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Uropeltis rajendrani GANESH & ACHYUTHAN, 2020

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Rajendran’s Shieldtail snake 
SynonymUropeltis rajendrani GANESH & ACHYUTHAN 2020
Uropeltis cf. ceylanica – GANESH & ARUMUGAM 2016 (nec Cuvier, 1829) 
DistributionIndia (Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: Bodhamalai Hills near Salem and Namakkal District border, overlooking Panamarathupatti Town (11.535 ̊N 78.221 ̊E; 1,070m), Tamil Nadu State, peninsular India  
TypesHolotype: BNHS 3559 an adult male, August 2019, a relatively undamaged specimen found dead on a road, coll. N.S. Achyuthan & N.V. Srikanthan.
Paratypes: BNHS 3560 and BNHS 3561, trampled adults, found dead on a road. Same data as of holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Uropeltis from the Kolli Hill complex, characterized by having the following combination of characters: (1) caudal shield truncate, with a distinct thickened circumscribed concave disc; (2) part of rostral visible from above not distinctly longer than its distance from frontal; (3) rostral scale partially separating nasal scales; (4) snout obtusely rounded; (5) eye diameter 3/4th that of ocular shield; (6) dorsal scale rows 16–17:16–17:15–16; (7) ventral scales 145–158; (8) subcaudal scales 8–11 pairs; (9) dorsum deep brown, unpatterned, anteriorly with a few yellow speckles; (10) venter yellow, each scale edged with brown. 
CommentSympatry: Rhinophis goweri 
EtymologyNamed in honour of Dr. Maria Viswasam Rajendran (2 Nov 1916–6 Aug 1993), ‘MVR’ for short, for his exhaustive studies on shieldtail snakes in Tamil Nadu, next only to Richard Henry Beddome and Frank Wall. Not only was he a professor of zoology at the St. Joseph’s College Palayamkottai (Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu) but also the director of the Madras (now Chennai) Snake Park (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) during the early 1980s. 
  • 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. & N.S. Achyuthan 2020. A new species of shieldtail snake (Reptilia: Squamata: Uropeltidae) from Kolli Hill complex, southern Eastern Ghats, peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(4): 15436–15442 - get paper here
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