Coelognathus helena helena (Daudin, 1803)
View Distribution of Common Trinket Snake in a larger map
|Distribution||All over India including Jammu & Kashmir, many North-East states(Assam, Sikkim, Manipur etc.)|
|Legal protection||Protected :|
|IUCN Status||This taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.|
|CITES||This taxon has not yet been assessed for CITES.|
Common trinket (Coelognathus helena helena)
Gujarati - Roopsundri | Marathi- Taskar | Hindi- Alankrat Saap
Length- Adults measure approx. 3.5ft, but can grow up to 5.5ft.
Dorsal body- - Body stout shaped with shiny smooth scales. Almost whole of the dorsal surface is brown. Two blackish lines start from parietal and run along upto the end of the neck, many chain like patterns of alternate black & white colour are found on the fore body which on moving towards posterior body fuse to form only brown dorsal surface. About half of the posterior body does not have the chain pattern, but has one brown stripe on top and one blackinsh stripe on each side.
Ventral body- Belly colour pearl white or grayish in color, while in juveniles it is glossy green colour. Subcaudal scales paired in a zigzag manner, their color is similar to the ventral scales but sometimes can be darker or more yellowish.
Head-Head elongated with smooth scales; broader than the neck. Yellowish-brown colour is found with whitish upper lip. Two blackish streaks start from the eyes and ends upto posterior lip. Eyes have rounded pupils. Tongue color dark reddish.
Tail- The tail has a brown stripe at the top which is guarded by two black or dark gray stripes at the side. Tail normal with a pointed tip; sometimes tail has lightly keeled scales on the top.
Key characters for identification-
- Fore body has chain like patterns which becomes plain on half of the posterior body.
Head- - 8-11 Supralabials; 4th & 5th or 5th & 6th or 4th to 6th or 5th to 7th touches eyes according to number of Supralabials; 2 Preocular; Loreal 1; 1 or 2 Postocular; Temporals 2+2, 2+3 or 2+4.
Dorsal- Scales highly keeled with 23/25 on front, 25/27 on middle and 17/19 on posterior body.
Ventral- 210-244; Anal mostly undivided.
Subcaudal- -73-100; always divided in Zig-zag manner.
Behavior- This species can be active during both day and night time but found to be more activie during dusk and dawn. Lives in termite mound, at low heights in old trees, wood piles, around old houses, dense vegetation etc. Feeds on rodents, small mammals and lizards. Itís a silent species when handled and rarely bites. When provoked, it coils its fore body in a beautiful spiral shape, lifts its head above the ground, opens its mouth and show the black colour oral cavity to show it to enemy but avoids intentional bite.
Reproduction - Mating is during summer till the start of August. The female lays about 6 to 16 eggs in a clutch preferably in dry places. The hatchlings come out of the eggs during August to November.
Rescue issues- Common Trinket is a widely distributed species that lives around humans in search of prey and a place to hide. In rescues its found inside the houses in dry places. It is totally harmless & non venomous medium sized species. Their release to nearby areas should be done in all rescues.