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Pareas xuelinensis LIU & RAO, 2021

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymPareas xuelinensis LIU & RAO 2021: 128 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: Xuelin Township, Lancang County, Pu’er City, Yunnan Province, China, 23°2'38"N, 99°32'35"E; 1840 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. KIZ XL1, adult male, collected on 13 July 2019 by Shuo Liu.
Paratypes. KIZ XL2, adult male and KIZ XL3, adult female, the same collection data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Single preocular; postocular fused with subocular; loreal not bordering orbit; prefrontal bordering orbit; fourth or fifth infralabial fused with second chinshield; three chin-shield pairs; dorsal scales in 15 rows throughout; vertebral scales not enlarged; scales not keeled at the anterior part of the body, three rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at the middle of the body, five rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at the posterior of body; seven supralabials; seven or eight infralabials; cloaca undivided; ventral scales 182–188; subcaudals 87–93, paired.

Colouration in life. Dorsal surface of head and body reddish-yellow with many black tiny spots on each scale; a thin black discontinuous postorbital stripe extending from postocular to neck, which is connected with its fellow on the opposite side by a thick black line which curves forward so as to almost touch the parietals; two thick black discontinuous stripes on neck followed the black curves forward line; many irregular longitudinal black stripes on the sides of body and tail, the stripes on different sides not connected to each other on the vertebrals; belly and ventral surface of head and tail yellow with sparse small black spots; iris reddish-yellow, pupil black.

Variations. Morphometric and meristic data for the type series are provided in Table 3. The paratype KIZ XL2 has 2+3+2 temporals on the left side and 2+2+3 temporals on the right side. The paratype KIZ XL3 has eight infralabials on both sides, first five being in contact with anterior chin-shields, fifth fused with second chin-shield.

Comparisons. Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. andersonii Boulenger, P. atayal You, Poyarkov & Lin P. iwasakii (Maki), P. komaii (Maki), P. macularius Theobald, P. nigriceps Guo & Deng and P. stanleyi (Boulenger) by 0–5 rows ofmid-dorsalscaleskeeled(vs.5–13rowsofmid-dorsalscaleskeeled);fromP.boulengeri (Angel), P. margaritophorus (Jan), P. monticola (Cantor) and P. vindumi Vogel by three rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at middle of body, five rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at posterior of body (vs. all dorsal scales smooth); from P. carinatus, P. menglaensis and P. nuchalis (Boulenger) by subocular and postocular fused into one thin elongated crescent-shaped scale (vs. two or three distinct narrow suboculars); from P. chinensis (Barbour) and P. modestus Theobald by more ventral scales (182–188 vs. 136–176); and from P. formosensis (Van Denburgh) and P. kaduri Bhosale, Phansalkar, Sawant, Gowande, Patel and Mirza by vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. vertebral scales enlarged).
Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. geminatus by vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. vertebral scales enlarged), three rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at middle of body (vs. five rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled at middle of body), fourth or fifth infralabial fused with the second chin-shield (vs. infralabials not fused with chin-shield), temporals 2+2+2 or 2+3+3 (vs. 1+2+1 or 1+1+1) and no black spot on each side of head (vs. having two black spots on each side of head).
Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. hamptoni (Boulenger) by vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. vertebral scales enlarged), temporals 2+2 or 2+3 (vs. 1+2) and less ventral scales (182–188 vs. 202).
Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. mengziensis by vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. vertebral scales enlarged), 0–5 rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled (vs. 3–9 rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled), having more ventral scales (182–188 vs. 167–173), more subcaudals (87–93 vs. 54–61) and the dorsal surface of head and body reddish-yellow (vs. the dorsal surface of head and body solid black).
Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. niger by having more ventral scales (182–188 vs. 154–172), more subcaudals (87–93 vs. 55–66) and the dorsal surface of head and body reddish-yellow (vs. the dorsal surface of head and body solid black).
Pareas xuelinensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from P. yunnanensis by the loreal separating from the eye (vs. the point of the large loreal touching the eye), vertebral scales not enlarged (vs. vertebral scales enlarged), and 0–5 rows of mid-dorsal scales keeled (vs. six rows of dorsal scales keeled). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet xuelinensis refers to Xuelin Township, the type locality of the new species. 
References
  • Liu S, Rao D 2021. A new species of the genus Pareas (Squamata, Pareidae) from Yunnan, China. ZooKeys 1011: 121-138 - get paper here
 
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