Beddome’s Coral Snake ( Calliophis beddomei Smith, 1943 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Calliophis beddomei (Smith, 1943)
Regional Names: 
Kannada: 
ಬೆಡ್ಡೊಮಿ ಹವಳದ ಹಾವು
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in Eastern Ghats (Shevaroy Hills, also the type locality) and Western Ghats (Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu; Trivandrum District, Kerala State; Koppa, Karnataka) from 400 to 1500 meter elevation.
Venom Type: 
Neurotoxic
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Morphologically it looks very close to Striped Coral (C. nigrescence) in having broken stripes or series of blotches. However both species can be differentiated by checking prefrontal's contact with supralabial which exists in former and absent in C. nigrescence.

Description: 

Dorsal – 
Body much longer than thickness, uniformly slender or cylindrical and covered with subequal smooth scales. Dorsal gray or greyish sooty black with alternatively arranged three series of black spots from neck to tail. These black spots may be guarded by white.

Ventral -
Belly scarlet red from one fifth part of forebody till then start of tail. 

Head – 
Head moderate, blunt on snout and scarcely broader than neck. Ground colour black with more or less indistinct yellowish-brown patches at random places arranged in symmetrical manner. Nape bears a thick black bar which is origin of dorsal stripes. A more or less visible V shaped collar present between bar and head which starts from parietals and reaches to posterior of angle of mouth; disconnected on top. Large white patch found on posterior of upper lip which covered temporal region on both sides. Smaller but clearly visible white patch found on second and third supralabial. Scales below and around eyes black. Underside yellowish-white with light rosy tinge. Eyes small and entirely black.

Tail – 
Short and thick tails ends with rounded tip in a single scale. Three dorsal stripes continue here in visible form. Underside white color with scarlet red patches on both side, gives combed appearance. 

Scalation
Head: 
Rostral barely visible from above, higher than broad, subequal to internasal; Supralabial 7; prefrontal in contact with 3rd, separating single preocular from nasal; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; 5th in contact with postocular; 6th & 7th in contact with anterior temporal; postocular 2; temporal 1+1.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 13:13:13 rows.
Ventral: 
212-234; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
32-34; paired.
Habitat: 
Found in tropical evergreen forest and moist deciduous forest of hills of Eastern and Western Ghats.
Diet: 
Feeds on other snakes including venomous ones.
Threats: 
Direct threats includes habitat destruction, road kills and intentional killing on encounter in plantations.
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