Perrotet’s Shieldtail ( Plectrurus perroteti Duméril & Bibron, 1854 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Plectrurus perroteti (Duméril & Bibron, 1854)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Nilgiri Burrowing Snake
Kannada: 
ಪೆರೊಟೆಟ್ ಗುರಾಣಿ ಹಾವು
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Endemic to the Western Ghats. Found in high-elevations (> 1500 m asl) of Nilgiris and Wayanad hills. (Doubtful historical records from Anaiamlai and Coorg exists).
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Small and fairly slender body; smooth and glossy scales; dorsum drab brownish above; scales in 15 rows at midbody; labia 4 on upper an dlower lip; eye within ocular scale; a supraocular present; reddish inter-scalar skin; tail tapering to an abrupt coarse ending; covered with enlarged keeled scales.

Description: 

Dorsum bown of varying shades; venter with bright orange dotes; tail with reddish tip in juveniles.

Scalation
Head: 
Mental groove absent. Half or less than half ocular shield on eyes. Supraocular separated from ocular shield. Loreal absent.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15 rows.
Ventral: 
152-180.
Sub Caudal: 
6-12; anal divided.
Habitat: 
Sholas or montane cloud forest ecosystem. Also found in nearby plantations and monoculture areas.
Natural History: 
Burrowing. Found under logs, rocks and other debris and inside dens leaf-litter. Nocturnal, occasionally active by day during the rains.
Diet: 
Feeds on earthworms and other soft-bodied invertebrates.
Threats: 
Road-kills, habitat loss, destruction. Pets, pests and vermin animals like hen, crow etc that feed on these snakes very frequently.