Monday, June 19, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Lycodon sidiki • A New Species of Wolf Snake of the Genus Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Aceh Province of northern Sumatra, Indonesia


 Lycodon sidiki  
Wostl, Hamidy, Kurniawan & Smith, 2017 


Abstract

Herein we describe a new species of Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger (Squamata: Colubridae) from Aceh Province, Sumatra. This brings the number of species known to occur on the Sunda Shelf to seven. The new species is readily diagnosed from the other congeners in the region by the lack of a preocular scale, the presence of keeled dorsal scales and a banded venter. It is superficially similar to L. butleri from the Malaysian Peninsula in coloration and to L. subcinctus in head scalation. Genetically, the new species is most similar to a group of species from Mainland Southeast Asia and China. We also note the presence of several deeply divergent lineages within Lycodon that may warrant the recognition as distinct genera. The genus is in need of a comprehensive molecular and morphological review.

Keywords: Reptilia, Biodiversity, molecular phylogeny, Sunda Shelf, systematics


FIGURE 3. Lateral aspect of the head of the Lycodon sidiki spec. nov. holotype. Note the lack of a preocular scale.
Scale bar  = 5 mm 

FIGURE 2. Lycodon sidiki spec. nov. Holotype, MZB.Ophi.5980, 548 mm SVL. 

Diagnosis. This species of Lycodon is recognized by the presence of keeled scales, an elongate loreal scale that reaches the orbit, the absence of a preocular scale, an undivided anal scale, and a banded venter.

FIGURE 2. Lycodon sidiki spec. nov. Holotype, MZB.Ophi.5980, 548 mm SVL.

Etymology. This species is named in honor of Irvan Sidik, Indonesian herpetologist, a colleague, and friend, for his numerous contributions to the herpetology of the Sunda Shelf, and his promotion of scientific collections and the study of snakes.


Elijah Wostl, Amir Hamidy, Nia Kurniawan and Eric N. Smith. 2017. A New Species of Wolf Snake of the Genus Lycodon H. Boie in Fitzinger (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Aceh Province of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 4276(4); 539–553.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4276.4.6

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