Phylogenetic position of Lycodon gongshan Vogel and Luo, 2011, a snake endemic to China (Reptilia: Colubridae)

<p><em>Lycodon gongshan</em> Vogel and Luo, 2011 is a newly described snake species that is endemic to southwestern China. Based on two mtDNA gene fragments and two nuclear genes, a molecular phylogeny for the genus <em>Lycodon</em> was reconstructed and the systematic position of <em>L. gongshan</em> was evaluated. The results revealed that <em>L. gongshan</em> formed a strongly supported monophyletic clade with <em>L. fasciatus</em>, and (<em>L. cavernicolus</em> + <em>L. butleri</em>), although the relationships among them were unresolved. The close genetic relationship between <em>L. gongshan</em> and <em>L. fasciatus</em> is consistent with hypotheses based on morphological data. Additionally two specimens from Guangdong, previously identified as <em>L. fasciatus</em>, showed a sister relationship with <em>L. liuchengchaoiwith</em> low genetic difference, indicating that the two specimens were misidentified, and illustrating that L. liuchengchaoi may have much broader distribution than previous thought.</p>