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Platyceps gracilis (GÜNTHER, 1862)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Graceful Racer, Slender Racer 
SynonymZamenis gracilis GÜNTHER 1862: 125
Tyria gracilis — COPE 1862: 338
Zamenis gracilis — BOULENGER 1890
Zamenis gracilis — BOULENGER 1893: 404
Coluber gracilis — SMITH 1943: 171
Eremiophis gracilis
Coluber gracilis —SCHÄTTI & WILSON 1986
Coluber gracilis — DAS 1996: 55
Argyrogena gracilis — SHARMA 2004
Coluber gracilis — MURTHY 2010
Platyceps gracilis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 554 
DistributionIndia (Gujarat, Maharashtra [Pune = Poona district], Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat)  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.13.82 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Supralabials 9; loreal 1, preocular 1, presubocular 1, postocular 2, temporal 2+2; 21 mid body rows; ventral 206-222, anal divided; subcaudal 118-127, paired.
CommentDistribution: See map in SCHÄTTI et al. 2014: 375.

Comparison: This species is taxonomically distinct from its allopatric sister species Coluber bholanathi Sharma, 1976 by having 21 mid body rows, rostral as broad as high and posterior body remains patterned with faint dorsal patterns. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “gracilis”, meaning small or lanky, or gracile. 
  • Ashaharraza, Khan 2017. Rediscovery of Graceful Racer Platyceps gracilis Günther 1862 (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae) After Ninety Years in Central India. Entomol Ornithol Herpetol 6:4 - 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
  • 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
  • Chandra K., Gajbe P. U. 2005. An inventory of herpetofauna of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Zoos' Print Journal 20 (3): 1812-1819 - get paper here
  • CHIKANE, S. & H. S. Bhosale 2012. Die Reptilien von Kaas, nördliche Western Ghats, Maharashtra, Indien, mit Bemerkungen zu Vorzugsbiotopen, Häufigkeiten und Gefährdung. Sauria 34 (3): 3-15 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Notes upon some reptiles of the Old World. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 337-344 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1862. On new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 9: 124-132 - get paper here
  • Mirza Z. A., Pal, S. 2008. A checklist of Reptiles and Amphibians of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Cobra 2 (4): 14-19
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
  • Pawar Prabhakar R., Rokade Anil G., Supnekar Santosh P., Meshram Leena N., Pawar Namdeo B.and Gavhane Usha V. 2020. Diversity and Distribution of Snakes in Adjoining Areas of Panvel, Navi Mumbai, West Coast of India. International Journal of Zoological Investigations 6 (2): 289-300 - get paper here
  • Schätti B; Wilson L D 1986. Coluber Linnaeus. Holarctic racers. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 399: 1-4 - get paper here
  • Schätti, Beat; Frank Tillack & Christoph Kucharzewski 2014. Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1863) – a study of the racer genus Platyceps Blyth, 1860 east of the Tigris (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae). Vertebrate Zoology 64 (3): 297-405 - get paper here
  • Sharma S. K., Koli V. K., Bhatnagar C. 2012. Further notes on occurrence of Slender Racer Coluber gracilis (Günther, 1862) in Rajasthan, India. Cobra 6 (2): 16-19
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smart, Utpal; Eric N. Smith, B.H.C.K. Murthy & Arun Mohanty 2014. Report of Nagarjunasagar Racer Coluber bholanathi Sharma, 1976 (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Gingee Hills, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6 (4): 5671-5674 - get paper here
  • 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., V. V. PATEL & M. N. THAKUR: 2011. Records of the Slender Racer, Coluber gracilis (GÜNTHER, 1862), from Gujarat State with Notes on its Distribution. Sauria 33 (2): 51-56 - 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.
  • Walmiki N., Kumbhar A., Guptha M. B. 2012. Range extension of Slender Racer (Coluber gracilis Gunther, 1862) in India. World Journal of Zoology 7 (4): 303-305
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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