Bloody-bellied Shiedltail ( Rhinophis sanguineus Beddome, 1863 )

  • Sharebar
Name
Scientific Name: 
Rhinophis sanguineus (Beddome, 1863)
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Endemic to Central Western Ghats, in peninsular India. Known from western Nilgiris, Waynad, Brahmagiri, Coorg and northwards upto the Malnad region.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

A fairly small, slender-bodied snake, with small and pointed head with narrow snout, gracile trunk and short blunt tail with a circular, rugose keratinous caudal disc.  

Description: 

Brownish drabl coloured back above. Underside bright bloody orange-red, often with small black dots, more so in adults. 

Scalation
Head: 
Eye in ocular scale. No supraocular, postocular, temporal and loreal scales.
Dorsal: 
Scales smooth, glossy, cycloid. In 15 rows.
Ventral: 
182-218 (Mason reported 166-183 in snakes from Palghat)
Sub Caudal: 
5-11 pairs.
Habitat: 
Inhabits evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Also occurs in coffee and other spice plantations.
Natural History: 
poorly known
Diet: 
Eats earthworms
Threats: 
Road-kills. Pesticides in plantations.
Authors & Contributors: