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A new black-bellied snake (Pseudoxyrhophiinae: Liophidium) from western Madagascar, with notes on the genus Pararhadinaea

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We describe Liophidium maintikibo, a new species of pseudoxyrhophiine snake from the dry deciduous forest of Kirindy, western Madagascar. The new species is related to Liophidium therezieni but differs by a lower number of ventral scales and several details of colouration. Its ventral scales have a large central black patch which is missing from the subcaudals. This predominantly black ventral side is similar to that of another enigmatic Malagasy snake, Pararhadinaea melanogaster, for which we here present evidence for two new locality records, Ankarana and Daraina in northern Madagascar. The phylogenetic relationships of P. melanogaster (the sole representative of a monotypic genus) have so far not been clarified. Similarities to Liophidium maintikibo may indicate affinities to Liophidium, but P. melanogaster differs from this new species by a lower number of ventrals, subcaudals, number of maxillary teeth and by a different dorsal colouration.

Affiliations: 1: Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Münchhausenstr. 21, 81247 München, Germany; 2: School of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor University, LL57 2UW, Wales; 3: Départment de Biologie Animale, Université d'Antananarivo, BP 906, Antananarivo, 101 Madagascar; 4: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, rue Vautier 29, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium; 5: The World Society for the Protection of Animals, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP, United Kingdom; 6: Technical University of Braunschweig, Zoological Institute, Spielmannstr. 8, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany;, Email:


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