ePrints@IIScePrints@IISc Home | About | Browse | Latest Additions | Advanced Search | Contact | Help

Discovery of a deeply divergent new lineage of vine snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae: Proahaetulla gen. nov.) from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India with a revised key for Ahaetuliinae

Mallik, Ashok Kumar and Achyuthan, N. Srikanthan and Ganesh, Sumaithangi R and Pal, Saunak P and Vijayakumar, S P and Shanker, Kartik (2019) Discovery of a deeply divergent new lineage of vine snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae: Proahaetulla gen. nov.) from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India with a revised key for Ahaetuliinae. In: PLOS ONE, 14 (7).

[img]
Preview
PDF
plo_one_2019.pdf - Published Version

Download (3MB) | Preview
[img] Microsoft Word
pone.0218851.s001 (1).docx - Published Supplemental Material

Download (89kB)
[img] Archive (ZIP)
8945744.zip - Published Supplemental Material

Download (622kB)
Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218851

Abstract

The Western Ghats are well known as a biodiversity hotspot, but the full extent of its snake diversity is yet to be uncovered. Here, we describe a new genus and species of vine snake Proahaetulla antiqua gen. et sp. nov., from the Agasthyamalai hills in the southern Western Ghats. It was found to be a member of the Ahaetuliinae clade, which currently comprises the arboreal snake genera Ahaetulla, Dryophiops, Dendrelaphis and Chrysopelea, distributed in South and Southeast Asia. Proahaetulla shows a sister relationship with all currently known taxa belonging to the genus Ahaetulla, and shares ancestry with Dryophiops. In addition to its phylogenetic position and significant genetic divergence, this new taxon is also different in morphology from members of Ahaetuliinae in a combination of characters, having 12-13 partially serrated keels on the dorsal scale rows, 20 maxillary teeth and 3 postocular scales. Divergence dating reveals that the new genus is ancient, dating back to the Mid-Oligocene, and is one of the oldest persisting monotypic lineages of snakes in the Western Ghats. This discovery adds to the growing list of ancient lineages endemic to the Agasthyamalai hills and underscores the biogeographic significance of this isolated massif in the southern Western Ghats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copy rights for the article is owned by PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 11:57
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 11:57
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/63608

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item