Rhinophis goweri — A New Species of Shieldtail Snake from the Southern Eastern Ghats, India

R. Aengals, S. R. Ganesh

Abstract


Rhinophis goweri sp. nov. — a new species of uropeltid snake is described from Bodamalai hills, Eastern Ghats, southern India. This discovery is the first record Rhinophis in the Eastern Ghats and is also the first new Indian uropeltid species described for nearly a century. The new species differs from the 15 Indian and Sri Lankan congeners by having the following combination of characters: midbody scale rows 17 (vs. 15 in R. sanguineus); caudal disc as long as or longer than shielded part of head (vs. shorter in R. blythi, R. erangaviraji, R. drummondhayi); rostral not more than half as long as shielded part of head (vs. more in R. punctatus, R. porrectus, R. oxyrhynchus, R. dorsimaculatus); venter and outermost scalerows without large spots (vs. venter with large zig-zag spots in R. fergusonianus; outermost scalerows with large spots in R. homoplepis); ventral scales 215 (vs. < 146 in R. travancoricus; 170 in R. tricoloratus; < 182 in R. philippinus); dorsum uniform and unpatterned (vs. with zig-zag markings in R. zigzag; longitudinal stripes in R. lineatus).

Keywords


Rhinophis goweri sp. nov.; biogeography; India; Sri Lanka; taxonomy; snakes; Uropeltidae

Full Text:

PDF

References


Cadle J. E., Dessauer H. C., Gans C., and Gartside D. F. (1990), «Phylogenetic relationship and molecular evolution in uropeltid snakes (Serpentes: Uropeltidae): allozymes and albumin immunology,» Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 40, 293 – 320.

Gans C. (1966), «Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Uropeltidae,» Das Tierreich, 84, 1 – 29.

Gower D. J. and Ablett J. D. (2006), «Counting ventral scales in Asian anilioid snakes,» Herpetol. J., 16(3), 259 – 263.

Gower D. J. and Maduwage K. (2011), «Two new species of Rhinophis Hemprich (Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from Sri Lanka,» Zootaxa, 2881, 51 – 68.

McDiarmid R. W., Campbell J. A., and Touré T. A. (1999), Snake Species of the World. Vol. 1, The Herpetologists’ League, Washington.

Rajendran M. V. (1985), Studies in Uropeltid Snakes, Publ. Div., Madurai Kamaraj Univ., Madurai, India.

Smith M. A. (1943), Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. III. Serpentes, Taylor and Francis, London.

Wickramasinghe L. J. M., Vidanapathirana D. R., Wickramasinghe N., and Ranwella P. N. (2009), «A new species of Rhinophis Hemprich, 1820 (Reptilia: Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from Rakwana Massif, Sri Lanka,» Zootaxa, 2044, 1 – 22.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.