Articles

Discovery of a new snake species from Vientiane Province, Lao PDR

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Resulted from the cooperation program in biodiversity research, a new species of snake, namely David’s Wolf Snake Lycodon davidi Vogel, Nguyen, Kingsada & Ziegler, 2012, was discovered by the scientists from the National University of Laos, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (VAST, Vietnam) and the Cologne Zoo (Germany). The original description of the new species was recently published in the North-Western Journal of Zoology (Romania, Vol. 8, No. 2 2012). The holotype of this species was found in the limestone forest of Vang Vieng District, Vientiane Province, about 80 km far from Vientiane Capital.

Figure 1: David’s Wolf Snake Lycodon davidi. Photo: Nguyen Quang Truong

Diagnostic characters of the new species are as the following: snout-vent length 308 m, tail length 81.5 mm, midbody scales in 17 rows, dorsal scale rows keeled, 224 ventral scales, 99 subcaudal scales, 8 supralabials with supralabials from 3rd to 5th entering orbit, 84 narrow brownish-gray bands on a dark brown body, ventral surface with dark speckles. David’s Wolf Snake is an unvenomous species of the Family Colubridae. Specimens of this species were found at the entrance of karst caves in evergreen forest. This this the fifth species of the genus Lycodon known from Laos.

Figure 2: Habitat of David’s Wolf Snake in Vang Vieng, Lao PDR.  Photo: Nguyen Quang Truong

Translated by Nguyen Quang Truong

Link to Vietnamese version

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