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Sahyadriophis beddomei (GÜNTHER, 1864)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Nilgiri Keelback, Beddome’s Keelback, Beddome’s grass snake 
SynonymTropidonotus beddomii GÜNTHER 1864: 269 (nom. nov. pro Spilotes vittatus)
Spilotes vittatus BEDDOME 1863: 308
Tropidonotus beddomei — BOULENGER 1890: 344
Tropidonotus beddomi — WALL 1919: 560
Rhabdophis beddomei — WALL 1923: 605 (in part)
Natrix beddomei — SMITH 1943: 306
Natrix beddomei — SHARMA 1976
Amphiesma beddomei — DAS 1996: 53
Amphiesma beddomei — MURTHY 2010
Hebius beddomei — GUO et al. 2014
Amphiesma beddomii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 28
Sahyadriophis beddomei — PATEL et al. 2023 
DistributionIndia (Maharashtra, Western Ghats, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: “Nilgherries, India” via lectotype designation.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.32 (fide Patel et al. 2023) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized natricid ranging from SVL 177 to 495 with 19 keeled dorsal scales at mid-body; eight supralabials (rarely seven or nine); ventrals 140–145 ♂, 143–152 ♀ and subcaudals 71–76 ♂, 62–68 ♀; maxilla with 18 teeth, 12 pterygoid and 20–22 palatine teeth; pterygoid-palatine oriented nearly parallel to the head and does not converge or diverge posteriorly; TaL/TL 0.22–0.26 ♂. Additional morphological characteristics of the species are provided in Table 3 in Patel et al. 2023. 
CommentNomenclature: The name Spilotes vittatus is preoccupied by Tropidonotus vittatus - BOIE 1827 = Xenochrophis vittata (L.).

The original description is available online (see link below). 
EtymologyNamed after Richard Henry Beddome, 1830–1911, British army officer and botanist. 
  • 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]
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • BHATNAGAR, PRANAY. 2021. HEBIUS BEDDOMEI (Beddome’s Keelback). DIET. Herpetological Review 52 (1): 158. - 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
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • GUO, PENG; FEI ZHU, QIN LIU, LIANG ZHANG, JIAN X. LI, YU Y. HUANG & R. ALEXANDER PYRON 2014. A taxonomic revision of the Asian keelback snakes, genus Amphiesma (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae), with description of a new species. Zootaxa 3873 (4): 425–440 - get paper here
  • Inger, Robert F.;Shaffer, H. Bradley;Koshy, Mammen;Bakde, Ramesh 1984. A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Ponmudi, Kerala, South India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (3): 551-570 - get paper here
  • Jigar, Solanki; Khare Rounak and Andhale Atmaram Vitthal 2022. CHECKLIST OF SNAKES FOUND IN MAVAL TALUKA, PUNE, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA. CIBTech Journal of Zoology 11: 182-192 - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Patel, H.; Thackeray, T.; Campbell, P.D.; Mirza, Z.A. 2023. Systematic Assessment of Hebius beddomei (Günther, 1864) (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae) with Description of a New Genus and a New Allied Species from the Western Ghats, India. Taxonomy 2023, 3, 415–434 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 1976. Records of the reptiles of Goa. Records Zool. Survey India 71 (1975): 149-167. - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Shinde, Anuj; Shubhankar Deshpande, Makarand Ketkar, and Swayam Thakkar 2020. Northernmost record of the Nilgiri Keelback, Hebius beddomei (Günther 1864) (Squamata: Natricidae) from the Western Ghats of India. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (1): 109–110 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Wachtel, Eric 2019. Eine Reise zu den Königskobras in die Western Ghats. Ophidia 13 (2): 2-11
  • Wall,F. 1919. Notes on a collection of Snakes made in the Nilgiri Hills and the adjacent Wynaad. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 26: 552-584 - 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.
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