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Boiga westermanni (REINHARDT, 1863)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Indian Egg-eating Snake
G: Indische Eierschlange 
SynonymElachistodon westermanni REINHARDT 1863: 206
Elachistodon westermanni — SMITH 1943: 404
Elachistodon westermanni — DAS 1996: 56
Elachistodon westermanni — MURTHY 2010
Elachistodon westermanni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 260
Boiga westermanni — MOHAN et al. 2018
Elachistodon westermanni — PATEL & VYAS 2019 
DistributionBangladesh, India (Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat; Bhavnagar, Surat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, Telangana), Nepal

Type locality: “Rungpore” = Rangpur, Bengal / Rajshahi division, NW Bangladesh.  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC R6401, adulf female (Copenhagen) 
CommentDistribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). See maps in Sharma 2014: 162, Mohan et al. 2018.

Conservation: rare; known from only 3 specimens between 1863 and 2005, after which about 100 specimens were discovered in India (the few records from Nepal and Bangladesh are all older).

Type species: Elachistodon westermanni REINHARDT 1863: 206 is the type species of the genus Elachistodon REINHARDT 1863. Elachistodon was “provisionally assigned” to Boiga by Mohan et al. 2018.

Diet: (bird) eggs

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Geraldus Frederick Westermann (1807-1890), a book dealer and pigeon fancier who became a zoologist. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bilaskar, Mahesh; Santhanakrishnan Babu, Honnavalli N. Kumara, Harif Parengal 2018. First record of the Indian Egg-eater, Elachistodon westermanni REINHARDT, 1863, from Karnataka, India. Herpetozoa 31 (1/2): 108 - 110 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Captain, A.; Frank Tillack, Andreas Gumprecht and Parag Dandge 2005. FIRST RECORD OF Elachistodon westermanni REINHARDT, 1863 (SERPENTES, COLUBRIDAE, COLUBRINAE) FROM MAHARASHTRA STATE, INDIA. Russ. J. Herpetol. 2 (2): 156 – 158 - get paper here
  • Dandge, P.H. 2007. Food and Feeding Habits of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863. Hamadryad 32 (1):86-87 - get paper here
  • Dandge, Parag Hemachandra; Ashish Dilip Tiple 2016. Notes on Natural History, New Distribution Records and Threats of Indian Egg Eater Snake Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863 (Serpentes: Colubridae): Implications for Conservation. Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 55-62
  • Deshmukh, Rahul V.; Sagar A. Deshmukh, Swapnil A Badhekar, and Shubham D. Katgube 2020. The Indian Egg-eater, Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt 1863 (Squamata: Dasypeltidae): First record from the Satpura Mountain Range of Madhya Pradesh, India, with notes on threats and habitat conservation. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (1): 60–64 - get paper here
  • Deshmukh, Rahul V.; Sagar A. Deshmukh, Swapnil A. Badhekar, and Roshan Y. Naitame 2020. Snakes of Bhandara District, Maharashtra, Central India with notes on natural history. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (1): 10–17 - get paper here
  • Deshmukh, Rahul V.; Sagar A. Deshmukh, Swapnil A. Badhekar, Shubham Katgube, Swapnil Bhondawe, and Ritik Shete 2020. Tail-vibrating behavior in an Indian Egg-Eater (Boiga westermanni), Common Catsnake (Boiga trigonata ), Banded Kukri (Oligodon arnensis), and Common Wolfsnake Lycodon aulicus) from India. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (1): 68–70 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 1954. Present knowledge of the snake Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt. Breviora (36): 1-17 - get paper here
  • Göthel, Helmut 2015. Die Indische Eierschlange, Elachistodon westermanni. Draco 16 (61): 93-95 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Khandal, Dharmendra; Y. K. Sahu, Vivek Sharma 2016. New Record of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863 (Serpentes, Colubridae) for Rajasthan State, India. Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (4): 249-253 - get paper here
  • Kramer, E. 1977. Zur Schlangenfauna Nepals. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 84 (3): 721-761. - get paper here
  • Kulmus, H. 1985. Einige Anmerkungen zur Zucht und Haltung von Eierschlangen. Herpetofauna 7 (36): 23-34 - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Lillywhite, Harvey B. 2014. How Snakes Work: Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes. Oxford University Press, New York, 256 pp
  • MANHAS, AMIT. 2021. Notes on the distribution of the rare Indian Egg-eating Snake, Boiga westermanni (Reinhardt 1863). Reptiles & Amphibians 28(3): 471–474. - get paper here
  • Mohan, Ashwini Venkatanarayana; Avinash C. Visvanathan and Karthikeyan Vasudevan. 2018. Phylogeny and conservation status of the Indian egg-eater snake, Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863 (Serpentes, Colubridae). Amphibia-Reptilia 39 (3): 317–324 - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Narayanan, Abhishek 2012. Records of Indian Egg Eater Snake Elachistodon westermanni in the localities of Shegaon, District Buldhana, Maharashtra, India. Reptile Rap (14): 9–12 - get paper here
  • Patel H, Vyas R, Dudhatra B, Naik V, Chavda A, Chauhan D, et al . 2019. Preliminary report on Herpetofauna of Mount Girnar, Gujarat, India. JAD 2019; 1 (2) - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
  • Reinhardt, J., and C. Lütken 1863. En ny Slaegt af Slangefamilien Rachiodontidae. Overs. Dansk. Vid. Selsk. Forh.: 198- [1862]
  • Schleich, H.H. & Kästle, W. (eds.) 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. Koeltz, Königstein, 1200 pp. [review in Reptilia 40: 87] - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Sharma, Vivek 2014. On the Distribution of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863 (Serpentes, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (3): 161-165 - get paper here
  • Singh J, Dutta S.K., Singh H 2021. Herpetofauna of Punjab: The Field Guide. New Era Book Agency, Chandigarh, 82 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.
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  • Thakur, Sanjay 2011. A note on snakes of Kanha National Park and surrounding areas. Reptile Rap (11): 2-4 - get paper here
  • Visvanathan, A., Anne, S., Kolli, A. K., & Vangari, S. M. 2022. Snakes of Telangana: An annotated checklist with new locality records and notes on natural history. Reptiles & Amphibians, 29(1), 279-285 - get paper here
  • Visvanathan, Avinash C. 2015. Natural history notes on Elachistodon westermannii Reinhardt, 1863. Hamadryad 37 (1-2): 132-136 - get paper here
  • VYAS, R. 2016. Distribution of the Indian Egg-eater (Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1864), with three new records from Gujarat, India, and descriptions of its pholidosis and hemipenis morphology. Sauria 38 (1): 15 - 21 - get paper here
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  • Vyas, Raju 2007. Present conservation scenario of reptile fauna in Gujarat State, India. Indian Forester, Oct 2007: 1381-1394 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2010. Distribution of Elachistodon westermanni in Gujarat. Reptile Rap (10): 7-8 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2013. Notes and Comments on Distribution of a Snake: Indian Egg Eater (Elachistodon westermanni). Russ. J. Herpetol. 20 (1): 39-42 - get paper here
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