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Uropeltis grandis (BEDDOME, 1867)

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Smith's Earth Snake 
SynonymRhinophis grandis BEDDOME 1867 (non Uropeltis grandis KELLART 1857)
Silybura grandis — BEDDOME 1886: 11
Silybura grandis — BOULENGER 1893: 148
Uropeltis grandis — SMITH 1943: 85
Uropeltis smithi GANS 1966 (nomen novum)
Uropeltis smithi — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 151
Uropeltis smithi — DAS 2003
Uropeltis smithi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 782
Uropeltis grandis — PYRON et al. 2016 
DistributionIndia (Anaimalai hills, 4,000—4,700 feet, Kerala).

Type locality: „Anamallay forests in moist woods at 4,000 feet elevation", S India  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.52; MNHN 1895.0079. 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout pointed; rostral sometimes separating the nasals, the portion visible above equal to the distance between it and the middle of the frontal; eye one-third the length of the oculer shield. Scales in 19 rows; V. 198-218, one and a half times as broad as the adjacent scales; C. 6-12. Tail feebIy compressed, rounded above; preanal and caudal scales multicarinate in the male, terminal scute
ending in two points (Smith 1943: 85).

Coloration: Dark violet, belly with large alternating yellow spots or cross-bars (Smith 1943: 85).

Total length: 470, diameter 12 mm (Smith 1943: 85). 
CommentSynonymy: R. grandis BEDDOME 1867 is a secondary junior homonym of Uropeltis grandis KELAART 1857 and has therefore been replaced by GANS 1966.
The name U. smithi Gans, 1966 was created as a replacement for Rhinophis grandis Beddome, 1867. A possible issue of homonymy was created when Rhinophis grandis Beddome, 1867 was transferred to Uropeltis by Smith (1943), since U. grandis Kelaart, 1853 was a pre-existing name. Gans (1966) thus erected U. smithi as a nomen novum for Rhinophis grandis Beddome, 1867, with the same type series and locality. However, Tennent (1861) had long since relegated U. grandis Kelaart, 1853 to the synonymy of Pseudotyphlops philippinus (Müller, 1832), which Pyron et al. 2016 renamed as R. saffragamus (Kelaart, 1853) n. comb. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin grandis, meaning "big". It references the size of this species (~47cm length, ~12mm diameter) among its cogeners 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1867. Descriptions and figures of five new snakes from the Madras Presidency. Madras Quart. J. Med. Sci., 11: 14-16. [Reprint: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 315- 317, 1940.] - get paper here
  • 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
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2003. Diversity of snakes (on the materials of the exposition of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University). Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 376 pp
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Pyron, A.R. and Somaweera, R. 2019. Further notes on the Sri Lankan uropeltid snakes Rhinophis saffragamus (Kelaart, 1853) and Uropeltis ruhunae Deraniyagala, 1954. Zootaxa 4560 (3):592-600 - 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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