Jinlong REN,Kai WANG,Peng GUO,et al.On the Generic Taxonomy of Opisthotropis balteata (Cope, 1895) (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae): Taxonomic Revision of Two Natricine Genera[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2019,10(2):105-128.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.180091]
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On the Generic Taxonomy of Opisthotropis balteata (Cope, 1895) (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae): Taxonomic Revision of Two Natricine Genera
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2019 VoI.10 No.2
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On the Generic Taxonomy of Opisthotropis balteata (Cope, 1895) (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae): Taxonomic Revision of Two Natricine Genera
Jinlong REN1 2 3 Kai WANG4 Peng GUO5 Yingyong WANG6 Tao Thien NGUYEN7 8 and Jiatang LI1 2 9*

Paratapinophis prefrontal scales Sinonatrix taxonomic revision Trimerodytes
The single prefrontal configuration has historically been used as an important diagnostic character for many natricine taxa. For example, the genus Trimerodytes Cope, 1895 was long been regarded as a junior synonym of Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 for their similar prefrontal configurations and the type species, T. balteatus Cope, 1895, has been assigned to the genus Opisthotropis. However, as the number and arrangement of prefrontal vary frequently both at species and generic level, it is questionable whether the synonymization of Trimerodytes reflects their evolutionary relationships. On the basis of recently collected specimens of O. balteata, the generic status of the species was assessed using both molecular and morphological data. Opisthotropis was recovered as polyphyletic with reference to O. balteata, because O. balteata is nested within the genus Sinonatrix Rossman and Eberle, 1977 and is the sister species of the type species of Sinonatrix. Consequently, we herein resurrect the long-overlooked synonym Trimerodytes from Opisthotropis and synonymize the junior generic nomen Sinonatrix with Trimerodytes. In addition, based on morphological similarities between the monotypic genus Paratapinophis Angel, 1929 and Trimerodytes, we doubt about the validity of Paratapinophis. Following taxonomic changes in this work, the taxonomic account of the genus Trimerodytes, updated descriptions of its type species, and diagnostic key to Trimerodytes species are provided.


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