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

R. Aengals, S. R. Ganesh


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).


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

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2013-20-1-61-65


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