Large-Eyed Bronzeback ( Dendrelaphis grandoculis Boulenger, 1890 )

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Scientific Name: 
Dendrelaphis grandoculis (Boulenger, 1890)
Regional Names: 
ದೊಡ್ಡ ಕಣ್ಣಿನ ಮರದ ಹಾವು
Found in moderate elevations of Central and Southern Western Ghats below Agumbe (Shimoga district of Karnataka).
Characteristics for identification: 

This species is unique among all Peninsular Indian Bronzebacks by having no stripe on head and no ventrolateral stripe. This species has comparatively larger eyes and rather blunt snout. It can be identified by checking these characters also the brown dorsal body with or without black blotches on the top.


Average length- 90cm.
Maximum length- 128cm.

Dorsal -
Body thin, long, slightly flattened and covered with smooth scales. Scales arranged in oblique manner with top row along vertebra slightly larger than adjacent dorsals. Vertebral and lateral stripes absent. Color brown, usually with black or bluish interscale color. Sometimes black blotches found in whole dorsal body which are more prominent on top.

Ventral -
Belly scales sharply folded upwards. Color pale brown or whitish on foreside which becomes darker posteriorly; with or without small black spots on edge. Subcaudal scales with olive tint of yellow or brown color.

Head -
Head slightly flattened, moderately elongated and clearly broader than neck. Snout more blunt than other Bronzebacks. Upper lip and underside of head brownish-white or bluish-white. Top of the head patternless brown, sometimes with blue ting reaching to upper labials also. No preocular or postocular stripe found. Large eyes with rounded pupils (eyes comparatively larger than other bronzebacks of same region). Tongue color blackish.

Tail -
Very long, thin and slender tail of brown color which ends with a pointed tip. Three stripes found on tail, one underside and two on each side. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Supralabial 9; 4th slightly and 5th & 6th below eyes; temporal usually 1+2 or 2+2. Maxillary teeth 31-33.
Smooth and obliquely arranged scales in 15:15:9/11 rows; vertebral scales slightly enlarge.
167-189; angulated; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
117-124; paired.
Feeds on lizards and frogs.
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