Review of Taxonomy and Distribution of the Eirenis medus group (Chernov, 1940) (Ophidia: Colubridae) with Description of a New Species of the Genus Eirenis from Kerman Province, Southeastern Iran

Mehdi Rajabizadeh, Josef F. Schmidtler, Nikolai Orlov, Gholamreza Soleimani


Specimens of three populations of the Eirenis medus group from Hamedan province in western, Esfahan province in central and Kerman province in southeastern Iran have been examined morphologically and compared with typical Eirenis medus in Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran. Based on morphological data, specimens of Kerman province differ from known populations of Eirenis medus in morphometric and meristic characters and should be regarded as a different taxon. As a result Eirenis kermanensis sp. nov. is described based on the examination of a couple of specimens from Sarduieh region, Kerman Province, southeastern Iran. Compared with Eirenis medus, Eirenis kermanensis sp. nov. has a higher number of subcaudals and a higher ratio of tail length on total length. Also in Eirenis kermanensis, the loreal scale is deeper than long while in Eirenis medus the loreal is longer than deep. Further studies are necessary to determine the taxonomy of Hamedan and Isfahan province specimens and this study could only show that they belong to the Eirenis medus-kermanensis species group.


Eirenis medus; Eirenis kermanensis sp. nov.; Kerman province; Sarduieh region; Iran

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