Assam Kukri Snake ( Oligodon catenatus Blyth, 1854 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Oligodon catenatus (Blyth, 1854)
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in north-east India from Khasi hills to further north-eastward states. Also found in southern China, northern Myanmar, and northern Laos. Type locality: Khasi hills, Meghalaya, India.
Venom Type: 
N/A
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

It can be identified by checking combination of following characters: Striped dorsal body of dark color (top body stripe ighter than side stripes), 13 mid body rows and absence of internasal and loreal. 

Description: 

Maximum length: 57 cm.

Head small, not broader than neck and darker than dorsal color.

Dorsal patterns found in two forms. In first form four dark brown or blackish stripes run along the body by leaving vertebral stripe of light color and first 2-3 rows also remain light. In second form top dorsal stripe of light brown color is dented by guarding blackish-brown stripes.

Ventral scales marked with squarish shaped blackish patches which usually remain absent in subcaudal region of second form. Overall underside appears boldly dented throughout.  

Scalation
Head: 
Internasal absent; supralabial 6; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; loreal absent; prefrontal in contact with second supralabial; preocular 1; postocular 2; anterior temporal 1.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 13 rows.
Ventral: 
179-212; not angulated laterally; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
34-43, paired. Hemipenis shape non-bifurcated; reaches to 7th caudal plate.
Habitat: 
Found in high elevation forests of oriental region. Precise micro habitat is unknown but it is likely to be similar with other sympatric semi-fossorial Kukri Snakes of south-east Asia.
Natural History: 
Nocturnal and semi-fossorial. Hides in thick leaf litter, under heavy objects, loose roots of vegetation etc. Behavior shy and inoffensive.
Diet: 
Diet is likely to be similar with other Kukri Snakes which is preliminary egg yolk of soft shelled eggs of reptiles.
Threats: 
There are no species specific threats known. The type locality state Meghalaya is going through anthropogenic changes and in recent years this species has not been sighted. Probably due to hilly habitat destruction will cause population decline. However this species has been considered rare since the days of its description.
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