Melanophidium Khairei a New Snake Species Discovered in Western Ghats (Download PDF)


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Melanophidium Khairei or Khaire’s Black Shieldtail an new species of burrowing snake has been discovered by the researchers in Northwestern Ghats. After 144 years gap it is identified correctly because earlier it was identified wrong as Melanophidium Punctatum or Pied-bellied Shieldtail.

Key facts:

  • This new snake is belongs to family of Uropeltidae which are burrowers and live mostly underground.
  • It is scrabbling snake of the genus Melanophidium.
  • It generally found in evergreen forests and hardly above ground in southern Maharashtra, Goa and northern Karnataka.
  • It has been named after Neelimkumar Khaire who is the legendary founder of Pune based Katraj Snake Park and Indian Herpetological Society.

New snake genus and a species discovered in Gujarat

  • Researchers have discovered a new snake genus Wallaceophis and a species named Gujaratenisis from Gujarat and it was named after Alfred Russel Wallace for his inventive work on biogeography, and for co-discovering the theory of natural selection.
  • The snake is belongs to group of colubrid snakes because of it has similar scalation, tooth number, bone morphology and DNA of other snakes in this group.
  • There are more than 1, 800 species of Colubrid snakes across the world.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 7, 2016


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