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23 December 2020 A New, Miniaturized Genus and Species of Snake (Cyclocoridae) from the Philippines
Jeffrey L. Weinell, Daniel J. Paluh, Cameron D. Siler, Rafe M. Brown
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Fig. 1
(A) Elevation map of the Philippines, showing location of islands and PAICs mentioned in this article; B.I. = Babuyan Island Group, Sb. = Sibuyan Island, Sq. = Siquijor Island, C.S. = Camiguin Sur, Tb. = Tablas. (B) Samar, Leyte, and nearby islands; red star indicates the type locality of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species; blue circle indicates a second occurrence locality; (C) karst rainforest habitat at the L. mirus, new genus and species, type locality (Barangay San Rafael, Municipality of Taft, Samar Island).

Table 1
Species, catalog numbers, localities, and GenBank numbers for the individuals sampled in this study. Novel DNA sequences generated for this study are shown in bold; cells with dashes indicate missing data. Institutional abbreviations follow Sabaj (2020), with the following additions: CMRK = Christopher M. R. Kelly field numbers; GPN = E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Center herpetological collection, Gorongosa National Park.

Table 2
Meristic and mensural data collected for the holotype and paratypes of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species; scale counts: longitudinal dorsal scale rows (anterior body: midbody: posterior body); ventral scales; subcaudal scales; supralabial scales; and infralabial scales.

Table 3
Osteological data for the holotype of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, and for representative species of other cyclocorid genera. Brackets indicate number of additional teeth suspected missing; question marks indicate uncertainty in the number of missing teeth. DOI = Digital Object Identifiers for CT scan files.

Fig. 2
IQ-TREE phylogeny of Cyclocoridae inferred from Cyt b and CMOS genes; Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, samples highlighted in gray; values at internal nodes indicate ultrafast bootstrap support, and values ≥ 95 were considered strong support; branch lengths indicate substitutions/site. See Data Accessibility for tree file.

Fig. 3
Dorsal (left column), lateral (center column), and ventral (right) views of the skulls of representative cylocorine species. White scale bars = 1 mm.

Fig. 4
Comparison of selected cranial bones of cyclocorid species. (A) Skull of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, showing the position of bones i–iv; from left to right: bones of L. mirus, new genus and species, Myersophis alpestris, Oxyrhabdium leporinum, Hologerrhum philippinum, and Cyclocorus lineatus; i = postorbital bone, ii = supratemporal bone, iii = quadrate bone, and iv = maxilla. White scale bars = 1 mm.

Fig. 5
Comparison of vertebrae of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, and other cyclocorid species. (A) Whole skeleton (transparent) of L. mirus, new genus and species, showing the position of structures i–iv; (B) from left to right: L. mirus, new genus and species, Myersophis alpestris, Oxyrhabdium leporinum, Hologerrhum philippinum, and Cyclocorus lineatus; (A–B) i = precloacal vertebra at midbody, ii = cloacal vertebra, iii = caudal vertebra midway along tail; (A) iv = hemipenes. White scale bar = 5 mm (A), 1 mm (B).

Fig. 6
Shape and position of the inner ear endocasts within the skulls (transparent) of representative cyclocorid species; asc = anterior semicircular canal; v = vestibule; red = bony labyrinth; blue = stapes; black scale bars = 1 mm.

Fig. 7
Photographs of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, type specimens (alcohol preserved): holotype PNM 9872 (A), and paratypes KU 311288 (B) and KU 305488 (C). Dorsal view of body (A, top left; B–C, left); ventral view of body (A, bottom left; B–C, center); dorsal view of head (A–C, top right); lateral view of head (A–C, center right); ventral view of head (A–C, bottom right). Thick black scale bars = 10 mm; thin black scale bars = 1 mm.

Fig. 8
Head scalation of Levitonius mirus, new genus and species, holotype (PNM 9872); (A) ventral, (B) lateral, and (C) dorsal views of head. Illustrations by Errol D. Hooper (2019). Black scale bar = 1 mm.

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