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Coronella brachyura (GÜNTHER, 1866)

IUCN Red List - Coronella brachyura - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Indian Smooth Snake
G: Indische Glattnatter
Gujarati: Suvaro saap (Desai 2011, 2017) 
SynonymZamenis brachyurus GÜNTHER 1866: 27
Coronella brachyura — BOULENGER 1890
Coronella brachyura — SMITH 1943: 195
Wallophis brachyurus — WELCH
Coronella brachyurus — DAS 1996: 55
Coronella brachyura — SHARMA 2004
Coronella brachyura — WALLACH et al. 2014: 186
Wallophis brachyurus — MIRZA & PATEL 2017
Wallophis brachyura — PATEL & VYAS 2019 
DistributionIndia (Maharashtra, S/C Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh)

Type locality: “Poona” [= Pune, Maharashtra]  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.1.24 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Wallophis): A medium-sized snake reaching an average SVL of 435mm (322–552mm) with a distinctly short tail in relation to its SVL (TL/SVL 0.11–0.17). Scales in 25 rows at neck, which drop to 23 rows in 1.5% of ventrals, second reduction is seen at 57.4% of ventrals and the last reduction at 58.3%. Scale reduction is lateral (third and fourth rows uniting) and no increase in the number of scale rows is seen posterior to the neck. Head scalation is complete and is typical of the family Colubridae as follows: eight to nine supralabials, fourth and fifth labial touching eye (rarely fifth and sixth); nine to ten infralabials; one loreal; one large preocular nearly reaching upper surface of the head; two postoculars; 2þ2 temporals; two large parietals, a large bell-shaped frontal with a wide base; rostral broad, reaching upper surface of the head. Presubocular is absent. It has ventrals 200–237 and 43–54 subcaudals, anal shield entire. Posterior maxillary teeth is the largest and with an evident diastema between them and anterior teeth. Hemipenis extend to the 13th caudal plate, not forked, distal half is calcyulate, the cups being larger and with scalloped edges.
Wallophis differs from most members of the Western Palearctic clade lacking a presubocular scale (compared to that present in Platyceps, Hemorrhois, Lytorhynchus, Spalerosophis, Hemerophis, Dolichophis, Hierophis, Eirenis, Coluber, and Lytorhynchus and Wallaceophis). In bearing lateral scale reductions, Wallophis differs from Spalerosophis and Wallaceophis, which possess dorsal scale reductions. Scales in 23 rows at mid-dorsum (vs. 17–20 in Eirenis, 17 in Hierophis, >25 scales rows in Spalerosophis, 19 rows in Lytorhynchus). Based on concatenated fragments of nuclear and two mitochondrial genes, Wallophis is recovered as a sister taxon of Wallaceophis from which it differs in an uncorrected p-distance of 17% for ND4 gene (Table 1) apart from the morphological characters discussed earlier. [from Mirza & Patel 2017] 
CommentSynonymy: Wallophis was revived in a non-peer reviewed journal (Litteratura Serpentium), without adequate justification (by Ken Welch) and more recently by Mirza & Patel 2017. Although Mirza & Patel provided a diagnosis for Wallophis they did not include any other members of Coronella in their molecular analysis although DNA sequences are available, hence we do not recognize the genus for the time being. 
EtymologyCoronella is a Latin word meaning “small crown,” in reference to the pattern around the head of snake. Brachyura is modern Latin from the Greek words brachys, “short,” and oura, “tail” (Wiktionary 2017). The full name means a snake with a small crown-like pattern on head and a short tail. Its vernacular name in Gujarati (Suvaro saap) means “smooth” or “silky” (Suvaro) and saap means “snake.” (Parmar 2019). 
  • Bhusnar, A. R. and Abhijit Patil 2019. New occurrence record of Coronella brachyura (Gunther, 1866) (Reptilia- Squamata) from Kolhapur districts of Western Maharashtra, India. IOSR Journal Of Pharmacy And Biological Sciences 14 7(6) II: 76-79; DOI: 10.9790/3008-1406027679 - 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
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - 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
  • Günther,A. 1866. Fifth account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 18: 24-29 - get paper here
  • INGLE, M. & A. SARSAVAN 2011. A new Locality Record of Coronella brachyura (GÜNTHER, 1866) (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Madhya Pradesh, India, with Notes on its Distribution and Natural History. Sauria, Berlin 33 (2): 59-61 - get paper here
  • Ingle, Mukesh; Ulka Yadav, Ashok K. Bhilala, Manohar Pawar 2019. Urban Herpetofauna: A Case Study in Ujjain City of Central India. International Journal of Scientific Research in Biological Sciences 6 (5): 76-84 - get paper here
  • Jadhav, Pavan Laxmanrao; Shivaji P Chavan and Harshad Sudarshan Trimukhe 2018. Snake species diversity and their distribution in and around Nanded city, Maharashtra, India. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 2018; 6(4): 1855-1860
  • Mirza, Zeeshan A. and Harshil Patel 2017. Back from the dead! Resurrection and revalidation of the Indian endemic snake genus Wallophis Werner, 1929 (Squamata: Colubridae) insights from molecular data. MITOCHONDRIAL DNA A - get paper here
  • MISTRY, V.K 2005. Ein neuer Fundort von Coronella brachyura (GÜNTHER, 1866) (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) - einer endemischen Schlange aus Indien, mit Anmerkungen zu deren Verbreitung. Sauria 27 (3): 29-31 - get paper here
  • Parmar D S 2019. Description of head scalation variation, hemipenis, reproduction, and behavior of the Indian Smooth Snake, Coronella brachyura (Günther 1866). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1) [General Section]: 78–89 (e164)
  • Parmar, Dikansh S. and Shantilal K. Tank 2019. Herpetofauna of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat, India. IRCF 26 (1): 21–34 - get paper here
  • Patel, H., Vyas, R. & Tank, S.K., 2015. On the distribution, taxonomy, and natural history of the Indian Smooth Snake, Coronella brachyura (Günther, 1866). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9(2): 120-125 - 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
  • 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.
  • Vyas, R. & Patel, S.S. 2007. New distributional records of the endemic snake Coronella brachyura (GÜNTHER 1866) (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Gujarat State, India [in German and English]. Sauria 29 (3): 47-50 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2007. Present conservation scenario of reptile fauna in Gujarat State, India. Indian Forester, Oct 2007: 1381-1394 - 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.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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