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A new species of the snake genus Hebius Thompson from Northeast India (Squamata: Natricidae)



A new species of the family Natricidae Bonaparte is described from a single specimen obtained in Arunachal State, northeastern India. On the basis of its external morphology and of its dentition on the upper maxilla, i.e. 24 + 3 distinctly enlarged teeth separated by a short diastema, it is referred to the genus Hebius Thompson. Hebius lacrima spec. nov. is distinguished from other species of the genera Hebius, Amphiesma Duméril, Bibron & Duméril and Herpetoreas Günther, by the combination of an elongate body, 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a distinctive broad, white band on the supralabials interrupted by a dark blotch below the eye, absence of dorsolateral stripes replaced by series of transversally elliptical or divided dorsolateral spots, a cream venter with lateral dark blotches, and scales of the first dorsal scale row entirely smooth. The interrupted, broad, lateral stripe of the head differentiates Hebius lacrima spec. nov. from all other species of the genera Hebius and Herpetoreas inhabiting the Indo-Himalayan and Indochinese Regions. This new species is compared in detail with other Asian species of Natricidae having 19 dorsal scale rows.



Reptilia, Arunachal Pradesh, India, Hebius, Herpetoreas

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa