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Pseudoplectrurus canaricus (BEDDOME, 1870)

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Karnataka Burrowing Snake 
SynonymSilybura canarica BEDDOME 1870
Plectrurus canaricus — BEDDOME 1886: 27
Pseudoplectrurus canaricus — BOULENGER 1890: 270
Pseudoplectrurus canaricus — BOULENGER 1893: 160
Plectrurus canaricus — SMITH 1943: 72
Plectrurus canaricus — GANS 1966: 11
Pseudoplectrurus canaricus — WILLIAMS & WALLACH 1989
Plectrurus canaricus — DAS 1996
Plectrurus canaricus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 134
Plectrurus canaricus — DAS 2003
Pseudoplectrurus canaricus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 606
Pseudoplectrurus canaricus — PYRON et al. 2016 
DistributionS India (Karnataka)

Type locality: "South Canara, [...] on the top of the Kudra Mukh (= Kudremukh), a mountain 6000 feet high” (elevation)  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.71 (formerly, 1946.1.15.95 (, 1946.1.15.97 ( — 1946.1.15.98 (; MNHN 95.102 (= MHNP). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Pseudoplectrurus can be distinguished from all other amniotes by the characters given for the family, and from other uro- peltids by oculars united, nasals in contact, no temporal, no mental groove, dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody, and a slightly compressed, elongate tail with weakly multicarinate scales terminating in a scute with two bifid points. Snout is more pointed than in Plectrurus. No continuously varying characteristic of visceral topology measured in the single specimen dissected uniquely diagnoses Pseudoplectrurus from other uropeltids, but the viscera are qualitatively unique among uropeltids in having a large saccular lung, an asymmetrical liver with a short right segment, and a distinct left bronchus (Pyron et al. 2016). 
CommentThis species is known only from the syntypes, and has apparently not been collected since 1870. However, there are photos on online dated 2014.

Type species: Silybura canarica BEDDOME 1870 is the type species of the genus Pseudoplectrurus BOULENGER 1893. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Beddome, R. H. 1870. Descriptions of new reptiles from the Madras Presidency. Madras Monthly J. Med. Sci., 2: 169-176 [Reprint.: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 327-334, 1940]
  • 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
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Das, Indraneil 2003. Growth of Knowledge on the Reptiles of India, with an Introduction to Systematics, Taxonomy and Nomenclature. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 100 (2-3): 446-502 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 1966. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Uropeltidae. Das Tierreich Lfg. 84, 29 pp.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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