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Contribution to the taxonomy of the genus Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger, 1827 (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) in China, with description of two new species and resurrection and elevation of Dinodon septentrionale chapaense Angel, Bourret, 1933.


ABSTRACT: While considerable progress has been made in the taxonomic studies of the genus Lycodon in Asia, questions remain to be clarified regarding the taxonomy of certain groups, particularly those containing species in China. Not only do many regions in China remain overlooked by herpetologists, resulting in the possibility of undiscovered new species, but the surveyed areas also have suspicious records of recognized congeners that require taxonomic confirmations. Combining both morphological and genetic data, we tackle these outstanding issues in the taxonomy of Lycodon in China. In particular, we discover two new species of Lycodon: one from the previously neglected hot-dry valley in the northern Hengduan Mountain Region close to Tibet, and another recluse and cryptic species from the L. fasciatus complex in the downtown park of a major city in southern Sichuan Province. Additionally, we clarify the distribution of L. septentrionalis in China and resurrect and elevate its junior synonym subspecies, Dinodon septentrionale chapaense, as a full, valid species, and we synonymize the recently described L. namdongensis to the resurrected L. chapaensis comb. nov.. Lycodon chapaensis comb. nov. thus represents a new national record of reptilian fauna of China. Lastly, based on literature review, we also correct some of the erroneous records of L. fasciatus and L. ruhstrati in China, point out remaining taxonomic issues of the genus for future research, and update the dichotomous key and distribution of the 20 species of Lycodon currently recorded from China.

SUBMITTER: Wang K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7840450 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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