Spot-Tailed Kukri Snake ( Oligodon dorsalis Gray & Hardwicke, 1835 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Oligodon dorsalis (Gray & Hardwicke, 1835)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Gray's Kukri Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in whole north-east region from north West Bengal to Mizoram. Its distribution in Arunachal Pradesh is not confidently known to us. Also found in Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand etc. Type locality: Unknown. Smith, 1943 designated Chittagong Hills, Bangladesh.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Can be identified by checking combination of: Striped dorsal body with vertebral stripe of light color; two blackish spots, one on posterior body and other near tip of tail; and 15 mid body dorsal rows. 

Description: 

Head small, not broader than neck and of darker color than dorsal.

Dorsal ground color purplish-brown with fine dark stripes on flank. A light brown or reddish-brown stripe runs along vertebra either edged with black or with pair of rounded blackish spots at regular interval on both sides. Two black rings or spots found near end of ventrals and near tip of tail which are usually the characteristic feature of identification of this species.
Ventral scales bicolored, more or less dark gray or black with white rounded spots on outer edges or white part dominates dark. Underside of tail bright reddish-orange and regularly guarded with white spots on outer edges.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 7; 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; loreal 1; preocular 1; postocular 2; anterior temporal 1.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15 rows.
Ventral: 
162-188; not angulated laterally.
Sub Caudal: 
27-51, paired. Hemipenis extends till 20th caudal plate, forked at 14th.
Habitat: 
Found in high elevation (1300-1980 m) forests of oriental region. Hides in loose roots, loose soil, under thick leaf litter, under heavy objects etc. at day time.
Natural History: 
It is rather docile and shy in nature and barely attempts to bite. Prefers evening to nights for activity and remain hidden at day time. Behavior shy and usually inoffensive. On threatening it curls its tail and shows distinct reddish-orange color of underside which is usually done for showing aggressive response or to distract attention of enemy.
Diet: 
Likely to be an egg yolk feeder like typical Kukri Snakes.
Threats: 
Currently no species specific threat is known but it is likely to face same problem which is faced by most of the forest living snakes i.e. habitat destruction.
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