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Sinomicrurus iwasakii (MAKI, 1935)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Iwasaki's temperate Asian coralsnake
G: Iwasakis Korallenotter 
SynonymCalliophis iwasakii MAKI 1935
Micrurus macclellandi iwasakii — WELCH 1994: 85
Calliophis macclellandi iwasakii — STANISZEWSKI 2003
Sinomicrurus macclellandi iwasakii — GORIS & MAEDA 2004: 247
Sinomicrurus macclellandi iwasakii — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Sinomicrurus iwasakii — NCBI 2021
Sinomicrurus iwasakii — SMART et al. 2021 
DistributionJapan (Ryukyu Islands: Ishigaki)

Type locality: Banna-san, Ishigakijima  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: unknown fide V. Wallach, pers. comm. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Based on nine individuals, six examined by us
(five males, one female) and variation recorded from literature when sex was given for three well documented specimens, with photos or good illustrations (one male, two females) (See Appendix 2); comparatively small species of Sinomicrurus (1) SVL 233–330 mm (mean 272.0 mm) in males, 260–305 mm in females (mean 280.0 mm); (2) temporals 1+2; (3) no teeth behind fangs on maxilla, palatine teeth 8, pterygoid teeth 4–6, dentary teeth 10–12; (4) supralabials 7/7; (5) infralabials 6/6; (6) postoculars 2; (7) nuchal-band width 3.5–4 scales in males, three scales in female; (8) black body bands 26–36 in males, 29–37 in females; (9) two small contralateral black spots, occupying less than one full scale, sometimes present in-between black bands on dorsum; (10) ventrals 210–233 in males, 223–230 in females; (11) anal divided; (12) paired subcaudals 35–40 in males, 32–37 in females; (13) tail bands 4–6 in males, 4–6 in females (additional literature records); (14) relative tail length (TL/SVL) 0.11–0.14 (mean 0.13) in males, 0.09–0.12 (mean 0.11) in females (Smart et al. 2021).

Comparisons. Sinomicrurus iwasakii, a banded temperate Asian coralsnakes with 13 dorsal scales rows (with S. annularis S. iwasakii, S. peinani, S. macclellandi, S. swinhoei; Table 2); most closely resembles members of its sister clade, S. annularis and S. swinhoei; can be distinguished from all other banded temperate Asian coralsnakes, except S. kelloggi, in having 1+2 temporals (at least on one side, vs. 1+1); additionally from S. annularis in having more ventrals (females 223–230 vs. 202–228, males 210–233 vs. 194–220) and subcaudals (females 32–37 vs. 24–34, males 35–40 vs. 26–38), and more rostral posterior edge of parietal-band at midline (1.05–1.09 vs. 1.38–2.03, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (1.16–1.34 vs. 1.33–2.02, PPB-S-Ratio); additionally from S. peinani and S. macclellandi, by its relatively small size (mean SVL <400 mm vs. >400 mm) and more subcaudals (females 32–37 vs. 22–34, males 35–40 vs. 21–36); additionally from S. peinani, by black rostral-band spilling into frontal (vs. not covering frontal); having longer tail (females 0.09–0.12 vs. 0.08–0.11, males 0.12–0.16 vs. 0.11–0.14, TL/SVL), nuchal-band beginning at parietals or at their edge, irregular anterior edge (vs. nuchal-band beginning at middle or posterior margin of mid-dorsal scale located after parietals, curved forward, Figures 8 and 9h), a more rostral posterior edge of parietal-band at midline (1.05–1.09 vs. 1.86–2.90, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (1.16–1.34 vs. 2.04–3.03, PPB-S-Ratio), anterior edge of nuchal-band usually wavy (vs. curved forward behind parietals), more rostral posterior intersect of parietals (1.39– 1.52 vs. 1.66–2.45, PIPs-M-Ratio), more rostral posterior edge of nuchal-band at midline (2.36–2.73 vs. 2.89–4.13, PNB-M-Ratio), and more caudal posterior edge of snout-band at midline (0.54–0.60 vs. −0.15–0.19, PSB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (0.66–0.72 vs. 0.09– 0.65, PSB-S-Ratio); additionally from S. macclellandi, by anterior edge of nuchal-band usually wavy (vs. usually pointing forward between parietals); additionally from S. swinhoei, by its more rostral posterior edge of parietal-band at midline (1.05–1.09 vs. 1.59–2.01, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (1.16–1.34 vs. 1.54–1.96, PPB-S-Ratio), more caudal posterior edge of snout-band at midline (0.54–0.60 vs. 0.22–0.57, PSB-M-Ratio), and more rostral posterior intersect of parietals (1.39–1.52 vs. 1.61–2.01, PIPs-M-Ratio).
Sinomicrurus iwasakii can be distinguished from other congeners (Tables 4 and 5), from S. kelloggi in having fewer dorsal scale rows (13 vs. 15); from S. boettgeri, S. japonicus, and S. sauteri in lacking mid-dorsal stripe (vs. present); from S. boettgeri and S. sauteri in lacking lateral longitudinal stripes (vs. present); from S. boettgeri and S. japonicus, in having pale parietal-band (yellow/cream/white); from S. kelloggi, S. boettgeri, S. japonicus, and S. sauteri, in lacking maxillary teeth behind fang (0 vs. 2–5); from S. kelloggi and S. boettgeri, in having fewer palatine teeth (8 vs. 10–14); from S. annularis and S. swinhoei, in having more palatine teeth (8 vs. 4–7); from S. boettgeri, S. japonicus, and S. sauteri, in having fewer pterygoid teeth (4–6 vs. 7–16); from S. kelloggi, S. boettgeri, and S. japonicus, in having fewer dentary teeth (10–12 vs. 13–18).
Sinomicrurus iwasakii differs from other congeners in hemipenial morphology (Table 6, Figure 12b); from S. annularis in having lobe tips round (vs. pointed), spines around main body 20 (vs. 11–16), main body bulge slightly enlarged (vs. moderately enlarged), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.19), basal pocket long—pocket length/organ length 0.37 (vs. 0.23), lobe length/organ length 0.16 (vs. 0.23), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 19– 24; subcaudals); from S. peinani in having lobes subcylindrical (vs. bulbous), spine shape on main body thin (vs. thick), base with many small spines (vs. many thick but short spines), main body bulge slightly enlarged (vs. highly enlarged), groove above main body bulge (asulcate side) shallow and narrow (vs. deep and narrow), organ very long— organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.21), basal pocket long—pocket length/ organ length 0.37 (vs. 0.24), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 20–24; subcaudals); from S. macclellandi in having lobes subcylindrical (vs. attenuate), main body bulge slightly enlarged (vs. moderately to highly enlarged), organ very long—organ length/ TL 0.4 (vs. 0.21–0.23), basal pocket long—pocket length/organ length 0.37 (vs. 0.17–0.22), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31– 31 (vs. 21–24; subcaudals); from S. swinhoei in having lobes subcylindrical (vs. attenuate) with tips round (vs. pointed), sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centrolineal), spines around main body 20 (vs. 14–16), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. shallow) with bordering lip moderately thick (vs. moderately thin), main body bulge slightly enlarged (vs. moderately enlarged), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.08–0.15), basal pocket long—pocket length/organ length 0.37 (vs. 0.14–0.24), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 27–28; subcaudals); from S. kelloggi in having lobes subcylindrical (vs. attenuate and horn-like) with tips round (vs. pointed), sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centrolineal), base with many small spines (vs. few small spines), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. very deep) with bordering lip moderately thick (vs. very thick), main body bulge complete and slightly enlarged (vs. restricted to asulcate side and moderately enlarged) with groove above (asulcate side) shallow and narrow (vs. shallow and broad), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.18), length to organ furcation/organ length 0.84 (vs. 0.56), base length/organ length 0.41 (vs. 0.12), basal pocket long—pocket length/ organ length 0.37 (vs. 0.19), lobe length/organ length 0.16 (vs. 0.44), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 24–24; subcaudals); from S. boettgeri in having sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centripetal-revolute), base with many small spines (vs. smooth), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. shallow) with bordering lip moderately thick (vs. very thin), main body bulge complete and slightly enlarged (vs. absent), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.25–0.26), length to organ furcation/organ length 0.84 (vs. 0.67– 0.75), base length/organ length 0.41 (vs. 0.44–0.53), lobe length/ organ length 0.16 (vs. 0.25–0.33), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 22–23; subcaudals); from S. japonicus in having spines around main body 20 (vs. 14), base with many small spines (vs. smooth), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. extremely shallow to absent) with bordering lip moderately thick (vs. very thin), main body bulge complete and slightly enlarged (vs. absent), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.25), length to organ furcation/organ length 0.84 (vs. 0.68), base length/organ length 0.41 (vs. 0.56), lobe length/organ length 0.16 (vs. 0.32), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 21–22; subcaudals); from S. sauteri in having lobes subcylindrical (vs. attenuate), base with many small spines (vs. smooth, very few tiny spines), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. very deep), main body bulge complete and slightly enlarged (vs. absent), organ very long—organ length/TL 0.4 (vs. 0.30–0.31), base length/ organ length 0.41 (vs. 0.43–0.53), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 31–31 (vs. 25–30; subcaudals) (Smart et al. 2021).

Color. Dorsal surface of body and tail reddish-brown, with regular, equidistant and black transverse bands with pale white edges; area between bands often interspersed with black spots on the dorsum; head yellowish white, with black nuchal and muzzle bands, intervening space yellowish white; muzzle band covers eyes and posterodorsal halves of internasals, majority of prefrontals, and supraoculars, posterior portion of preoculars, third and fourth upper labials, postoculars, and terminating at anterior border of the fifth upper labia; nuchal-band located immediately posterior to the temporals, three scales wide and covering the posterior segment of parietals; throat pale yellow with occasional small dots; ventrals yellowish with large black bars covering anywhere from 1 to 4 ventrals (Smart et al. 2021). 
CommentVenomous!

Conservation: Calliophis macclellandi iwasakii is classified as “near threatened” in Japan (Ota 2000).

Distribution: for a map of localities see Smart et al. 2021: 2231 (Fig. 7).

Synonymy: for a more extensive synonymy see Smart et al. 2021: 2233. 
EtymologyProbably named after Takuji Iwasaki (1869-1937), the chief meteorologist at Ishigaki-jima, after whom Maki also named Pareas iwasaki. 
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