New Cobra Species Discovered in China - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 12-10-2022, 02:12 PM   #1
New Cobra Species Discovered in China

Description of A New Cobra (Naja Laurenti, 1768; Squamata, Elapidae) from China with Designation of a Neotype for Naja atra

Simple Summary

Cobras (Naja Laurenti, 1768) are a group of well-known highly venomous snakes, which cause numerous cases of snakebites every year, especially in South Asia and Southern China. Taxonomic framework is essential for the medical treatment of snake bites and accurate antivenin development. However, the taxonomy of Asian cobras is still puzzling, especially for the widespread species Monocled Cobra (N. kaouthia Lesson, 1831). This study provided new materials and understanding for the taxonomy of this species by combining mitochondrial phylogenetic analysis and morphological comparisons based on samples from a vast area in Asia. The results showed that the Chinese population of N. kaouthia represents a new species. This study also provided new data for N. atra and designated a neotype for it. Furthermore, the subspecies N. naja polyocellata was resurrected and recognized as a full species, N. polyocellata comb. nov., and the subspecies N. sumatrana miolepis was also resurrected. This study highlighted the necessity to evaluate the effectiveness of cobra antivenin based on a comprehensive taxonomic framework.

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