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Article
Published: 2020-05-14

A new species of Rhinophis Hemprich, 1820 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from the Wayanad region of peninsular India

IISER-TVM Centre for Research and Education in Ecology and Evolution (ICREEE) and School of Biology, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, Maruthamala P.O. Vithura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695551, India
Wayanad Wild, Lakkidi, Vythiri, Wayanad, Kerala, India
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
Wayanad Wild, Lakkidi, Vythiri, Wayanad, Kerala, India Pavukandy House, Moolad P.O., Narayamkulam, Kozhikode, Kerala 673614, India
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
Serpentes identification key shieldtail snakes taxonomy Western Ghats

Abstract

A new species of the shieldtail snake genus Rhinophis is described based on a type series of seven recently collected specimens from the Wayanad region of the Western Ghats of peninsular India. Rhinophis melanoleucus sp. nov. is diagnosed based on a combination of 15 dorsal scale rows at (or just behind) midbody, more than 215 ventral scales and a long rostral. The new species also has a distinctive (mostly black and white) colouration. A new key to the identification of Indian species of Rhinophis is provided.

 

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