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Rhabdophis leonardi (WALL, 1923)

IUCN Red List - Rhabdophis leonardi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Leonard's Keelback
Chinese: 缅甸颈槽蛇 
SynonymNatrix leonardi WALL 1923
Rhabdophis leonardi — JIANG & ZHAO 1983
Natrix swinhonis leonardi — MELL 1931 [1929]
Natrix swinhonis reducta MELL 1931
Elaphe leonardi — MCDOWELL & JENNER 1988
Elaphe leonardi — DAS & CHATURVEDI 1998
Rhabdophis leonardi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 635 
DistributionMyanmar (= Burma), Laos (Xiangkhoang),
China (Yunnan, Xizang = Tibet, SW Sichuan)

Type locality: “Sinlum Kaba, Burma, Lat. 24’’ Long 97° at an elevation of 6,000 feet”  
TypesHolotype: BNHS = BNHM 466 
DiagnosisIdentification. Un seul des trois spécimens a été examiné en détail. Il possède un sillon nucal très marqué, 17 rangées d’écailles au milieu du corps, lisses sur les 1e–5e rangées, carénées sur les 6e–8e rangées plus le rang vertébral, 149 ventrales, 39 sous-caudales, 6 labiales supérieures dont les 3e et 4e sont en contact avec l’orbite et la 5e est très longue. Ces caractères ainsi que la couleur dorsale gris cendré, la marque sous-oculaire et son dessin nucal rouge-orangé correspondent parfaitement à la description de Rhabdophis leonardi donnée par Wall (1923) et Zhao et al. (1998) (Lottier & David 2021). 
CommentSome species of this genus are venomous although we do not have information about this particular species.

MCDOWELL & JENNER 1988 gave the year of description as 1921.

Diet: earthworms and firefly larva (Yoshida et al. 2020). 
EtymologyNamed after P. M. R. Leonard, a member of the Burma Frontier Service, who collected the holotype. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boilstone, Mark 1993. The colubrid snakes of Laos. Litteratura Serpentium 13 (3): 74-82
  • Das, Indraneil;Chaturvedi, Naresh 1998. Catalogue of the herpetological types in the collection of the Bombay Natural History Society. Hamadryad 23 (2): 150-156 - get paper here
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Jiang, YAO-MING, and ER-MI ZHAO. 1983. Studies on amphibians and reptiles of Mt. Gongga region, Sichuan, China. 3. A study of species-group nuchalis, genus Rhabdophis [in Chinese]. Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, [new ser.], 2 (1): 59-62 - get paper here
  • Lottier, Anne & Patrick David. 2021. Deux espèces nouvelles pour la faune des serpents du Laos. Bull. Soc. Herp. Fr. 179: 05-10 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Schulz, K.D. 1992. Die hinterasiatischen Kletternattern der Gattung Elaphe. Teil XXI Elaphe leonardi (WALL 1921). Sauria 14 (1): 11-13 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1923. Notes on a collection of snakes from Sinlum Kaba. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 29 (2): 466-468. - 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 K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Yang, J.-H., X.-Y. Huang, J.-F. Ye, S.-P. Yang, X.-.C. Zhang & B.P.-L. Chan 2019. A report on the herpetofauna of Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, China. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(11): 14434–14451 - get paper here
  • Yoshida, Tatsuya; Rinako Ujiie, View ORCID ProfileAlan H. Savitzky, Teppei Jono, Takato Inoue, Naoko Yoshinaga, Shunsuke Aburaya, Wataru Aoki, Hirohiko Takeuchi, Li Ding, Qin Chen, Chengquan Cao, Tein-Shun Tsai, Anslem de Silva, Dharshani Mahaulpatha 2020. Dramatic dietary shift maintains sequestered toxins in chemically defended snakes. PNAS 117 (11) 5964-5969 - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
  • 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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