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Teretrurus hewstoni (BEDDOME, 1876)

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymPlatyplectrurus hewstoni BEDDOME 1876
Teretrurus sanguineus var. Hewstoni BEDDOME 1886: 28
Teretrurus hewstoni — GANESH & MURTHY 2022 
DistributionS India (Wynaad, Kerala).

Type locality: ,,Manantoddy, in the Wynad, elevation 2,700 feet"  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.77 (formerly 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Teretrurus endemic to Wayanad Hills, possessing a distinct supraocular shield (vs. lacking in T. rhodogaster), with much lower ventral counts 120-128 (vs. 130-136 in T. travancoricus; 142-150 in T. sanguineus). (Ganesh & Murthy 2022)

Description and variation (n=1): Measurements in mm: snout-vent length: 159; tail length: 4.5; head length: 5.7; head width: 3; body width: 3.3; eye diameter: 0.7; eye-snout distance: 1.8; inter-orbital distance: 2.5; inter-narial distance: 0.8. Habitus: Small-bodied, trunk cylindrical to slightly compressed, especially near tail; body fairly slender; head not distinct from neck, as wide as midbody; snout fairly rounded, ovoid in profile, not pointed; tail small, abruptly ending in a short pointed spur. Scalation: scales smooth, cycloid, without apical pits; head scales lacking pre-, post-oculars; supraocular and temporal present; eye covered under ocular scale, partially fused; prefrontal distinctly shorter than frontal or parietal; mental groove absent; dorsal scales in 15:15:15 rows; supralabials 4/4; infralabials 4/4; ventrals 122; subcaudals 7 pairs; terminal caudal scales weakly keeled, with a sharp projection in the end. Coloration: dorsum drab brownish grey having mild orange stripes along the interstitial regions of the scales; parietal-occipital regions with a weak reddish orange collar mark and similar coloredspeckles on sides; venter orange (turning creamy yellow in preservative) densely mottled with blackish brown reticulations; eye black. (Ganesh & Murthy 2022) 
CommentSynonymy: Teretrurus hewstoni has been synonymized with T. sanguineus by Boulenger 1890, but revalidated by Ganesh & Murthy 2022 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1876. Description of a new species Indian snake of the genus Platyplectrurus from the Wynad. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1876: 701. - 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
  • 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., & Murthy, B. C. 2022. Taxonomy of the shieldtail snake genus Teretrurus Beddome, 1886 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae) with a revised key and remarks on the geographic gaps in the Western Ghats, Peninsular India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 122(1), 25-35
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