Uropeltis arcticeps (GÜNTHER, 1875)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Uropeltis arcticeps?
|Higher Taxa||Uropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Tirunelveli Earth Snake|
|Synonym||Silybura arcticeps GÜNTHER 1875|
Silybura nilgherriensis var. picta BEDDOME 1886: 16
Silybura nilgherriensis var. arcticeps BEDDOME 1886: 16
Silybura nilgherriensis var. picta — MASON 1888: 185
Uropeltis arcticeps — SMITH 1943
Uropeltis arcticeps — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 142
Uropeltis arcticeps arcticeps — WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004 (part.)
Uropeltis arcticeps arcticeps — CHANDRAMOULI & GANESH 2010 (part.)
Uropeltis arcticeps — GANESH et al. 2014
Uropeltis arcticeps — WALLACH et al. 2014: 779
|Distribution||S India (Tirunelveli hills, ca. 8°7’ N & 77°7’E; >1000 m elevation, Kerala)|
Type locality: ,,Tinevelly", S India.
nilgherriensis var. picta: Type locality: ,,North Travancore near Peermede, . . . on coffee estate at an elevation between 3000 and 4000 feet”, S India.
|Types||Syntypes: BMNH 1922.214.171.124—19126.96.36.199 (Mts. of N. Tinevelly, 4—6,000 feet). [Silybura arcticeps GÜNTHER]|
Holotype: BMNH (missing, fide E. M. NOBLE, in litt.). [Silybura nilgherriensis var. picta BEDDOME]
|Diagnosis||Description: Snout obtusely pointed; portion of rostral visible from above equal to or a little less than its distance from the frontal; eye one half to one-fourth the length of the ocular shield. Scales in 17 rows. V. 127-128, 146-157, nearly twice as broad as the adjacent scales; C. 8-10. Tail as in macrolepis (Smith 1943: 81).|
Coloration: Black or dark purplish-brown above, uniform or the scales· edged with yellowish, or the colours reversed, or yellowish spotted with black; yellow (orange) below, with large black blotches or cross-bars, or almost entirely black or purplish- brown (Smith 1943: 81).
Size: Total length: 370, diameter 11 mm (Smith 1943: 81).
|Comment||The nominotypical form U. arcticeps is currently known only from two syntypes originating from one same locality. Recent studies in its type locality did not yield another example. Museums specimens currently assigned to U. arcticeps require re-evaluation (S.R. Ganesh pers. comm., 28 Jan 2014). |
Subspecies: Uropeltis arcticeps madurensis has been elevated to full species status by GANESH et al. 2014. Silybura nilgherriensis var. picta BEDDOME 1886 has been associated as a subjective junior synonym of either U. arcticeps or as a ‘subspecies’ of U. madurensis (fide SMITH, 1943). GANESH et al., 2014 consider it as incertae sedis.