Dindugal Shieldtail ( Uropeltis dindigalensis Beddome, 1877 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Uropeltis dindigalensis (Beddome, 1877)
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Endemic to Sirumalai hills (Dindigal district, Tamil Nadu) in the extreme Southern Eastern Ghats.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Yellowis to dark brownish black above with obscure spotted and mottled pattern all over. Venter with distinct alternate dark brown and yellow blotches, both colours of more or less equal intensity. 

Description: 

A rather small-bodied with fairly slender build, mildly pointed head, smooth and glossy body and a blunt rounded tail with a large circular flat caudal disc.   

Scalation
Head: 
Eye in ocular scale. No supraocular, postocular, loreal and temporal scales.
Dorsal: 
Scales smooth, glossy, cycloid. In 17 rows.
Ventral: 
155-168.
Sub Caudal: 
5-12 pairs.
Habitat: 
Inhabits moist deciduous and evergreen forests at high-elevations (> 100 m asl). And also occurs in coffee plantations, mixed fruit orchards and other monoculture cash crop estates.
Natural History: 
Not well studied. Nocturnal, sometimes active on rainy and overcast monsoon days, especially during rains. Fossorial, but active above surface during rains. Breeding behaviour seen in June-July.
Diet: 
Has been observed to feed on earthworms.
Threats: 
Road-kills. Pesticide and herbicide chemical contamination in managed private land holdings. Wanton killing by people. Predation by vermins.
Authors & Contributors: