[1].[J].Asian Herpetological Research,2014,5(4):228-239.[doi:10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00228]
 Lifang PENG#,Changhu LU#,Song HUANG*,et al.A New Species of the Genus Thermophis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Shangri-La, Northern Yunnan, China, with a Proposal for an Eclectic Rule for Species Delimitation[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2014,5(4):228-239.[doi:10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00228]


Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

Original Article


A New Species of the Genus Thermophis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Shangri-La, Northern Yunnan, China, with a Proposal for an Eclectic Rule for Species Delimitation
Lifang PENG12# Changhu LU1# Song HUANG23* Peng GUO4 and Yaping ZHANG3
1 College of Biology and Environment, Graduate School, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, Jiangsu, China
2 College of Life and Environment Sciences, Huangshan University, Huangshan 245041, Anhui, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, Yunnan, China
4 Department of Life Sciences and Food Engineering, Yibin University, Yibin 644000, Sichuan, China
morphology phylogenetics “four-differences” rule Thermophis Shangrila sp. nov.
The hot-spring snakes, Thermophis, were previously known only from the Tibet Autonomous Region and Western Sichuan, China. During the past two years, three adult hot-spring snakes (2 females, 1 male) were sampled in Shangri-La, northern Yunnan, China, thus expanding their known distribution region towards the southeast. This site is the southeastern-most corner of the Tibetan Plateau and the southernmost tip of the Hengduan Mountains (Mts.). Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial (mt) and nuclear (n) DNA segments suggested that the three specimens belong to the genus of Thermophis. Morphologically, the new species is more similar to T. zhaoermii. However, it is distinguished from T. zhaoermii in the number of maxillary teeth (15), distance between the two eyes/head width, rostral width/height, mental width/height, in one character limited to female: head width/length, and in four characters restricted to male: occurrence of the reduction from 10 to 8 (8 to 6, 6 to 4) scales in each dorsal row on the tail. There are differences in morphology, genetics (mtDNA, nDNA), and geography between the putative new species and T. zhaoermii, the new species meets our proposed eclectic and feasible “four-differences” rule.


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