Olive Trapezoid Snake ( Rhabdops olivaceus Beddome, 1863 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Rhabdops olivaceus (Beddome, 1863)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Olive Forest Snake
Kannada: 
ಆಲಿವ್ ಹಾವು
Distribution: 
Endemic to Western Ghats. First described from Wayanad in north Kerala. Subsequently recorded from Trichur region in central Kerala to northwards upto Malnad part of Karnataka.
Venom Type: 
N/A
Family: 
Description: 

Average length- 60cm.
Maximum length- 98.5cm.

Dorsal -
Body slender, moderately long and covered with glossy smooth scales. Color olive brown, yellowish-brown, mud-green with four discontinuous lines of black patches. Sidemost series on both side made up of larger spots while dorsolateral spots usually smaller. Top dorsal region usually patternless. First few rows similar to ventral color.

Ventral -
Belly pale yellow or brown, may or may not be patched with olive green color. Usually a broad dark brown mid-stripe present in whole belly in continuous form.

Head -
Head moderate, slightly broader than neck. Snout rounded with a large rostral scale. Top of the head patternless and color similar to dorsal. Upper lip color either similar to ventral or not different than rest of the head. Small eyes have vertical pupil which appears rounded.

Tail -
Short and slender tail ends with a pointed tip. Color similar to dorsal and patches usually confined to side only.

Scalation
Head: 
Rostral large and broader than height; loreal 1; internasal 2; prefrontal 2; preoculars 2, upper may be fused with prefrontal or lower may be fused with loreal.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 17:17:17 rows.
Ventral: 
202-215; rounded; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
62-74; paired.
Habitat: 
Occurs in hill forests and seasonal pools within evergreen vegetation belts.
Natural History: 
Poorly known. Thought to be aquatic, because of many field sightings actually in hill forest streams and rapids.
Diet: 
Feeds on slugs, soft bodied worms etc.
Threats: 
Not known. Habitat loss and pollution of water bodies are presumed to be threats for this species.
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