known as Mt. Victoria), the highest peak of the Chin Hills Ridge (elevation 3070 m asl). 
References
  • Vogel, Gernot; Tan Van Nguyen, Than Zaw & Nikolay A. Poyarkov 2020. A new species of the Pareas monticola complex (Squamata: Serpentes: Pareidae) from Chin Mountains with additions to the Pareas fauna of Myanmar. Journal of Natural History, 54:39-40, 2577-2612, - get paper here
 
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