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Rhinophis sanguineus BEDDOME, 1863

IUCN Red List - Rhinophis sanguineus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Salty Earth Snake 
SynonymRhinophis sanguineus BEDDOME 1863
Rhinophis sanguineus — BEDDOME 1863 (redescription)
Rhinophis microlepis BEDDOME 1863
Rhinophis microlepis — BEDDOME 1863 (redescription)
Rhinophis sanguineus BEDDOME 1864: 179
Rhinophis microlepis BEDDOME 1864: 179
Rhinophis sanguineus — BEDDOME 1886: 8
Rhinophis sanguineus — BOULENGER 1893: 143
Rhinophis sanguineus — SMITH 1943
Rhinophis sanguineus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 140
Rhinophis sanguineus — DAS 2003
Rhinophis sanguineus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 652 
DistributionS India (Mysore [Koppa, Kalsa], Wynaad, Nilgiris, Travancore, Tinnevelly, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: „Cherambady [Cherambódy], in the Wynand (Malabar), elevation 3,500 feet”, S India [Rhinophis sanguineus BEDDOME 1863]
Type locality: ,,Mr. MINCHIN‘s Estate in the Wynaud" (elevation 3,500 feet), S India [Rhinophis microlepis BEDDOME 1863]  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.16.54
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.16.76 (formerly [Rhinophis microlepis BEDDOME 1863] 
DiagnosisDescription after BEDDOME (1864: 178): “Scales of the body large, in 15 rows; of the anterior portion of the trunk sometimes in 17; rostral much produced, very sharp, conical, horny, produced back, and covering the conjunction of the nasals; nostril in front of nasal shield; eye very small and obscure, in front of ocular shield; four upper labials, 1st small, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th large; caudal disk nearly as long as tail, oblong, covered with excrescences, a red streak down the centre and one on each side. Colour of the body bluish black; belly bright red, with blackish mottlings; anal bifid; subcaudals of the male 9 or 10 pairs, each with 4 to 6 keels, and some of the approximated ventral plates and a few of the two lowest rows of scales also keeled; female subcaudals 6 or 7. Total length of large male 13 inches, female 10 inches; circumference 1 inch; abdominals 195.
The brilliant red colour of the abdomen fades in spirits.”

Description of Rhinophis microlepis after BEDDOME (1864: 179): “Scales of the body small, in 15 rows; of the anterior portion of the trunk in 17, of the neck in 19. Caudal disk oblong, orbicular, one-half the length of the tail, covered with excrescences, which are confluent into streaks; subcaudals 10; anal bifid; head-plates as in R. sanguineus, but rostral less sharp. Colour of the body greyish black, with indistinct dull yellowish white mottlings; belly yellowish white, with dark mottlings; tail beneath yellowish, with a broad black spot. Abdominals very small, 199. Total length 6 inches; circumference 61 lines” 
  • Aengals, R.; S. R. Ganesh 2013. Rhinophis goweri — A New Species of Shieldtail Snake from the Southern Eastern Ghats, India. Russ. J. Herpetol. 20 (1): 61-65 - get paper here
  • Beddome, R.H. 1864. Description of new species of the family Uropeltidae from Southern India, with notes on other little-known species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 13: 177-180 - get paper here
  • Beddome, R.H. 1886. An account of the earth snakes of the Peninsula of India and Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (5) 17: 3-33. - get paper here
  • Beddome, RICHARD HENRY 1863. Further notes upon the snakes of the Madras Presidency; with descriptions of new species. Madras Quart. J. Med. Sci., 6: 41-48 [Reprint: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 306-314, 1940]
  • Beddome, RICHARD HENRY 1863. Descriptions of new species of the family Uropeltidae from Southern India, with notes on other little-known species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1863: 225-229. - 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Williams, Ernest E. 1959. The occipito-vertebral joint in the burrowing snakes of the family Uropeltidae. Breviora (106): 1-10 - get paper here
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