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Sinomicrurus peinani LIU, YAN, HOU, WANG, NGUYEN, MURPHY, CHE & GUO, 2020

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesChinese: 广西华珊瑚蛇
E: Guangxi coral snake (originally suggested but not restricted to Guangxi)
E: Royal-diadem temperate Asian Coralsnake 
SynonymSinomicrurus peinani LIU, YAN, HOU, WANG, NGUYEN, MURPHY, CHE & GUO 2020
Sinomicrurus peinani — SMART et al. 2021: 2246 
DistributionChina (Guangxi), Vietnam (Cao Bằng and Vinh Phuc)

Type locality: Cangwu County (N23.65°, E111.56°), Guangxi, China, elevation of ~30 m  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: YBU 16086, adult female; collected on 05 June 2016.
Paratypes (three specimens): YBU 16054, female; YBU 16066, male; YBU 16067, female. Same locality and date as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Based on 27 individuals, 23 examined by us (10 males, 13 females) and variation recorded from literature from four well documented specimens (one male, three females) (See Appendix 2); relatively large species of Sinomicrurus (1) SVL 335– 646 mm (mean 510.6 mm) in males, 288–730 mm (mean 457.8) in females; (2) temporals 1+1; (3) no maxillary teeth behind fangs, palatine teeth 7–10, pterygoid teeth 4, dentary teeth 10–11; (4) supralabials 7/7; (5) infralabials 6/6; (6) postoculars 2; (7) nuchal-band width 1.5–4.0 scales in males, 2.3–4.5 scales in females; (8) black body bands 0–33 in males, 26–35 in females; (9) usually no blotches or markings between body bands; (10) ventrals 209–220 in males, 208–238 in females; (11) anal divided; (12) paired subcaudals 28– 32 in males, 26–34 in females; (13) tail bands 0–5 in males, 3–5 in females; (14) relative tail length (TL/SVL) 0.10–0.11 (mean 0.11) in males, 0.08–0.11 (mean 0.10) in females (Smart et al. 2021).

Comparison. Sinomicrurus peinani, a banded temperate Asian coralsnakes with 13 dorsal scale rows (with S. annularis S. iwasakii, S. peinani, S. macclellandi, S. swinhoei; Table 2), most closely resembles its sister species S. macclellandi, but differs from it by nuchalband beginning at middle or posterior margin of mid-dorsal scale located after parietals (vs. nuchal-band beginning at parietals or at their edge, Figure 8), a more caudal posterior edge of parietal-band at midline (1.86–2.90 vs. 0.44–1.89, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (2.04–3.03 vs. 0.67–2.19, PPB-S-Ratio), and black rostral-band skirting upper boundary of frontal shield without spilling into it (vs. black rostral-band either spilling onto periphery [specimens from Nepal and Sikkim] or extend halfway down frontal [most populations from Assam to Vietnam], Figure 8); from all other banded temperate Asian coralsnakes with 13 dorsal scale rows (S. annularis S. iwasakii, and S. swinhoei) differs by a more caudal posterior edge of parietal-band at level of eye (2.04–3.03 vs. 1.16–2.02, PPB-S-Ratio); additionally from S. annularis alone differs in larger overall size (mean SVL >400 mm vs. <400 mm); additionally from S. iwasakii, by having 1+1 temporals (vs. 1+2, at least on one side); less subcaudals (females 26–34 vs. 32–37, males 28–32 vs. 35–40), its more caudal posterior edge of parietal-band at midline (1.86–2.90 vs. 1.05–1.09, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (2.04–3.03 vs. 1.16–1.34, PPB-S-Ratio), more caudal posterior intersect of parietals (1.66–2.45 vs. 1.39– 1.52, PIPs-M-Ratio), more caudal posterior edge of nuchal-band at midline (2.89–4.13 vs. 2.36–2.73, PNB-M-Ratio), and more rostral posterior edge of snout-band at midline (−0.15–0.19 vs. 0.54–0.60, PSB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (0.09–0.65 vs. 0.66–0.72, PSB-S-Ratio); additionally from S. swinhoei, by having less subcaudals (females 26–34 vs. 32–36, males 28–32 vs. 36–41), shorter tail (females 0.08–0.11 vs. 0.10–0.12, males 0.10–0.11 vs. 0.12–0.16, TL/SVL), more rostral posterior edge of snout-band at midline (−0.15–0.19 vs. 0.22–0.57, PSB-M-Ratio), its more caudal posterior edge of parietalband at midline (1.86–2.90 vs. 1.59–2.01, PPB-M-Ratio) and at level of eye (2.04–3.03 vs. 1.54–1.96, PPB-S-Ratio).
Sinomicrurus peinani can be distinguished from all congeners (Tables 4 and 5), by having the rostral-band not spilling into frontal (vs. covering at least part of frontal); from S. kelloggi in having fewer dorsal scale rows (13 vs. 15); and 1+1 temporals (vs. 1+2); 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 lacking pale (yellow/cream/white) parietal-band; from S. kelloggi, S. boettgeri, S. japonicus, and S. sauteri, in lacking maxillary teeth behind fang (0 vs. 2–5); from S. kelloggi, S. boettgeri, S. japonicus, and S. sauteri, in having fewer pterygoid teeth (4–5 vs. 6–16); from S. kelloggi, S. boettgeri, and S. japonicus, in having fewer dentary teeth (8–11 vs. 13–18).
Sinomicrurus peinani can also be told apart by features of internal morphology, hemipenial characteristics (Dowling & Savage, 1960) (Table 6, Figure 11b); S. peinani differs from all other species of Sinomicrurus, including its sister species S. macclellandi in having spines with thicker bases and a more conspicuous medial fold of the basal pocket, appearing as a bulge (spines with narrower bases and medial fold of basal pocket unobtrusive, except in S. kelloggi); specifically, from S. annularis in having lobes bulbous (vs. subcylindrical) with tips round (vs. pointed), spines around main body 18–23 (vs. 11–16) and thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. many small spines), main body bulge highly enlarged (vs. moderately enlarged) with groove above (asulcate side) deep and narrow (vs. shallow and narrow), organ medium length—organ length/TL 0.21 (vs. 0.19), lobe length/organ length 0.15 (vs. 0.23); from S. iwasakii in having lobes bulbous (vs. subcylindrical), spines on main body thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. many small spines), main body bulge highly enlarged (vs. slightly enlarged) with groove above (asulcate side) deep and narrow (vs. shallow and narrow), organ medium length—organ length/TL 0.21 (vs. 0.4), basal pocket short— pocket length/organ length 0.24 (vs. 0.37), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 20–24 (vs. 31–31; subcaudals); from S. macclellandi in having lobes bulbous (vs. attenuate), spines on main body thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. many small spines); from S. swinhoei in having lobes bulbous (vs. attenuate) with tips round (vs. pointed), sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centrolineal), spines around main body 18–23 (vs. 14–16) and thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. many small spines), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. shallow) with bordering lip moderately thick (vs. moderately thin), main body bulge highly enlarged (vs. moderately enlarged) with groove above (asulcate side) deep and narrow (vs. shallow and narrow), organ medium length—organ length/TL 0.21 (vs. 0.08–0.15), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 20–24 (vs. 27–28; subcaudals); from S. kelloggi in having lobes bulbous (vs. attenuate and horn-like) with tips round (vs. pointed), sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centrolineal), spines on main body thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short 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 highly enlarged (vs. restricted to asulcate side and moderately enlarged) with groove above (asulcate side) deep and narrow (vs. shallow and broad), organ medium length—organ length/TL 0.21 (vs. 0.18), length to organ furcation/ organ length 0.85 (vs. 0.56), base length/organ length 0.36 (vs. 0.12), lobe length/organ length 0.15 (vs. 0.44); from S. boettgeri in having lobes bulbous (vs. subcylindrical), sulcus spermaticus centripetal (vs. centripetal-revolute), spines on main body thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. smooth), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. shallow), lip bordering basal pocket moderately thick (vs. very thin), main body bulge complete and highly enlarged (vs. absent), length to organ furcation/organ length 0.85 (vs. 0.67–0.75), base length/organ length 0.36 (vs. 0.44–0.53), basal pocket short—pocket length/organ length 0.24 (vs. 0.41–0.47), lobe length/organ length 0.15 (vs. 0.25–0.33); from S. japonicus in having lobes bulbous (vs. subcylindrical), spines around main body 18–23 (vs. 14) and thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short 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 highly enlarged (vs. absent), length to organ furcation/organ length 0.85 (vs. 0.68), base length/organ length 0.36 (vs. 0.56), basal pocket short— pocket length/organ length 0.24 (vs. 0.39), lobe length/organ length 0.15 (vs. 0.32); from S. sauteri in having lobes bulbous (vs. attenuate), spines on main body thick (vs. thin), base with many thick but short spines (vs. smooth, very few tiny spines), basal pocket moderately deep (vs. very deep), main body bulge complete and highly enlarged (vs. absent), organ medium length—organ length/TL 0.21 (vs. 0.30– 0.31), base length/organ length 0.36 (vs. 0.43–0.53), basal pocket short—pocket length/organ length 0.24 (vs. 0.36–0.36), hemipenis extent 7–8 (vs. 9–15; subcaudals), hemipenis furcation extent 6–7 (vs. 8–12; subcaudals), retractor muscle anterior vertebral insertion 20– 24 (vs. 25–30; subcaudals) (Smart et al. 2021).

Color in life. Coloration of a recently euthanized specimen, ROM 35245, recorded with a scanned transparency: snout and dorsum of body Sepia (219); band between eyes Cream (54), posteriorly convex and anteriorly concave; nuchal-band Dusky Brown (19); body and tail with Dusky Brown bands bordered by mild Hazel (35) edges; ventral surface bright ivory white with patches of Dusky Brown scales, after approximately every two to three ventral scales, along whole length of body and tail (Smart et al. 2021). 
CommentDistribution: for a map of localities see Smart et al. 2021: 2231 (Fig. 7).

Synonymy: for a more extensive synonymy see Smart et al. 2021: 2246. 
EtymologyThe species is named after Professor Pei-Nan Yu, a distinguished doctor in China, in recognition of his great contribution to the treatment of snakebite. 
References
  • Liu, Qin; Jiao-Wen Yan, Shao-Bing Hou, Ping Wang, Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Robert W Murphy, Jing Che, Peng Guo 2020. A New Species of the Genus Sinomicrurus (Serpentes: Elapidae) From China and Vietnam. Zool Res 41 (2): 194-198 - 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
 
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