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Uropeltis bicatenata GÜNTHER, 1864

IUCN Red List - Uropeltis bicatenata - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Bicatenate Uropeltis, Two-chained Uropeltis 
SynonymUropeltis ceylanicus CUVIER 1829 (nomen nudum) (part.)
Silybura bicatenata GÜNTHER 1864
Silybura nilgherriensis BEDDOME 1863
Silybura nilgherriensis — BEDDOME 1864: 178
Uropeltis rubrolineatus (non GÜNTHER 1875) — ALI 1949: 376
Uropeltis (Siluboura) ceylanicus CUVIER 1829 — MAHENDRA 1984 (part.)
Uropeltis bicatenata — GOWER et al. 2008
Uropeltis bicatenata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 779 
DistributionW India (Maharashtra, Pune District)

Type locality: ,,Wynad, Malabar, 3500 feet elevation", S India [incorrect fide MCDIARMID et al. 1999]; the correct locality is “Dekkan” (= Deccan) [in Western India] after GOWER et al., 2008.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH RR 1946.1.16.8 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Uropeltis with 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody and a notably flat-to-mildly-concave tail shield (distinctly not convex). Ranges of variation of seven known specimens: total length 155-264 mm; ventral scales 130-141; subcaudals scales 8-9 (three females) or 10-12 (four males); tail shield with 34-43 keeled scales; typically 7 (uniquely 6, on one side only) maxillary and dentary teeth per row. [GOWER et al. 2008] 
CommentSynonymy: Previously considered as a synonym of U. ceylanicus, but revalidated by Gower et al. 2008. Sampaio et al. 2022 seem to have resurrected the genus Silybura, including S. nilgherriensis (fide GenBank) but this is not mentioned in the actual paper. 
  • ALI, S. 1949. Extension of range of the earth snake Uropeltis rubrolineatus (Günther). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 48:376 - get paper here
  • Beddome, R.H. 1864. Description of new species of the family Uropeltidae from Southern India, with notes on other little-known species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 13: 177-180 - get paper here
  • Gower, D.J.; Captain, A. & Thakur, S.S. 2008. On the taxonomic status of Uropeltis bicatenata (GÜNTHER) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Uropeltidae). Hamadryad 33 (1): 64 – 82 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Mahendra B C 1984. Handbook of the snakes of India, Ceylon, Burma, Bangladesh and Pakistan. ANNALS OF ZOOLOGY (AGRA) 22 (B): i-xvi, 1-412
  • 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
  • Thite, Vedant and Anish Kirtane. 2013. First note on polychromatism in Uropeltis bicatenata (Günther, 1864). [in English and German]. Sauria 35 (4): 59-62 - 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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