Range extension and extended diagnosis of Lycocon Pictus: First country record from China

The Painted Wolf Snake, Lycodon pictus, was recently described based on the type series from Trung Khanh and Ha Lang districts in Cao Bang Province, northern Vietnam. Herein, we report new findings and a range extension of the recently described species. One individual was collected close by the type locality, in Ha Lang District, Cao Bang Province, Vietnam and another one in Nonggang National Nature Reserve, Longzhou County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, approximately 60 km apart from the type locality. Both specimens generally accorded with the morphological diagnosis of L. pictus provided in the original description.

Molecular analyses supported the morphological findings: the newly collected specimens were approximately 0.3-0.9% (cyt b) genetically divergent from those of the type series. Molecular analyses also revealed that the holotype of L. pictus, for which no sequences were available so far, showed, based on the results of a formalin protocol, about 0.9-1.3% differentiation from the remaining type series, 0.5% from the new record from Cao Bang and 0.9% from the new record from China. Based on the morphological and molecular findings, we herein present the first country record of L. pictus from China, with a detailed morphological description of the specimen from Nonggang National Nature Reserve and slightly extend the original diagnosis of the species.

The new record of Lycodon pictus (VNMN 011227) from Vietnam in life. Photograph by Tao Thien Nguyen

Source: Helen Yvonne Janssen, Ren Jin-Long, Li Jia-Tang, Wang Zeng, Tao Thien Nguyen, Truong Quang Nguyen, Quynh Thi Thuy Bui, Hanh Thi Ngo, Minh Duc Le & Thomas Ziegler (2019). Range extension and extended diagnosis of Lycodon pictus: First country record from China. Marine Micropaleontology, 146: 1-38.

Source: Nguyen Thien Tao, Vietnam National Museum of Nature, VAST
Link to Vietnamese version

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