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Teretrurus travancoricus BEDDOME, 1886

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Travancore Earth Snake 
SynonymTeretrurus travancoricus BEDDOME 1886: 29
Teretrurus travancoricus — GANESH & MURTHY 2022 
DistributionS India (Kerala).

Type locality: „Monntains between Travancore and Tinnerelli, above Paupanassum, 3000 to 5000 leet elevation"  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.2.26—1946.1.2.29 (formerly—,—; MNHN-RA 95.117 (3 specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Teretrurus endemic to the Agasthyamalai / Travancore hills possessing a distinct supraocular scale (vs. lacking supraocular in T. rhodogaster), with ventral counts 130-135 (vs. 120-128 in T. hewstoni; 142-150 in T. sanguineus). (Ganesh & Murthy 2022)

Description and variation (n = 3): Measurements in mm: snout-vent length: 130-150; tail length: 7-7.5; head length: 5-5.5; head width: 4-4.5; 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 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; nostril piercing the undivided nasal scales; nasals in broad midline contact, not separated by rostrum; mental groove absent; dorsal scales in 14:15:15 rows, with 14-->15 at 36th-38th ventral scale; supralabials 4/4; infralabials 4/5; ventrals 133-138; subcaudals 7-9 pairs; terminal caudal scales keeled, with two sharp projections in the end. Coloration: dorsum drab brownish grey, with orange-red mild stripes between interstitial portions; a conspicuous canthal-supraocular-temporal orange stripe on each side of head; reddish orange speckles on sides; venter rich red (turning creamy yellow in preservative) with a few black patches; dorsal part of tail, with an orange-red mid-vertebral stripe eye black. (Ganesh & Murthy 2022) 
  • 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
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  • 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
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