Ahaetulla dispar (GÜNTHER, 1864)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Ahaetulla dispar?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Indian Bronzeback, Günther's Vine Snake|
|Synonym||Tragops dispar GÜNTHER 1864: 303|
Dryophis dispar — BOULENGER 1890: 368
Dryophis dispar — SMITH 1943: 373
Ahaetulla dispar — SAVAGE 1952
Ahaetulla dispar — DAS 1996: 53
Ahaetulla dispar — WALLACH et al. 2014: 19
Ahaetulla dispar — MALLIK et al. 2020: 40
|Distribution||India (Western Ghats, Kerala, Tamil Nadu ?), elevation > 1400 m|
Type locality: “Anamallay Mountains, British India” [= Anamalai Hills, S Western Ghats, E Kerala / W Tamil Nadu States, SW India, ca. 10°22’N, 77°08’E].
|Types||Types: BMNH 19184.108.40.206-42 (and possibly additional specimens).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Ahaetulla dispar differs from Ahaetulla travancorica sp. nov. by possessing 0–1 loreals on each side of the head as compared to 2 loreals in Ahaetulla travancorica sp. nov., 9 infralabials in A. dispar (vs. 7–8 in Ahaetulla travancorica sp. nov.), no keels on the dorsal row of scales (vs. mild keels present) (Fig. 21, Mallik et al. 2020).|
Colour in life. Dorsum dark green to olive green; rostral, infralabials, venter white to yellowish green at midbody; yellow ventral stripe; light yellow stripes along keels at centre, slight discolouration in the pre-ocular; interscalar skin white with black and white anteriorly-converging bars; eyes golden yellow with black speckles; concentration of black speckles both in anterior and posterior end of horizontal pupil bordered silver; tail, subcaudals light green (Mallik et al. 2020: 40).
Variations (also see Whitaker & Captain, 2004 [part]; Chandramouli & Ganesh, 2010 [part]). This species is reported to have the following variations: ventrals 139–159 notched with keels (136–156 in Smith (1943)); subcaudals (males) 110–113, divided, (females) 103–125, divided, (84–119 in Smith (1943)); dorsal scale rows in 15-15-13 rows of smooth, obliquely disposed scales; supralabials 8 with 5th or 6th being the largest; 4th or 5th supralabial in contact with the eye; sometimes both 4th and 5th supralabial in contact with the eye; 4th supralabial divided; loreal 1 (1–2 in Smith (1943)), loreals sometimes absent; infralabials 9; pre-suboculars 1–2; pre-ocular 1 (both left and right); postoculars 2; sub-oculars absent; temporals 1+2, 2+2 or 2+3 (Mallik et al. 2020: 40).
|Comment||The original description is available online (see references).|
Venomous: Mildly venomous but usually harmless for humans.
Habitat: The snake is found predominantly in grasslands, exhibiting a terrestrial lifestyle, in contrast to other members of the genus (Mallik et al. 2020).
|Etymology||Named after its disparate colouration, a sexually dichromatic species with green males and predominantly brown adult females (one of the earliest known dichromatic snakes, see Günther, 1864; Darwin 1871 contra Mohapatra et al. 2017).|
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