Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis, Hofmann & Mebert & Schulz & Helfenberger & Göçmen & Böhme, 2018

Hofmann, Sylvia, Mebert, Konrad, Schulz, Klaus-Dieter, Helfenberger, Notker, Göçmen, Bayram & Böhme, Wolfgang, 2018, A new subspecies of Zamenis hohenackeri (Strauch, 1873) (Serpentes: Colubridae) based on morphological and molecular data, Zootaxa 4471 (1), pp. 137-153: 144-145

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4471.1.6

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:C7BF13B6-F212-4D89-8D75-6908101C83E2

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03F487D0-FFC8-A54D-2CC4-FF4035A3BC56

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis
status

ssp. nov .

Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis   ssp. nov   .

For a liSt of SynonymS and chreSonymS See Supplementary Table 1.

PropoSed EngliSh name: Lycian RatSnake.

Holotype: An adult male ( MHNG 2403.007 View Materials ) from Kohu Daǧ, Elmalı, Antalya, Turkey (N36.502690, E29.819595; 1700 m a.S.l.), collected in 1987 by W. Zinniker ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ). GoogleMaps  

Paratype: An juvenile female ( NHMW15173 View Materials ) from Akşehir , Konya, Turkey (N38.341464, E31.408311), collected in 1911 by Bodo v. Bodemeyer ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ). GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis: Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis   ssp. nov   . iS a relatively Slender Snake with a maximum SVL of 760 mm (Müller, 1939; female from Sultan MountainS). ThiS SubSpecieS can be diStinguiShed from Z. h. hohenackeri   and Z. h. tauricus   by itS diStinctly blotched dorSal pattern which iS twice aS large aS in the other two SubSpecieS, and in having a higher mean of ventral count (224 vs. 211 or 210, Supplementary Table 7).

Description of the holotype ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ): Total length 602 mm (SVL 502 mm, TL 100 mm); head diStinct from the reSt of the body (head length from tip of Snout to the endS of parietalS: 15 mm, head width from eye to eye: 7 mm); eyeS medium large; parietalS longer than wide; noStril preSent more anteriorly to the Snout than to the eye (eye to noStril: 4 mm, tip of the Snout to eye: 7 mm); naSal divided; SupralabialS (left/right) 8/8, the 4th to 5th Supralabial in contact with the eye (on both SideS); 10 infralabialS on both SideS; 1 praeocular on both SideS; 2 poStocularS on both SideS; temporalS (left/right) 5(2+3)/5(2+3); dorSalS 25–23–19: 25 on neck (counted at poSition of the 10th ventral plate), 23 mid-body (counted at poSition of the 111th ventral plate), 18 before anal plate (counted at poSition of the 212th ventral plate); 219 ventralS; 66 SubcaudalS; anal plate divided. HemipeneS everted.

Colouration of holotype in life: Life photoS of the Specimen in Schätti & Baran (1988), p. 306, and Schulz (1996), Plate 14C. DorSal and lateral ground colour tan; 55 dorSal Saddle blotcheS on trunk, 19 blotcheS on tail; with few conSecutive trunk blotcheS connected with each other, were counted aS one blotch; blotcheS light brown and diStinctly black-bordered, changing at ca. 10 blotcheS anterior the anal plate into a pattern of twin- SpotS poSteriorly, 3-5 dorSalS in width (along body axiS), Space between the blotcheS 1–2 dorSalS; Small, alternating lateral blotcheS, extending to the outer edgeS of the ventralS; a horSeShoe-Shaped light brown, blackbordered dorSal blotch in the neck, itS anterior peak reaching the parietalS, the poSterior open SideS connected with the firSt dorSal blotch; upper Side of head tan and mottled with black dotS; a black poStocular line beginning behind each eye and extending to the angle of the mouth; a further black mark below each eye between the 4th and 5th Supralabial Shield, extending over the infralabialS; tip of the Snout and anterior lower part of head black (including inframaxillarS); anterior part of ventralS Spotted with white and black patcheS; black colour increaSing toward mid-body; becoming almoSt entirely black from 65th ventral plate on; SubcaudalS mottled black and white.

Colouration of holotype in ethanol ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ): DorSal ground colour light grey, with dark grey (anthracite) blotcheS.

Distribution and natural history: Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis   ssp. nov   . haS a wide diStribution acroSS all SouthweStern Turkey ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ); the Mediterranean poSeS the South and SouthweStern diStribution limitS, whereaS the northern and inland limitS begin in the weSt in the mountainS South of Izmir, reaching eaSt to the Sultan MountainS of Konya province, and from there continue South along or near the GökSu River to the Mediterranean coaSt (e.g. localitieS 45, 50, 51, 55 and 59; Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). It inhabitS moderately humid valleyS to SparSely vegetated rocky SlopeS from or near Sea level (Franzen, BuSSmann, KordgeS, & ThieSmeier, 2008) to at leaSt 1,800 m aSl. (our obS. at locality 41, Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 , and Supplementary Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ), but can alSo be found at foreSt edgeS and open patcheS. It iS a particular Secretive Snake, rarely Seen, being crepuScular and probably Spending moSt of itS diurnal thermoregulation under Stony cover (thigmothermy). In warmer partS of itS range, it waS obServed on the Surface during cooler (<20°C) weather SituationS, Such aS early or late in the SeaSon or day, and before or during rainfall (See Schulz, 1996; perS. obS.). PreSumably, the colourful dorSal pattern may have an apoSematic or mimetic function (reSembling the Ottoman Viper Montivipera xanthina   ), Startling a potential predator, when the Snake iS active on the Surface or iS being uncovered. There iS no Specific information on the diet and egg clutcheS for the Lycian RatSnake, but the TranScaucaSian RatSnake, in general, iS known to feed on mice and lizardS, partly alSo inSectS, and layS up to Seven eggS (Franzen et al., 2008 and refS. therein).

Etymology: The SubSpecieS name iS derived from the Latin word 'Lycia'. Lycia waS an ancient geopolitical region in Anatolia along the SouthweStern coaStS of Turkey what iS now in the TurkiSh provinceS of Antalya and Muğla. It repreSentS the centre of Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis   ssp. nov   . and moSt SpecimenS were recorded in that region.

Description of the paratype ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ): Total length 310 mm (SVL 270 mm, TL 40 mm); head diStinct from the reSt of the body (head length from tip of Snout to endS of parietalS: 10 mm, head width eye to eye: 7 mm); eyeS medium large; parietalS longer than wide; noStril preSent more anterior to Snout than to eye (eye to noStril: 3 mm, tip of Snout to eye: 4.2 mm); naSal divided; 9 SupralabialS (left/right) 9/8, 4th to 5th in contact with eye (on both SideS); 10 infralabialS on both SideS; 1 praeocular on each Side with a diStinct centrical groove; 2 poStocularS on both SideS; temporalS (left/right) 1+3+2/1+3+4; dorSalS 21–23–17; 222 ventralS, firSt plate on head reduced in Size; 58 SubcaudalS; anal plate divided.

Colouration of paratype in ethanol ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ): Overall colour Strongly faded, no blackiSh ShadeS viSible; dorSal and lateral ground colour tan; 57 dorSal Saddle blotcheS on trunk,16 blotcheS on tail; Some trunk blotcheS at mid-body connected with each other (two connected blotcheS counted aS one blotch); blotcheS 3–5 dorSalS in width, Space between blotcheS 2–3 dorSalS; Small, alternating lateral blotcheS, extending to outer edgeS of ventralS; a horSeShoe-Shaped light brown, black-bordered dorSal blotch in the neck, itS anterior peak reaching the parietalS; upper Side of head tan, mottled with brown dotS; a dark brown poStocular line behind each eye, extending to the angle of the mouth; a further dark brown mark below each eye reaching in between the 4th and 5th Supralabial Shield, and extending over the infralabialS; lower part of head fawn Speckled with Some brown on the inframaxillarS; anterior part of ventralS Spotted with beige and brown; increaSing brown colour toward midbody, from 59th ventral plate on changing to almoSt brown; SubcaudalS fawn and indiStinctly mottled with brown.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Family

Colubridae

Genus

Zamenis