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Uropeltis phipsonii (MASON, 1888)

IUCN Red List - Uropeltis phipsonii - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Phipson's Shieldtail 
SynonymSilybura phipsonii MASON 1888
Silybura phipsonii — BOULENGER 1893: 155
Uropeltis phipsoni — SMITH 1943
Uropeltis rubrolineatus — WILLIAMS 1959
Uropeltis rubrolineatus — GANS 1966
Uropeltis phipsonii — RAJENDRAN 1985
Uropeltis phipsonii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 149
Uropeltis phipsonii — DAS 2003
Uropeltis phipsonii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 781
Uropeltis cf. phipsonii — GANESH & ARUMUGAM 2016
Uropeltis cf. phipsonii — GANESH et al. 2018 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra)

Type locality: “Bombay Ghats”, India.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.33 (formerly — 1946.1.16.34 ( 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout obtusely pointed; portion of rostral visible from above distinctly longer than its distance from the frontal; eye half the length of the ocular shield. Scales in 17 rows; V. 138-157, one and a half times as broad as the adjacent
scales; C. 7-12. Tail as in macrolepis (Smith 1943: 82).

Coloration: Brown or purplish-brown, uniform or with yellowish dots above; a more or less distinct yellow streak along each side of the neck and fore part of the body; a yellow stripe on each aide of the tail connected with its fellow by a transverse bar across the anal region (Smith 1943: 82).

Size: Total length: 280, diameter 9 mm (Smith 1943: 82). 
CommentUropeltis phipsoni (MASON 1888) has been treated as a synonym of Uropeltis rubrolineatus (GÜNTHER 1875) by GANS 1966 and revalidated by RAJENDRAN 1985. 
EtymologyNamed after Herbert Musgrave Phipson (1849-1936), one of the founders of the Bombay Natural History Society (1883) and Honorary Secretary (1886-1906). He lent space in his wine shop, Phipson and Co., Forbes Street, as office accommodation for the society. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Ganesh, S. R.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist. Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24 - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S.R.; A. Kalaimani, P. Karthik, N. Baskaran, R. Nagarajan & S.R.Chandramouli 2018. Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India – II From Western Ghats to Coromandel Coast. Asian Journal of Conservation Biology, July 2018. Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 28-45 - get paper here
  • Gower, D.J.; Captain, A. & Thakur, S.S. 2008. On the taxonomic status of Uropeltis bicatenata (GÜNTHER) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Uropeltidae). Hamadryad 33 (1): 64 – 82 - get paper here
  • Mason, GEORGE E. 1888. Description of a new earth-snake of the genus Silybura from the Bombay Presidency with remarks on little known Uropeltidae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 22: 184-186. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Rajendran, M. 1985. Studies in Uropeltid Snakes. Madurai University Press, Madurai.
  • 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.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • Williams, Ernest E. 1959. The occipito-vertebral joint in the burrowing snakes of the family Uropeltidae. Breviora (106): 1-10 - get paper here
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