New Asian Coral Snake Species Discovered In IndiaSinomicrurus macclellandi, Sinomicrurus gorei's closest sympatric species. Photo by lin_tube - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55236534

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New Asian Coral Snake Species Discovered In India

The snake's closest sympatric relative is Sinomicrurus macclellandi.

The researchers examined 36 adult specimens from Mizoram, India and Bangladesh and determined Sinomicrurus gorei is genetically and morphologically distinct from congeners.

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Researchers from India’s Mizoram University have described a new species of coral snake that was discovered during the study of existing coral snake species in Mizoram.

Sinomicrurus macclellandi (cropped)

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This is a photo of the snake’s closest sympatric species, Sinomicrurus macclellandi. lin_tube, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

“We uncovered morphological and genetic evidence for resurrecting S. gorei comb. nov., from the synonymy of S. macclellandi and elevating it to a full species rank, previously recognised as a colour variant of S. macclellandi, the researchers wrote in their paper describing the new species.


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The researchers examined 36 adult specimens from Mizoram, India and Bangladesh and determined Sinomicrurus gorei is genetically and morphologically distinct from congeners. The researchers say that its closest sympatric species is S. macclellandi. The researchers noted that there are nine species and four subspecies of coral snake in the Sinomicrurus genus. They include:

  • Sinomicrurus annularis, MacClelland’s coral snake (China)
  • Sinomicrurus boettgeri, Boettger’s coral snake (Japan)
  • Sinomicrurus iwasakii,Iwasaki’s temperate Asian coral snake (Ryukyu Islands)
  • Sinomicrurus japonicus, Japanese coral snake (Ryukyu Islands)
  • Sinomicrurus japonicus japonicus (Günther, 1868)
  • Sinomicrurus japonicus takarai (Ota, Ito & Lin, 1999)
  • Sinomicrurus kelloggi, Kellogg’s coral snake (Vietnam, Laos, China)
  • Sinomicrurus macclellandi, MacClelland’s coral snake (India , Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan)
  • Sinomicrurus macclellandi macclellandi
  • Sinomicrurus macclellandi univirgatus
  • Sinomicrurus peinani, Guangxi coral snake (China, Vietnam)
  • Sinomicrurus sauteri, (Taiwan)
  • Sinomicrurus swinhoei, Swinhoe’s temperate Asian coral snake (Taiwan)

An abstract of the study, “Reappraisal of the systematics of two sympatric coral snakes (Reptilia: Elapidae) from Northeast India” can be read on the Taylor and Francis Online website.

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