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Uropeltis woodmasoni (THEOBALD, 1876)

IUCN Red List - Uropeltis woodmasoni - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Woodmason's Earth Snake 
SynonymSilybura wood-masoni THEOBALD 1876: 135
Silybura melanogaster GÜNTHER 1875 (non Uropeltis melanogaster GRAY 1858)
Silybura nigra BEDDOME 1878
Silybura nigra — BEDDOME 1886: 12
Silybura nigra — BOETTGER 1892: 76
Silybura nigra — BOULENGER 1893: 151
Uropeltis wood-masoni — SMITH 1943
Uropeltis ruhunae DERANIYAGALA 1954
Uropeltis ruhunae — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 151
Uropeltis woodmasoni — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 151
Uropeltis woodmasoni — DAS 2003
Uropeltis ruhunae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 782
Uropeltis woodmasoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 782 
DistributionS India (Anamalai and Palni Hills, Travancore, Tinnevelly, Nilgiris, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: „Anamallys and Travancore [Silybura melanogaster GÜNTHER]
Type locality: "Palney hills”, S India. [Silybura wood-masoni THEOBALD]
Type locality: Pulney Mountains, 4,000 feet elevation". [Silybura nigra BEDDOME]  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 8760
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.57 (formerly [Silybura melanogaster GÜNTHER]
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.1.39 (formerly; 1946.1.15.54 ( — 1946.1.15.56 (; MNHN 1895.85 (2 specimens) (= MHNP). [Silybura nigra BEDDOME]
Holotype: NMSL RS 52 (= CNM R. S. 52); (fide WICKRAMASINGHE et al. 2009, Zootaxa 2044: 1-22) [ruhunae] 
DiagnosisOriginal description (ruhunae): Color: dorsally head dark olive, body dark bluish olive with 33 alternate transverse rows of five or six white dots each dot being as large as the eye. Ventrally yellow ochre a sinuous upper margin and with an anterior median elliptical dark patch of about three or four head lengths and 22 black transverse blotches.

Scales (ruhunae): rostral rounded, its dorsal past as long as frontal which is slightly longer than wide, nasals and prefrontals meeting their fellows mesially. No genials, costals 19.19.19, ventrals 10, preanals 2 enlarged, subcaudals 10, caudal shield convex with two blunt points and with about eight blunt prominences, in dorsal, view its length is about half of head length.

Diagnosis (ruhunae): Differs from the other two Ceylon Silubouras and from the Indian U. grandis in ventral scalation and color [from DERANIYAGALA 1954]. 
CommentSynonymy: S. melanogaster GÜNTHER 1875 is a secondary junior homonym of Uropeltis melanogaster GRAY 1858. It is hence unavailable und therfore has been replaced by the next available name by GANS 1966. U. ruhunae was synonymized with U. woodmasoni by Pyron et al. 2016.

Distribution: the locality of ruhunae is likely in error. Although it was reported from Sri Lanka (Galle district, Southern Province) with its type locality: „Galle", Ceylon, Pyron et al. 2016 are almost certain it doesn’t occur there. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. James Wood-Mason (1846-1893), a lepidopterist and specialist in marine animals who worked for the Indian Museum (1877). 
  • Beddome, R.H. 1878. Descriptions of new Uropeltidae from Southern India, with remarks on some previously described species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1878: 154-155 - 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
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1892. Listen von Kriechtieren und Lurchen aus dem tropischen Asien und aus Papuasien. Ber. Tät. Offenb. Ver. Nat., Offenbach, 29 - 32: 65 - 164 - 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
  • Deraniyagala. PAUL E. PIERIS 1954. Two new snakes from Ceylon. Proc. 10th Congr. Ceylon Assoc. Advancem. Sci., 1: 24.
  • Günther,A. 1875. Second report on collections of Indian Reptiles obtained bv the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1875: 224-234 - 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.
  • Olori, J.C. 2010. Digital Endocasts of the Cranial Cavity and Osseous Labyrinth of the Burrowing Snake Uropeltis woodmasoni (Alethinophidia: Uropeltidae) Copeia 2010 (1): 14-26. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Sclater,W.L. 1891. Notes on a collection of snakes in the Indian Museum, with descriptions of several new species. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal LX: 230-250 - 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.
  • Theobald,W. 1876. Descriptive catalogue of the reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta: xiii + 238 pp. - get paper here
  • 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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