Common Bridal Snake ( Dryocalamus nympha Daudin, 1803 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Dryocalamus nympha (Daudin, 1803)
Regional Names: 
Kannada: 
ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ವಧು ಹಾವು
Photographs: 
Full body description. Sri Lanka
Distribution: 
Found from Kerala to eastern belt of peninsular India up to Odisha. Also found in Sri Lanka.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

It can be easily identified by checking very slender body and long tail covered with yellow-white bands. Also it is similar to appearance with sister species Scarce Bridal Snake (D. gracilis) but can be identified with certainty by checking mid body rows (13 in D. nympha and 15 in D. gracilis).

Description: 

Average length- 40cm.
Maximum length- 52cm.

Dorsal -
Body slender with smooth & shiny scales of brown or blackish-brown color. Yellow or white bands present on whole dorsal body starting from neck; gradually becomes faint on posterior. Majority of scales of bands with brown-black dots. Bands on top occupies 2-4 scales and become broad on flank, often leave triangular spots touching belly.

Ventral -
Belly glossy white without any pattern. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head slightly flattened, slightly broader than neck and covered with smooth and glossy scales. A clear white or yellow collar present in all life forms. Upper head color similar to dorsal and upper lip color white or yellowish. Large eyes with vertically elliptical pupil.

Tail -
Thin, long and slender tail ends with pointed tip. Bands found in dorsal region continues on tail in faint form.

Scalation
Head: 
Rostral broader than high. Supralabial 6 or 7; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; loreal in contact with eyes or seperated by a minute preocular; postocular 2; temporal 2+2.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales with apical pits in 13:13:13 rows.
Ventral: 
200-236; strongly angulated laterally; anal divided
Sub Caudal: 
65-88; paired.
Threats: 
No specific threat is known. Locals often kill it due to misidentification with venomous snake Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus).
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