Coral Red Kukri Snake ( Oligodon kheriensis Acharji & Ray, 1936 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Oligodon kheriensis (Acharji & Ray, 1936)
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found from Assam (Kokrajhar) to Sikkim, northern parts of West Bengal (Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and surroundings), Uttar Pradesh (Lakhimpur Kheri, also the type locality) and Syrai forests (Haldwani) of Uttrakhand. Also recorded from Nepal. Not found in Meghalayala (see comments)
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

This is one of the most distinct Kukri Snake of India, can be identified by checking completely patternless body having bright coral red coloration throughout. 

Description: 

Average length- 70cm. Maximum length- 114cm.
Body slender with glossy, subequal and smooth scales. Dorsal color uniform bright coral red without any marking from head to tail.
Underside pale yellowish especially on forebody or pinkish-white throughout.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 8; 4th & 5th in contact with eyes; infralabial 8; loreal 1; preocular 1, sometimes 1 presubocular; postocular 1-2; temporal 1+1 or 1+2; Maxillary teeth 8.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 19:19:17 rows.
Ventral: 
187-196; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
38-43; paired.
Habitat: 
Found from low to moderate elevation (54 m and higher) of semi-moist deciduous forests of Himalayan foothill region. Confined in modified forests and often seen in gardens, around paddy fields and water bodies near vegetations and urban outskirts.
Natural History: 
Coral Red Kukri is a nocturnal and semi-fossorial species which sometimes shows activity at day time also. Behavior elusive and mostly inoffensive. On provocation it throws body into loose coil and make loops of forebody at some height from ground. Inflated neck can be seen at the same time as aggressive response which is followed by mock attacks. On catching such aggressive individuals they can slit the skin of threatening animal from either side of head with sharp "Kukri knife" shaped tooth.
Diet: 
Feeding is greatly unknown but captive individuals feed on egg yolk from soft shelled eggs, lizards, small rodents and amphibians.
Threats: 
Road kill mortality and habitat destruction are main threats to this species. As it lives in selective forest ranges of Himalayas, its population will be affected due to urbanization of these forests.
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