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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesSinhala: desilvage madilla
E: de Silva’s Rough-Side Snake 
DistributionSri Lanka (Central Province), elevation 995 - 1700 m

Type locality: Riverstone, Knuckles, Matale District, Central Province, Sri Lanka (07°31’39” N, 80°44’01” E, elevation 1420 m).  
TypesHolotype: NMSL NH 2019.01.02, adult male, 168 mm SVL (Figure 2). Collected by L.J.M.W and D.R.V. on 07 July 2018.
Paratypes. NMSL-NH 2019.01.01, adult female, 208 mm SVL, from Panwila in Knuckles Mountain Range, Kandy District, Central Province in Sri Lanka (07o22'00.36’’ N, 080o41'00.10’’ E, elevation 995 m). Collected by L.J.M.W and I.N.B. on 13 March 2011; DWC 2019.05.01, adult female, 157 mm SVL, from Dotulugala, Knuckles Mountain Range, Kandy District, Central Province, Sri Lanka (07o27'00.30” N, 080o45'00.20” E, elevation 1700 m). Collected by L.J.M.W and I.N.B. on 17 March 2011; DWC 2019.05.02, juvenile male, 93 mm SVL, from Gombaniya Mountain, Knuckles Mountain Range, Matale District, Central Province, Sri Lanka (07o27'51.76’’ N, 080o45'51.79’’ E, elevation 1375 m). Collected by L.J.M.W and I.N.B. on 13 March 2011. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: SVL 94–216 mm; snout to eye distance 2.5 times the eye width (SE/EW); prefrontals touching eye; preocular small, does not touch supraocular; postoculars 2, lower one larger than the upper; temporal 1+2/1+2; supralabials 6/6, 4th touching eye; infralabials 6/6, first pair in contact, progressively increasing in size from 1st to 6th; anterior chin shields 2, large, touching 1–4 infralabials; posterior chin shields 2, anterior half in contact while the posterior half separated by 1st ventral; ventrals 124–139; subcaudals 16–29; dorsal scale rows 15–15–15; laterally spine like tubercles present on two scale rows nearest to the subcaudals of the ischiadic, anal and tail base regions in adult males, feeble in juvenile males, and absent in females; entire dorsum brown colour, much paler towards anterior; three irregular dotted lines on dorsum. 
CommentSympatry: A. brachyorrhos

Similar species: Aspidura ravanai and A. trachyprocta

Habitat: Commonly observed under leaf litter and loose soil while they were also observed under rocks, boulders, and decaying logs.

Behavior: Individuals come out to the surface during the day time. 
EtymologyThe species is named in honor of Pilippu Hewa Don Hemasiri de Silva (Dr. P. H. D. H. de Silva), a former Director (1965-1981) of the National Museums of Sri Lanka. In recognition of his tireless services to the country, while in service and through his many publications specially as the author of the book titled “Snake Fauna of Sri Lanka, with special reference to skull, dentition and venom in snakes”. The species epithet desilvai is a noun in the genitive case. 
  • WICKRAMASINGHE, L. J. MENDIS; IMESH NUWAN BANDARA, DULAN RANGA VIDANAPATHIRANA, NETHU WICKRAMASINGHE 2019. A new species of Aspidura Wagler, 1830 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Knuckles, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 4559 (2): 265–280 - get paper here
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