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Sibynophis chinensis (GÜNTHER, 1889)

IUCN Red List - Sibynophis chinensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Sibynophiinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesSibynophis chinensis chinensis (GÜNTHER 1889)
Sibynophis chinensis grahami (BOULENGER 1904)
Sibynophis chinensis miyiensis ZHAO & KOU 1987 
Common NamesE: Chinese Many-tooth Snake
Chinese: 黑头剑蛇 
SynonymAblabes chinensis GÜNTHER 1889: 220
Sibynophis chinensis POPE 1935
Sibynophis chinensis — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Sibynophis chinensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 672
Sibynophis chinensis — MACIAS et al. 2021

Sibynophis chinensis chinensis (GÜNTHER 1889)
Ablabes chinensis GÜNTHER 1889: 220
Henicognathus Sumichrasti BOCOURT 1886
Sibynophis hainanensis SCHMIDT 1925: 2
Sibynophis collaris parkeri MELL 1929
Sibynophis collaris formosensis MAKI 1931
Sibynophis collaris chinensis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Scaphiodontophis sumichrasti — TAYLOR & SMITH 1943: 307
Sibynophis chinensis chinensis — ZHAO 1987
Sibynophis collaris formosana — TORIBA 1993
Sibynophis chinensis chinensis — NGUYEN et al. 2009

Sibynophis chinensis grahami (BOULENGER 1904)
Polyodontophis Grahami BOULENGER 1904: 132
Sibynophis (collaris) grahami — MELL 1931 [1929]
Sibynophis chinensis grahami — ZHAO 1987
Sibynophis grahami — POPE 1935: 88
Sibynophis grahami — SMITH 1943: 280
Sibynophis chinensis grahami — NGUYEN et al. 2009

Sibynophis chinensis miyiensis ZHAO & KOU 1987
Sibynophis chinensis miyiensis ZHAO & KOU in ZHAO 1987: 4
Sibynophis chinensis miyiensis — GUO et al. 1999
Sibynophis chinensis miyiensis — NGUYEN et al. 2009 
DistributionVietnam (Hoa Binh),
S China (Kiangsu, Chekiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Hunan, Hupeh, Sichuan, Hong Kong),

grahami: China (Yunnan)

miyiensis: China (Sichuan); Type locality: Miyi Co., Sichuan Prov.: 880 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.7.90 (but was labelled as Sibynophis collaris, fide G. Vogel, pers. comm., 1 June 2017); unknown (fide NGUYEN et al. 2009).
Holotype: NSM H02967 [Sibynophis collaris formosensis]
Holotype: CIB 105027, Male; Coll. S. H. Kang: 1986 [miyiensis]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.73 [grahami] 
CommentSibynophis chinensis commonly has nine supralabials (3-3-3 form), where the fourth to sixth touch the orbit. It rarely presents a variant with eight supralabials (2-3-3 form), where the third to fifth touch the orbit. It has two anterior temporals, where the lower one touches the seventh and eighth supralabials, and rarely touches the sixth and seventh supralabials. The upper anterior temporals touches the postoculars. These morphological differences allow herpetologists to distinguish S. collaris and S. chinensis based on the number and shape of the supralabial scales and the number of anterior temporal scales (Pope, 1935; Smith,1943). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution in China. 
  • Banjade, M., Jeong, Y., Han, S. et al. 2020. First report on the reproduction of captive Chinese many-toothed snake (Sibynophis chinensis) in Jeju Island, South Korea. J Ecology Environ 44: 6 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1904. Descriptions of new frogs and snakes from Yunnan. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 13 (74): 130-134 - get paper here
  • Francis, A. 2021. A field guide to the snakes of Hong Kong. Regal Printing, Hong Kong - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1889. Third contribution to ourknowledge of reptiles and fishes from the Upper Yangtsze-Kiang. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 4 (21): 218-229 - get paper here
  • Guo, P., F. J. Zhang, and Y. Y. Chen. 1999. Catalogue of type specimens of reptiles in the Herpetological Collections of Chengdu Institute of Biology,the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Asiatic Herpetological Research 8: 43~47 - get paper here
  • Hecht, Vera L.; Cuong T. Pham, Tao T. Nguyen, Truong Q. Nguyen, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler 2013. First report on the herpetofauna of Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, northeastern Vietnam. Biodiversity Journal 4 (4): 507–552
  • Kim, Byoung Soo; Oh, Hong Shik 2006. A taxonomic reinvestigation of the collared many-toothed snake Sibynophis collaris Gray (Reptiles: Serpentes: Colubridae) from Jeju Island, Korea. Integrative Biosciences 10:121-123. - get paper here
  • Macias, D., Shin, Y., & Borzée, A. 2021. An update on the conservation status and ecology of Korean terrestrial squamates. Journal for Nature Conservation, 125971 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Tan Van Nguyen, Cuong The Pham, An Vinh Ong & Thomas Ziegler 2018. New records of snakes (Squamata: Serpentes) from Hoa Binh Province, northwestern Vietnam. Bonn zoological Bulletin 67 (1): 15–24 - get paper here
  • Norval, G. & Mao, J.J. 2009. Ein Nachweis von Takydromus kuehnei als Beute von Sibynophis chinensis chinensis in einem Sekundärwald im Chiayi County, Taiwan. Sauria 30 (4): 51-54 [2008] - get paper here
  • Norval, G.; Bursey, C.R.; Goldberg, S.R. & Mao, J.J. 2009. Ein Nachweis von Kiricephalus pattoni als Parasit einer Sibynophis chinensis chinensis aus dem Chiayi County, Taiwan. Sauria 30 (4): 49-50 [2008] - get paper here
  • Pope, CLIFFORD H. 1935. The Reptiles of China. Turtes, Crocodilians, Snakes, Lizards. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York, Nat. Hist. Central Asia, 10: lii, 1-604 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, KARL P. 1925. New reptiles and a new salamander from China. American Museum Novitates (157): 1-5. - get paper here
  • Seung Hoon, Cha 2012. Snake, the world most beautifull curve [in Korean]. Hownext, 304 pp. [ISBN 978-89-965656-7-3] - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Taylor, Edward H. & Smith, Hobart M. 1943. A review of American Sibynophine snakes, with a proposal of a new genus. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 29 (6): 301-337 - get paper here
  • Toriba, M. 1993. Present location of the type specimens described by Maki. The Snake 25: 71-72
  • 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, C. G. M. Z. X., Jia, S. Y. K. T. L., & Hu, C. Z. J. 2022. An updated species checklist of amphibians and reptiles in Fujian Province, China. Biodiversity Science, 22090 - 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
  • 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, Ermi 1987. A taxonomic study on chinese species of the genus Sibynophis. [in Chinese with English abstract] Chinese Herpetological Research 1: 1-6
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
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