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A new species of the genus Rhabdophis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guangdong Province, southern China



A new species, Rhabdophis guangdongensis sp. nov., is described from the Guangdong Province, China. It can be easily distinguished from other known congeners by cyt b and c-mos sequences, and by the following combination of morphological characters: body size small; head distinct from the neck; 20 maxillary teeth, the three most posterior teeth strongly enlarged, and not separated by diastemata from other teeth; six supralabials, the third and fourth touching the eye; seven infralabials, the first four in contact with anterior chin shields; dorsal scales in 15 rows throughout the body, weakly keeled, the outer row smooth; 126 ventrals; 39 paired subcaudals; anal scale divided; 44 pairs of narrow dorsolateral black cross-bars on body and 15 pairs on tail; body and tail with two dorsolateral longitudinal brownish-red lines, respectively with a series of white spots in cross-bars. The description of this new species brings the total number of described species of this genus to 21 and represents the tenth known Rhabdophis species in China.


Colubridae, morphology, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, taxonomy

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