Sind Awl-headed Snake ( Lytorhynchus paradoxus Günther, 1875 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Lytorhynchus paradoxus (Günther, 1875)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Sind Longnose Sand Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
In India it has been recorded only from Barmer, Jaisalmer and Sikar district of Rajasthan; likely to be occur in wider range of the same state. Also found in Thar desert of Pakistan.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Can be easily identified by checking a very pointed snout covered with a tough rostral scale and series of H or X shaped black spots on whole dorsal surface. 

Description: 

Average length- 25cm.
Maximum length- 38cm.

Dorsal -
Body slightly triangular in cross section with smooth scales. Color gray or pale brown with a discontinuous series of H or X shaped blotches on the top which are connected by a white stripe till the end of the tail and gives appearance of having a chain. Side dorsals have smaller and less detailed spots which alternates with top dorsal spots.

Ventral -
Belly color patternless white. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head extremely pointed with tough rostral, depressed on snout after eyes and scarcely broader than neck. Upper lip white. One thick streak found behind eyes which reaches to angle of head and a short broken or unbroken streak found below them. Top of the head grayish-brown with a large dark brown covering most of the part of it. Large eyes have vertically elliptical pupil.

Tail -
Short and triangular tail ends with a pointed tip. Blackish patterns of dorsal body continues in faint form or may become totally absent.

Scalation
Head: 
Rostral well shaped, pointed from front and rounded from behind. Supralabial 8; 5th in contact with eyes; loreal 1; preocular 2, presubocular 1; postocular 2; temporal 2+2 or 2+3. Mental with small projection which fits properly with notches of roastral's base.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 21/23: 19/21: 15 rows.
Ventral: 
169-185; angulated laterally; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
40-53; paired.
Natural History: 
Feeds on lizards and small rodents of its habitat.
Diet: 
Oviparous. Female lays 2-4 eggs in holes, under loose soil of desert vegetation etc. during summer months.
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