Monday 28 September 2020

MONGABAY: Rediscovery and Systematics of the Northeast Indian Snake Hebius pealii

[Herpetology • 2020] Herpetoreas pealii • Lost and Found: Rediscovery and Systematics of the Northeast Indian Snake Hebius pealii (Sclater, 1891) (Colubridae: Natricinae)

Herpetoreas pealii  (Sclater, 1891)

in Das, Gower & Deepak, 2020. Dhritiman Mukherjee

 We report the rediscovery of the keelback snake Hebius pealii after 129 years from Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. We designate a lectotype for the species, and provide the first description of a female, of colour in life, and aspects of its natural history. Multilocus phylogenetic analyses of two mitochondrial (1071 bp cytb, 508 bp 16s) and two nuclear (560 bp bdnf, 579 bp cmos) genes provides strong evidence for Hebius pealii being nested within the genus Herpetoreas instead of Hebius. We transfer this species to the genus Herpetoreas.

Key words: Eastern Himalaya, HerpetoreasHerpetoreas platyceps, Natricinae, phylogeny, snakes.

First photographs in life of Herpetoreas pealii (WII-ADR547).
animal in its natural habitat (photo by Dhritiman Mukherjee) 

First photographs in life of Herpetoreas pealii (WII-ADR547).
 full body profile (photo by Abhijit Das).

Herpetoreas pealii comb. nov.

  Tropidonotus pealii – Sclater (1891a: 241); Sclater (1891b:41); Boulenger (1893: 214) 
Natrix pealii – Wall (1923: 600) 
Natrix peali [sic] – Smith (1943: 291) 
Amphiesma peali [sic] – Malnate (1960: 50 & 52); Sharma (2007: 206 & 210) 
Amphiesma pealii – Das et al. (1998:151); Das (2003: 473); Whitaker & Captain (2004: 25); Ahmed et al. (2009: 19); Das (2010: 42 &73); Purkayastha (2013: 59); Wallach et al. (2014: 32) 
Hebius pealii – Das & Das (2017: 168); Das et al. (2019: 125); Purkayastha & David (2019: 86)

Common name. Assam keelback (Uetz, 2020), 
Peal’s Keelback (Whitaker & Captain, 2004; Das & Das, 2017), 
Bark Brown Keelback (Sharma, 2007)

Diagnosis. A member of Herpetoreas that differs from other species of the genus in having fewer ventrals (136 and 142) than H. sieboldii (180), H. platyceps (174–217), H. xenura (158–165), and H. burbrinki (172). Herpetoreas pealii also has fewer subcaudals (69 and 77) than H. platyceps (86–107), H. xenura (82–105), and H. burbrinki (96). Herpetoreas pealii further differs from H. platyceps and H. sieboldii: in having nine (versus eight) supralabials and from H. sieboldii and H. platyceps in having laterally darkly blotched (verses immaculate) ventrals. Herpetoreas pealii differs from H. xenura in having paired (versus unpaired) subcaudals.

Read on...

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails