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Melanophidium punctatum BEDDOME, 1871

IUCN Red List - Melanophidium punctatum - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Beddome's Black Earth Snake 
SynonymMelanophidium punctatum BEDDOME 1871: 401
Melanophidium punctatum — BEDDOME 1886: 31
Melanophidium punctatum — BOULENGER 1893: 164
Melanophidium punctatum — SMITH 1943: 66
Melanophidium punctatum — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 130
Melanophidium punctatum — DAS 2003
Melanophidium punctatum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 436 
DistributionS India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: "Travancore, [...] under a stone in the Muti-Kuli Vayal, a little valley on the Asamboo range (4,500 feet elevation)"  
TypesLectotype: BMNH (= BMNH 1946.1.4.37), designated by Gower et al. 2016.
Syntypes: BMNH (= 1946.1.4.37), (= 1946.1.15.48), (= 1946.1.15.49); M. H. N. P. No. 95.116. 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout obtuse; rostral smalI; the portion visible from above equal to or less than half the distance between it and the frontal; frontal variable in size, longer than broad, the length of the suture between it and the supraocular 3 or 4 times in the length of the frontal; eye one-third the length of the ocular shield. V. 180-198, nearly twice as broad as the adjacent scales; C. 11-18. Tail compressed; caudal scales smooth; terminal scute mostly on the upper surface of the tail, with two parallel ridgds above forming two (sometimes four) points at the tip. In the young the scute is simply pointed and without ridges (Smith 1943: 66).

Coloration: Iridescent black above; ventrals and outer two or three scale-rows white with black centres (Smith 1943: 66). 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1871. Descriptions of new reptiles from the Madras Presidency. Madras Monthly J. Med. Sci., 4: 401-404 [Reprint: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 324-326, 1940] - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil 2003. Growth of Knowledge on the Reptiles of India, with an Introduction to Systematics, Taxonomy and Nomenclature. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 100 (2-3): 446-502 - get paper here
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2003. Diversity of snakes (on the materials of the exposition of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University). Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 376 pp
  • Ganesh, S.R.; S. Bhupathy, P. Karthik, G. Babu Rao & S. Babu 2020. Catalogue of herpetological specimens from peninsular India at the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History (SACON), India. JoTT 12 (9): 16123–16135 - get paper here
  • GOWER, DAVID J.; VARAD GIRI, ASHOK CAPTAIN, MARK WILKINSON 2016. A reassessment of Melanophidium Günther, 1864 (Squamata: Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from the Western Ghats of peninsular India, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4085 (4): 481–503 - get paper here
  • Mason, GEORGE E. 1888. Description of a new earth-snake of the genus Silybura from the Bombay Presidency with remarks on little known Uropeltidae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 22: 184-186. - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Ogilby, J. D. 1894. Description of a new Australian snake. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 14: 392 - get paper here
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Pyron R. A., Ganesh S. R., Sayyed A., Sharma V., Wallach V. & Somaweera R. 2016. A catalogue and systematic overview of the shield-tailed snakes (Serpentes: Uropeltidae). [type catalogue] Zoosystema 38 (4): 453-506 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Wall, F. 1913. Occurrence of the Snake Melanophidium punctatum in the Western Ghats. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 23: 377 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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