Friday, October 27, 2017

A new species of Rhabdops from the Western Ghats


Rhabdops aquaticus sp. nov. showing coloration in
life of: A) larger (presumably adult) specimen
from Baraki, and B) smaller (possibly juvenile)
specimen from Amboli. Specimens not collected.
Several years ago I (Murphy and Voris, 2014) suggested a list of snake genera that may be homalopsids instead of natricines. These were southeast Asian genera that had not been compared using molecular data. One of those genera was Rhabdops. Giri et al (2017) has now compared DNS sequences and confirmed the Indian genus Rhabdops to be a natricine. They found variation in geography, DNA sequences, the number of ventral scales, pattern and colour for samples of Rhabdops from along the Western Ghats region of peninsular India is concordant, discontinuous and bimodal. They recognize populations from the northern Western Ghats as a distinct species from the more southerly R. olivaceus and describe Rhabdops aquaticus sp. nov. based on a series of eight specimens from two localities in the Northern Western Ghats. Rhabdops aquaticus sp. nov. is associated particularly with upland laterite plateaus and their associated streams, a threatened habitat within its known distribution







Citation
Giri VB, Deepak V, Captain A, Das A, Das S, Rajkumar KP, Rathish RL, Gower DJ. A new species of Rhabdops Boulenger, 1893 (Serpentes: Natricinae) from the northern Western Ghats region of India. Zootaxa. 2017 Sep 11;4319(1):27-52.

Murphy JC, Voris HK. A checklist and key to the homalopsid snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the description of new genera. Fieldiana Life and Earth Sciences. 2014 Sep:1-43.

1 comment:

  1. Your page is good source of having knowledge about insects. This article is good as you clearly described all about new species of Rhabdops from the Western Ghats goody.

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