You are here » home advanced search Teretrurus sanguineus

Teretrurus sanguineus (BEDDOME, 1867)

IUCN Red List - Teretrurus sanguineus - Least Concern, LC

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Teretrurus sanguineus?

Add your own observation of
Teretrurus sanguineus »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Purple-red Earth Snake 
SynonymPlectrurus sanguineus BEDDOME 1867
Plectrurus scabricauda THEOBALD 1876
Plectrurus scabricauda – BEDDOME 1886: 28
Teretrurus travancoricus BEDDOME 1886: 29
Teretrurus sanguineus — BEDDOME 1886: 28
Platyplectrurus sanguineus — BOULENGER 1893: 166
Teretrurus sanguineus — SMITH 1943
Teretrurus sanguineus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 141
Teretrurus sanguiensis — GANESH & ASOKAN 2010
Teretrurus sanguineus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 714
Teretrurus sanguineus — GANESH & MURTHY 2022 
DistributionS India (Wynaad; Anaimalai hills, Travancore, 3,000— 7,400 feet, Kerala).

Type locality: ,,Anamallay forests; 4,000 feet elevation („above Ponachi" in B. M. catalogue) [1867 Plectrurus sanguineus BEDDOME]

Type locality: ,,Manantoddy, in the Wynad, elevation 2,700 feet" [Platyplectrurus hewstoni BEDDOME 1876]

Type locality: ,,Anamallays‘, S India [Plectrurus scabricauda TREOBALD]

Type locality: „Monntains between Travancore and Tinnerelli, above Paupanassum, 3000 to 5000 leet elevation", S India [Teretrurus travancoricus BEDDOME]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.57—1946.1.16.62; MNHN (= MHNP) 95.116 (3 specimens) (Plectrurus sanguineus BEDDOME 1867)
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.77 (formerly [Platyplectrurus hewstoni BEDDOME 1876]
Holotype: [Plectrurus scabricauda TREOBALD] Lost (fide GANS 1966)
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.2.26—1946.1.2.29 (formerly—,—; MNHN-RA 95.117 (3 specimens). [Teretrurus travancoricus BEDDOME] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Teretrurus can be distinguished from all other amni- otes by the characters given for the family, and from other uropeltids by divided oculars, nasals in contact, a temporal, no mental groove, dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody, Oberhäutchen dentitions that are 51-80% of the total cell-size (Gower 2003), and a shortened, slightly compressed tail with weakly multicarinate scales that ter- minates in a single, pointed scute (Pyron et al. 2016: 486).

Diagnosis (genus): A genus of uropeltid snakes characterized by: absence of mental groove (vs. present in Melanophidium); presence of a distinct temporal scale (vs. absent in Plectrurus, Pseudoplectrurus); eye within an ocular scale (vs. eye distinct from surrounding scales in Platyplectrurus); has midline contact between nasal scales (vs. absent in most Rhinophis and some Uropeltis spp.); 15 midbody scale rows (vs. 17-19 in most Rhinophis and Uropeltis spp.); tail compressed, simple, without a caudal disc (vs. tail rounded, ending in a truncate or convex caudal disc in Uropeltis and Rhinophis spp.); tail tipending in a pointed structure, without lateral ridges (vs. tail tip ending in two bicuspid ridges in Plectrurus, Pseudoplectrurus; tail tip with lateral ridges in Platyplectrurus). (Ganesh & Murthy 2022)

Diagnosis: A species of Teretrurus endemic to the Anamalai Hills, possessing a distinct supraocular scale (vs. lacking in T. rhodogaster), with much higher ventral counts 142-150 (vs. 120-128 in T. hewstoni; 130-136 in T. travancoricus). (Ganesh & Murthy 2022)

Description and variation (n=3): Measurements in mm: snout- vent length: 150-190; tail length: 2.5-6; head length: 4.5- 5.5; head width: 4-5; body width 4.5-6; eye diameter: 0.8; eye-snout distance: 1.8; inter-orbital distance: 2-2.5; inter-narial distance: 0.5-0.7. Habitus: Small-bodied, trunk cylindrical to slightly compressed, especially near tail; body fairly slender; head not distinct from neck, as wide as midbody; snout obtusely rounded in profile; tail small, suddenly tapering to a sharp, finepoint. Scalation: scales smooth, cycloid, without apical pits; head scales lacking pre-, post-oculars; supraocular and temporal present; eye covered under ocular scale, partially fused; mental groove absent; dorsal scales in 16:15:15 rows, with 16 -->15 at 36-38th ventral scale; supralabials 4/4; infralabials 4/4; ventrals 144-149; subcaudals 7-9 pairs; terminal caudal scales rather smooth, with a single sharp projection in the end. Coloration: dorsum dark to coffee brown, rather uniform and unpatterned; venter rich red (turning creamy yellow in preservative) with a few black patches; eye black. (Ganesh & Murthy 2022)

Plectrurus scabricauda Holotype ZSI 6996 Annamallay: Measurements in mm: Snout to vent length 159; tail length 13; head length 5; head width 3.5; Habitus: a rather soft and brittle specimen; body slightly damaged at mid portion due to preservation artifact; trunk subcylindrical to mildly dorso-ventrally depressed at places, owing to long-time preservation; head small, snout pointed to slightly ovoid in profile; Scalation: dorsal scale rows 13:15:13 scales smooth, cycloid, without apical pits; scales on head wrinkled, due to long-time preservation; eyes covered under ocular scales; supraocular and temporal present; preocular, postocular, loreal and mental groove absent; supralabials 4/4; infralabials 4/4; ventrals 141, subcaudals 11 pairs; terminal caudal scales equally wrinkled as head scales, due to preservation artifact. Coloration: dorsum drab greyish brown, venter creamy orange, except towards body extremities (mental and subcaudals) which present with patches of darker shades; eye grey. (Ganesh & Murthy 2022) 
CommentType species: Plectrurus sanguineus BEDDOME 1867 is the type species of the genus Teretrurus BEDDOME 1886. 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1867. Descriptions and figures of five new snakes from the Madras Presidency. Madras Quart. J. Med. Sci., 11: 14-16. [Reprint: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 315- 317, 1940.] - get paper here
  • 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, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Ganesh S. R., Asokan J. R. 2010. Catalogue of Indian herpetological specimens in the collection of the Government Museum Chennai, India. Hamadryad 35 (1): 46 – 63 - 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
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • 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.
  • Theobald,W. 1876. Descriptive catalogue of the reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta: xiii + 238 pp. - 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.
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator