Scarce Bridal Snake ( Dryocalamus gracilis Günther, 1864 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Dryocalamus gracilis (Günther, 1864)
Regional Names: 
Kannada: 
ವಧು ಹಾವು
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
India: Anaimalai Hills, Kadapa Hills (Andhra Pradesh), Berhampore (Odisha). Likely to be distributed in most of the south-eastern parts of peninsular India. Myanmar: False Island, off the Rakhine (Arakan) coast. Sri Lanka: Extreme north of Jaffna Peninsula; Kurunegala district, Ambanpola.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

From its sister species Common Bridal Snake (D. nympha) it can be differentiated by checking mid body rows (15 in D. gracilis and 13 in D. nympha). 

 

Description: 

Maximum length- 62cm.

Dorsal -
Body slender with smooth & shiny scales of brown or blackish-brown color. Yellow or white bands present on whole dorsal body starting from neck; gradually becomes faint on posterior. Majority of scales of bands with brown-black dots. Bands on top occupies 2-4 scales and become broad on flank, often leave triangular spots touching belly.

Ventral -
Belly glossy white without any pattern. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head slightly flattened, slightly broader than neck and covered with smooth and glossy scales. A clear white or yellow collar present in all life forms. Upper head color similar to dorsal and upper lip color white or yellowish. Large eyes with vertically elliptical pupil.

Tail -
Thin, long and slender tail ends with pointed tip. Bands found in dorsal region continues on tail in faint form.

Scalation
Head: 
Rostral broader than high. Supralabial 7; 3rd and 4th in contact with eyes; loreal in broad contact with eyes, with a small preocular above; postocular 2 or 3; temporal 2+2 or 2+3.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales with apical pits in 15: 15: 15 rows.
Ventral: 
199-243; strongly angulated laterally; anal undivided (rarely divided).
Sub Caudal: 
75-87; paired.
Threats: 
No specific threat is known. Locals often kill it due to misidentification with venomous snake Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus).
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