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Rhabdophis guangdongensis ZHU, WANG, TAKEUCHI & ZHAO, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Guangdong Keelback
Chinese: 广东颈槽蛇 
SynonymRhabdophis guangdongensis ZHU, WANG, TAKEUCHI & ZHAO 2014 
DistributionChina (Guangdong)

Type locality: Aizhai Village (24°56′16.58′′ N, 113°39′57.82′′ E; 132 m a.s.l., datum = WGS84), Renhua County, Guangdong Province, China  
TypesHolotype: SYS (also as SYSU) r000018, adult female, collected by Ying-Yong Wang, on May 26, 2008 (Sun Yat-sen University = SYS, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Rhabdophis guangdongensis sp. nov. can be diagnosed by the combination of the following characters: 1) head distinct from the neck; 2) the presence of a nuchal groove, with enlarged and paired scales on each side; 3) maxillary teeth 20, the posterior-most three teeth abruptly enlarged, not grooved, and not separated by diastemata from the rest of the series; 4) nostril large and lateral, in a completely divided nasal; 5) supralabials six, the third and fourth touching the eye; 6) seven infralabials, the first four contact with anterior chin-shields; 7) dorsal scales in 15 rows throughout, feebly keeled, the outer row smooth; 8) ventrals 126; 9) anal divided; 10) subcaudals 39, paired; (11) the presence of a final spine at tip of tail; 12) top of head, occiput and nape before black collar grey; 13) a broad black collar, posteriorly bordering a reverse V-shaped orange mark on the nape; 14) dorsal surface of body and tail brown-grey, with narrow black cross-bars; 15) body and tail with two dorsolateral longitudinal brownish-red lines, respectively with a series of white spots in cross-bars.; 16) lips with two conspicuous black oblique bands; 17) ventral surface of head and neck cream with black spots, posteriorly gradually becoming entirely black.
CommentSympatry: Rhabdophis subminiatus.

Abundance: rare; only known from 4 specimens (2014). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • 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
  • Zhu, G. X., Yang, S., Savitzky, A. H., Zhang, L., Cheng, Y., & Wang, J. 2020. The Nucho-dorsal Glands of Rhabdophis guangdongensis (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae), with Notes on Morphological Variation and Phylogeny Based on Additional Specimens. Current Herpetology, 39 (2): 108-119 - get paper here
  • ZHU, GUANG-XIANG; YING-YONG WANG,HIROHIKO TAKEUCHI & ER-MI ZHAO 2014. A new species of the genus Rhabdophis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guangdong Province, southern China. Zootaxa 3765 (5): 469–480 - get paper here
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