A new species of Bothrops (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Pampas del Heath, southeastern Peru
We describe a new species of pitviper of the genus Bothrops from the Peruvian Pampas del Heath, in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Pampas del Heath is an area of seasonally flooded savannas and a northwestern extension of the Gran Chaco Boliviano-Paraguayo. The new species is easily distinguished from its congeners by the exclusive combination of dorsal color pattern of body consisting of small C-shaped blotches, postocular stripe originating posteriorly to the eye, covering posterior supralabials, dorsum of the head with paired markings arranged symmetrically, venter cream heavily speckled with brown, prelacunal scale discrete in contact with second supralabial, three to five prefoveals, subfoveal single usually present, postfoveals absent to two, canthals two, seven intersupraoculars, one or two suboculars, two or three postoculars, seven or eight supralabials, nine to eleven infralabials, 26–27 interrictals, 23–25 middorsal scales, 172 ventrals in the female and 169–173 in males, 45 subcaudals in the female and 50 in males. We performed separate and combined phylogenetic analyses based on morphology and five mitochondrial genes and recovered the new species as a member of the Bothrops neuwiedi species group. All lineages of this clade inhabit the South American dry diagonal. This novel species of pitviper increases the known diversity of the genus Bothrops and adds to the number of described taxa from the unique and scarcely known ecosystem of Pampas del Heath.