You are here » home advanced search search results Rhinophis zigzag

Rhinophis zigzag GOWER & MADUWAGE, 2011

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Rhinophis zigzag?

Add your own observation of
Rhinophis zigzag »

We have no photos, try to find some by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Zigzag Rhinophis 
SynonymRhinophis zigzag GOWER & MADUWAGE 2011
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — DERANIYAGALA 1941
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — SOMAWEERA 2006: 235, photo A
Rhinophis sp. 2 — CADLE et al. 1990
Rhinophis zigzag — WALLACH et al. 2014: 652 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: “Bibilegema Rd.”, near Passara, Province of Uva. There are no precise coordinates for the locality, though Bibilegama is at 06°54’N, 81°08’ E and approximately 1,000 m elevation.  
Reproductionviviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CAS 226306, male, collected May 1974 by C. Gans. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: In having more than 200 ventral scales, R. zigzag (207–221) differs from all other Rhinophis except R. dorsimaculatus, R. oxyrhynchus, R. punctatus, R. porrectus, R. homolepis, and R. sanguineus. Of these six species, R. punctatus, R. porrectus, and R. dorsimaculatus have more than 230 ventrals whereas R. zigzag has fewer than 230, and the former three species plus R. oxyrhynchus have a dorsally crested/carinate rostral scale vs the dorsally rounded rostral of R. zigzag. Rhinophis homolepis has a notably smaller head and its tail shield lacks the heterogeneity in the size of the spines seen in R. zigzag. Rhinophis sanguineus also lacks notable spine heterogeneity on the tail shield, and differs from R. zigzag also in having a much larger shield, conspicuous (but low) multiple carinae on the distal edges of scales on the underside of the tail, and in having a shorter rostral that barely interjects between the prefrontal scales. Rhinophis zigzag also differs from all congeners in its distinctive and consistent colour pattern of a dark middorsal, meandering/zigzag stripe. 
EtymologyThe species name is an allusion to the distinctive zigzag dorsal stripe, present in all known specimens. The specific epithet is considered a noun in apposition. 
  • Gower, D.J. & Mduwage, K. 2011. Two new species of Rhinophis Hemprich (Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 2881: 51–68 - 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
  • 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.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator