Systematics of nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of synophis from the pacific andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador

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Abstract

Within Dipsadinae, some recent authors have recognized a tribe Nothopsini containing the genera Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis, on the basis of a number of putative morphological synapomorphies. However, molecular results suggest that Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis do not form a monophyletic group, while the remaining taxa are unsampled in recent molecular phylogenies. Here, DNA-sequence data for some Diaphorolepis and Synophis species are provided for the first time, as well as additional new sequences for Nothopsis and some Synophis species. Including these and other existing data for nothopsine species, previous studies showing that Nothopsini is not a natural group are corroborated. Nothopsini Cope, 1871 is restricted to Nothopsis. Diaphorolepidini Jenner, 1981 is resurrected and re-delimited to include only Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, and Synophis. Finally, Xenopholis remains Dipsadinae incertae sedis. Known material of Diaphorolepidini is reviewed to generate revised and expanded descriptions and diagnoses at the tribe, genus, and species level. Numerous cryptic species are likely present in S. bicolor and S. lasallei. Finally, a new population from the low-elevation cloud forests of SW Ecuador is reported upon, which is genetically and morphologically distinct from all other species, that is here named Synophis zaheri sp. n.

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Pyron, R. A., Guayasamin, J. M., Peñafiel, N., Bustamante, L., & Arteaga, A. (2015). Systematics of nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of synophis from the pacific andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador. ZooKeys, 2015(541), 109–147. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.541.6058

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