Günther's Wood Snake ( Xylophis stenorhynchus Günther, 1875 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Xylophis stenorhynchus (Günther, 1875)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Günther's Mountain Snake, Günther's Narrow-headed Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Currently it is known from hills of Tamil Nadu (Anamalais, Tirunelveli) to the elevation above 1200 meter. Type locality: Travancore, India.
Venom Type: 
N/A
Family: 
Xenodermatidae
Characteristics for identification: 

Taxonomically it can be identified easily by checking combination of 15 mid body rows and long midline contact of parietal scales which are very less in its closest sister species Captain's Wood Snake (X. captaini). 

Description: 

Dorsal -
Short, cylindrical and somewhat robust body covered with subequal and smooth scales. Color glossy brown with three longitudinal stripes or series of dots, darker than dorsal ground color running on the top dorsal region. One more dark stripe also runs on side dorsal near to belly.

Ventral -
Belly dark brown which is as broad as bradth of ventral scales. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head short with pointed snout and not broader than neck. Color entirely glossy dark brown or similar to dorsal ground color. A thick yellow collar present with is usually disconnected on top. Some indistinct yellowish patches may also present on the top shields. Small eyes have rounded or oval pupil but overall appears entirely black.

Tail -
Short and thick tail ends with a thick tip. Color similar to dorsal body and have stripes in faint form.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 5; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; first smallest, in contact with rostral and nasal only; fourth in contact with postocular and temporal; a long conspicuous scale present between eyes and nasal, guarded by 2nd & 3rd supralabials; frontal not longer than breadth and much shorter than parietals; parietal scales make long midline contact with each other; temporal 1+2, subequal, anterior reaches to level of last two supralabials; second infralabial notably longer than the first and together the first and second approach the length of the third. Approximately 18-21 maxillary teeth.
Dorsal: 
Smooth, imbricate and subequal scales in 15 rows.
Ventral: 
120-135; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
Male 24-29, Female 15; paired.
Diet: 
Feeds on earthworms and caecillians. Probably feeds on insect larvae also.
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