A New Species of Mountain Viper (Ophidia: Viperidae) from the Central Zagros Mountains, Iran

Mehdi Rajabizadeh, Göran Nilson, Haji Gholi Kami

Abstract


Recent studies of the reptile fauna in central Zagros mountains have concluded in the finding of a single specimen of a new taxon in the raddei species group in the genus Montivipera. In addition a photo of a second specimen from the same locality — the Kuhrang region, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran is available. Although there is only a single specimen at hand we are not able to compare the variation in morphological features with known taxa of Montivipera raddei species group, but the morphological characteristics of this single specimen separates it from any former known taxa within Montivipera. It clearly belongs to the M. raddei species group and in some features it is similar to M. latifii but unique in color patter and other characters. We consider it to be a separate and isolated new species, Montivipera kuhrangica. The species seems to be very rare and is certainly highly exposed to a risk of habitat destruction and it needs conservation programs.

Keywords


new species; mountain viper; Montivipera kuhrangica; Montivipera raddei species group; Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province; central Zagros; Iran

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2019-18-%25s-235-240

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