The biodiversity of Vietnam: continuously new discoveries

A new genus and species of snakes was described by the Russian and Vietnamese scientists based on the type material from Loc Bac forest, Lam Dong Province.

The new genus was named Coluberoelaps Orlov, Kharin, Ananjeva, Nguyen & Nguyen, 2009. This name is originated from a combination of two generic names: Coluber (type genus of the family Colubridae) and Elaps (type genus of the family Elapidae) due to the morphological features of the new genus are similar to the diagnoses of both above snake families.


Species name was given after the name of Dr. Nguyen Van Sang from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources in Hanoi, in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards herpetology in Vietnam.


Coluberoelaps nguyenvansangi. Photo: Nikolai Orlov.


Nguyenvansang snake Coluberoelaps nguyenvansangi Orlov, Kharin, Ananjeva, Nguyen & Nguyen, 2009 is characterized by a combination of the following features: snout-vent length 393 mm; tail length 207 mm; fang and venomous glands absent; maxilla teeth 14; dorsal scales smooth, in 15 rows at midbody; ventral scales 267; anal plate divided; subcaudals divided, in 81 pairs; dorsum yellowish brown with a narrow dark vertebral stripe, lateral sides dark brown, venter cream.


The holotype was collected during the field survey in Lam Dong Province in 2003, which funded by the WWF – Indochina. The description of this snake was published in the Russian Journal of Herpetology (Volume 16, No. 3, 2009).

Remarkably, during a period of 10 moths in 2009, one new genus and seven new species has been discovered from Vietnam, comprising three species of amphibians and four species of reptiles. The number of new species described from Vietnam is 19 in 2008 (three species of amphibians and 16 species of reptiles).


Author: MSc. Nguyen Quang Truong
Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources
Editor: Minh Tam

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