Trachischium sushantai RAHA, DAS, BAG, DEBNATH & PRAMANICK, 2018
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Trachischium sushantai?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Sushanta’s Worm-eating Snake|
G: Sushantas Wurmschlange
|Synonym||Trachischium sushantai RAHA, DAS, BAG, DEBNATH & PRAMANICK 2018|
|Distribution||India (Jammu, Kashmir)|
Type locality: “Jammu” (Jammu & Kashmir state, India)
|Types||Holotype: ZSI 25651A, National Zoological Collection, ZSI, Kolkata; adult female; from ‘Jammu’ (Jammu & Kashmir state, India); collected on 4th August, 1993, during Jammu survey; name of collector is given in register as ‘Rajtilok’.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Trachischium sushantai sp. nov. can be diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: a single nasal and PF, SL (R/L) 6/6, post-ocular 1, DSCH:M:V 13:13:13; VEN 152; SC 23 pairs of which those on anterior half of tail are as long as wide and regular hexagon/ rhomboid shaped, TAL/TL ratio of 0.11, head and dorsum uniform dark brown, venter brown with cream or yellow border on the trailing edges of VEN and SC.|
Comparisons. T. sushantai sp. nov. differs from T. monticola in possessing 13 rows of dorsal scales (vs. 15 rows in the latter), undivided PF (vs. divided PF in T. monticola), 1 post-ocular (vs. usually 2 in the latter) and 152 VEN (vs. less than 125 VEN in T. monticola [Smith 1943])(Table 2). T. sushantai sp. nov. differs from T. leave in having 6 SL, 1 PF, 23 SC and a brown venter (vs. 5 SL, 2 PF, 29– 39 SC and a yellow venter in T. leave). T. sushantai sp. nov. can be diagnosed from T. tenuiceps by having a shorter tail (TAL/TL 0.11), 1 PF, 1 postocular, 23 SC of which the anterior ones are regular hexagonal or rhomboid and a brown venter (vs. TAL/TL 0.15–0.18, 2 PF and 2 post-oculars, 28–42 SC of which anterior ones are transversely elongated and yellowish or orange ventral coloration in T. tenuiceps). T. sushantai sp. nov. differs from T. guentheri by having a brown venter and 23 pairs of SC (vs. a coral red venter in T. guentheri and SC more than 30 in T. guentheri [Smith 1943]). The new species most closely resembles T. fuscum from which it can be distinguished by its shorter tail (TAL/ TL 0.11) compared to T. fuscum (vs. TAL/TL 0.13–0.18 [≥0.14 in 27 specimens] in T. fuscum), 23 pairs of SC of which anterior ones are regular hexagonal/rhomboid with 4SCW/L 1.05 and 5SCW/L 1.01 (vs. 30–44 SC in T. fuscum [31–41 in females examined by us], SC wider than long and are not regular hexagonal/rhomboid with 4SCW/L 1.33–3 [≥1.6 in 22 specimens] and 5SCW/L 1.27–2.7 [ ≥1.6 in 21 specimens] in physically examined specimens [specimens of T. fuscum examined from photographs too had SC number within the range given here and were distinctly wider than long]).
|Etymology||The new species is named after Sushanta Kumar Das, father of the second author of present paper. He is an enthusiastic nature observer who have spent a significant amount of time of his life in forested areas of West Bengal (India) and nurtured the same interest in the second author. The specific epithet, a patronym, is a noun in genitive case.|