Discovery of a new snake species from Kon Tum Plateau, Vietnam

31/03/2011
A new species of snake was described from Chu Mom Ray National Park, Kon Tum Province. The new species, Opisthotropis cucae David, Pham, Nguyen & Ziegler, 2011, was named in honour of Mrs. Ho Thu Cuc (Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, IEBR), for having collected the holotype of this new species and especially for her long lasting contribution to the better understanding of the herpetology of Vietnam. A single specimen was collected during the field survey by the scientists of IEBR in central Vietnam.
 


Cuc’s Mountain Snake Opisthotropis cucae

 

The specimens of Cuc’s Mountain Snake was found at night under water in a rocky stream, in the secondary evergreen forest at an elevation of 740 m above sea level. This species is characterized by the combination of the following features: 22 maxillary teeth; dorsal scales smooth, 23 rows at neck and 19 rows at midbody; 191 ventral scales; one loreal; seven supralabials; dorsum uniformly greyish-brown without bands or crossbars; venter greyish-yellow. The description of this species was published in Zootaxa (No. 2758, February 2011). Another species of this genus, Opisthotropis daovantieni, was also described from Kon Tum Plateau by Russian and Canadian scientists in 1998. This is seventh species of the genus Opisthotropis known from Vietnam.

 


its habitat in Kon Tum Province. Photographs: Ho Thu Cuc

 

Translated by Quang Truong
Linh to Vietnamses Version



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