Light-barred Kukri Snake ( Oligodon albocinctus Cantor, 1839 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Oligodon albocinctus (Cantor, 1839)
Regional Names: 
English: 
White-barred Kukri Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in whole north-east from Himalayan foothills of Nepal to far east upto Arunachal Pradesh and all other states including Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland etc. Also found in north-eastern Bangladesh and other eastern countries of oriental region. Type locality: Cherrapunji, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya State, India.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

This is one of the most distinct Kukri Snake of north-east and can be easily identified by checking reddish-brown dorsal regularly banded with cream-white bands which are guarded by black.  

Description: 

Maximum length: 92 cm.

Head small, indistinct from neck. Top of the head creamish with a reddish-brown color curved band joining eyes, a cream colored V shaped mark on posterior of head and one short subocular streak under eyes. Small eyes have rounded pupil.
Body robust, moderately stout and covered with glossy smooth scales. Dorsal ground color reddish-brown, whole body covered with cream-light brown or whitish (in juveniles) moderately thick bands which remain guarded by black.
Underside white with large rectangular scales of black color on edges.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 7 (rarely 6); 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; loreal usually present; preocular 1; postocular 2; temporal 1+2; infralabial 8-9; body bands 19-27; bands on tail 4-8; number of scales covered by each band 8-9. Maxillary teeth 10-12.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 19: 17 (rarely 19 in females): 15 (rarely 17 in females).
Ventral: 
177-195 (M), 186-208 (F); angulated laterally; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
58-68 (M), 47-60 (F), paired. Hemipenis non-bifurcated; reaches to 24th caudal plates.
Habitat: 
Found in hill forests (up to 2000 m elevation) of oriental region and confined in modified forests like tea gardens and other commercial crops. Hides in loose roots of plants, foundations, deep mounds, under fallen logs etc.
Natural History: 
Light Barred Kukri is a nocturnal species whose activity starts from early evening and can remain active for whole night. Behavior usually shy and docile but on threatening it throws whole body into loose loops and gives mock or true attacks. Can slice our skin with its “kukri knife” shaped teeth on posterior head on catching attempt.
Diet: 
Feeds on egg yolk of animals laying soft shell eggs, small rodents, lizards etc.
Threats: 
No species specific threats are known but road kill mortality is seen in its whole distribution range. Destruction of hills can be a future threat which could cause in population decline of species.
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