Black-Spotted Kukri Snake ( Oligodon venustus Jerdon, 1853 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Oligodon venustus (Jerdon, 1853)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Jerdon's Kukri Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Wynad to southwards of Western Ghats in Nilgiri and Palni Hills of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Type locality: Uttar Kannada District, Karnataka.
Venom Type: 
N/A
Family: 
Description: 

Length- Can grow upto 56cm.

Head small, indistinct from neck. Top of the head with black color chevron shaped marking from prefrontals to end of it which usually remain connected with a narrow streak between eyes. Parietals usually have one-one closely placed whitish spots. Small eyes have rounded pupil.
Body short, moderately stout and covered with glossy smooth scales. Dorsal grey-brown with dark brown or gray colored oval or irregularly shaped blotches, side dorsals with smaller patches. Tail usually patternless or with very faint markings.
Underside in chequered form with combination of greenish-white, yellowish-white or black-white colour. Both colours are with distinct boundary and almost equal in proportion. Underside of tail less patched with these black patches and amount of yellow-green is predominant as compared to Travancore Kukri.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 6-7; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes, 6 may not in labial border; loreal absent; posterior nasal elongated and may touch preocular; anterior temporal 1.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 17 rows.
Ventral: 
138-165; not angulated laterally; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
27-36, paired. Hemipenis extends till 9th caudal plate, not forked.
Habitat: 
Found in moderate to high elevations (600-2135 m) of shola grasslands, evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats.
Natural History: 
Usually nocturnal and terrestrial but climbs to some height and can show activity at day time also. Hides in dense leaf litters, rocky patches, loose roots of vegetation, under wooden logs etc. Behavior shy and inoffensive, becomes restless on attempt to threat.
Diet: 
Feeds on reptile eggs, snails with shells, small geckos etc.
Bite symptoms: 

Since the snake is non-venomous, no envenomation occurs. Bite effects are same as other non venomous snake bites. Bleeding and even Swelling in some cases. One must clean the bite area inorder to prevent any infection and taking tetanus, is not mandatory though.

Threats: 
As this species is found in southern Western Ghats’ hilly region and thus habitat destruction and other anthropogenic activities will affect its population.
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