Rhinophis goweri AENGALS & GANESH, 2013
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Rhinophis goweri?
|Higher Taxa||Uropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Synonym||Rhinophis goweri AENGALS & GANESH 2013|
|Distribution||S India (Bodamalai hills, Tamil Nadu)|
Type locality: Noolathu Kombai, Bodamalai hills (11°28’ N 78°10’ E; ca. 980 m elevation) situated between Namakkal and Salem districts in Tamil Nadu state, India.
|Reproduction||viviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022)|
|Types||Holotype: ZSI = Zoological Survey of India, Chennai ZSI GSRCGVRS 256; an adult female, collected by K. Ilango, R. Aengals and party on 2G10G2010.|
|Diagnosis||R. goweri differs from the 15 Indian and Sri Lankan congeners by having the following combination of characters: midbody scale rows 17 (vs. 15 in R. sanguineus); caudal disc as long as or longer than shielded part of head (vs. shorter in R. blythi, R. erangaviraji, R. drummondhayi); rostral not more than half as long as shielded part of head (vs. more in R. punctatus, R. porrectus, R. oxyrhynchus, R. dorsimaculatus); venter and outermost scalerows without large spots (vs. venter with large zig-zag spots in R. fergusonianus; outermost scalerows with large spots in R. homoplepis); ventral scales 215 (vs. < 146 in R. travancoricus; 170 in R. tricoloratus; < 182 in R. philippinus); dorsum uniform and unpatterned (vs. with zig-zag markings in R. zigzag; longitudinal stripes in R. lineatus).|
Diagnosis. The new species is diagnosed by the fol- lowing combination of characters: midbody scale rows 17; convex caudal shield as long as or longer than shielded part of head; rostral not more than half as long as shielded part of head, separating prefrontals for more than half their length; ventrals 215; venter and outermost scale rows without large spots; uniform dark grayish brown above and off-white heavily powdered with brown below; tail distinctly reddish orange below; dorsum uni- form and unpatterned. See comparisons with all conge- ners below for differential diagnosis.
|Etymology||The species name in the genitive singular case is a patronym honoring Dr. David Gower of the Natural History Museum, London, for his outstanding studies on shieldtail snakes.|
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