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Uropeltis madurensis (BEDDOME, 1878)

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Madura Earth Snake 
SynonymSilybura madurensis BEDDOME 1878
Silybura nilgherriensis arcticeps – BEDDOME, 1886:16 (part.)
Silybura madurensis — BOULENGER 1893: 156
Uropeltis arcticeps madurensis – SMITH 1943: 81 (part.)
Uropeltis arcticeps madurensis — WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004
Uropeltis arcticeps – HUTTON & DAVID 2009: 310 (non Silybura arcticeps GÜNTHER 1875)
Uropeltis arcticeps madurensis — CHANDRAMOULI & GANESH 2010
Uropeltis arcticeps madurensis — BHUPATHY & SATISHKUMAR 2013
Uropeltis madurensis — GANESH et al. 2014 
DistributionS India (Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu: High Wavys-Varushanad-Periyar hill complex).

Type locality: ,,High Wavy mountain, Madura district, elevation 5500 feet, S India.”  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.38 (formerly — 1946.1.16.39 ( 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Uropeltis madurensis can be diagnosed by the following combination of characters: tail shield with clearly defined, thickened, circumscribed disc; part of rostral visible from above not distinctly longer than its distance from frontal; rostral not fully separating nasals; dorsum uniform brown, each scale with a well- defined lighter golden yellowish outline; ventrals 144– 157; venter with alternate rhomboidal large brown and orange spots or blotches, the two colours of equal intensities [GANESH et al. 2014].
CommentSynonymy: previously considered as a synonym of U. arcticeps (e.g. by WALLACH et al. 2014: 779). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1878. Description of six new species of snakes of the genus Silybura, family Uropeltidae. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1878: 800-802. - 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
  • 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
  • Chandramouli, S. R. and S. R. Ganesh 2010. Herpetofauna of southern Western Ghats, India – Reinvestigated after decades. Taprobanica 2 (2): 72-85 - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S. R.; Subramanian Bhupathy, Patrick David, N. Sathishkumar, G. Srinivas 2014. Snake Fauna of High Wavy Mountains, Western Ghats, India: Species Richness, Status, and Distribution Pattern. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (1): 53-64
  • Ganesh, S.R.; R. Aengals & Eric Ramanujam 2014. Taxonomic reassessment of two Indian shieldtail snakes in the Uropeltis ceylanicus species group (Reptilia: Uropeltidae). Journal of Threatened Taxa 6 (1): 5305-5314 - 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. 1875. Second report on collections of Indian Reptiles obtained bv the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1875: 224-234 - get paper here
  • Mason, GEORGE E. 1888. Description of a new earth-snake of the genus Silybura from the Bombay Presidency with remarks on little known Uropeltidae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 22: 184-186. - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • 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.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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