Back from the dead! Resurrection and revalidation of the Indian endemic snake genus Wallophis Werner, 1929 (Squamata: Colubridae) insights from molecular data

2017-01-28T03:54:38Z (GMT) by Zeeshan A. Mirza Harshil Patel

The monotypic colubrid snake genus Wallophis is revalidated and rediagnosed. Partial sequence for nuclear gene Oocyte maturation factor Mos (c-mos), mitochondrial Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) and cytochrome b (cyt b) were used to assess phylogenetic relationship. Wallophis brachyura type species for the genus was found to be a member of the Western Palearctic clade of Colubrinae and is recovered as a sister taxa to Wallaceophis gujaratensis. Wallophis differs from Wallaceophis in an uncorrected pairwise p-distance of 17% for mitochondrial ND4 gene. Wallaceophis gujaratensis was described in three different spellings in the literature hence we here propose Wallaceophis gujaratensis as the correct spelling for the species based on provisions in the article 24.2.3. of the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature.