Perrotet's Wood Snake ( Xylophis perroteti Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Xylophis perroteti (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Perrotet's Mountain Snake, Perrotet's Narrow-Headed Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Currently this species is known only from the high elevations (> 1500 m asl) of Nilgiri and Wayanad hills. Doubtful historical records from High Range and Anaimalais exist; these need confirmation.
Family: 
Xenodermatidae
Description: 

Dorsal -
Short, cylindrical and somewhat robust body covered with subequal and smooth scales. Color iridescent brown of dark to light range with fine stripes or dotted lines of yellowish-white color.

Ventral -
Belly gray or yellowish and patches with black or brownish-black entirely. Breadth of belly almost equal to breadth of ventral scales. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head short with obtusely pointed snout and scarcely broader than neck. Color entirely glossy dark brown or darker than dorsal ground color. A yellow collar may present in faint form. Some indistinct yellowish-white patches also present on the top shields. Upper lip black and patches with yellowish or brown spots. 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: 
Supraocular scale distinctly larger than postocular scale; 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; parietal scales make long midline contact with each other; temporal 1+2, subequal, anterior reaches to level of last two supralabials.
Dorsal: 
Smooth, imbricate and subequal scales in 13 rows.
Ventral: 
Male 130-141, Female 143-150; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
Male 25-40, Female 14-20; paired.
Habitat: 
Shola forests and nearby plantations /monoculture lands.
Natural History: 
Semi-fossorial or burrowing. Often seen under debris, fallen logs, stones etc. Actively mainly during nights, often coming on to land, above the surface.
Diet: 
Feeds on earthworms and caecillians. Probably feeds on insect larvae also.
Threats: 
Road-kills, habitat loss and habitat destruction.
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