Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827   Kashmir rock agama is a species of lizard that belong to family agamidae which i...

Banded Racer | Argyrogena fasciolata Shaw, 1802

Argyrogena fasciolata, Banded Racer

Banded Racer | Argyrogena fasciolata Shaw, 1802 
Argyrogena fasciolata commonly called as Banded racer is a snake species of family colubridae under the genus Argyrogena.  It is a small to medium sized snake having smooth scales where young ones are blazingly banded while the adults are unvarying and without having any pattern.  Thus it can be easily recognized by just checking the presence of white bands of zigzag manner bordered with black color over the body in case of juveniles.



Snout in these snakes is curved and prominent where rostral is large, somewhat broader than wide; suture are between the intranasal scales; frontal nearly as long as its distance from the end of the snout, or as the parietals; supra labials 8 - 9; where 4th & 5th are in the contact of eyes; 5th supra labial in these snakes is larger in area which touches the lower anterior temporal scale; preocular is one; pre-sub ocular in  some specimens may be 1 or absent; Loreal scale is 1; Postoculars  two and temporals 2+2, 2+3 or in some  3+3 also. Lower labials 9/9 and are in connection with the anterior chin-shields; chin-shields of posterior portion are almost similar in length of the anterior one, disjointed from each other by 2-3 series of scales.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Colubridae
Genus:
Argyrogena
Species:
A. fasciolata
Binomial name
Argyrogena fasciolata (Shaw, 1802)

Body of the snakes is long, slender and sheltered with sub equal smooth dorsal scales (21/ 23/17). Two distinct forms of the species are found within its range in its life in which juveniles shows the presence white bands with black color borders over reddish-brown or grayish-brown body. Whereas adult having reddish-brown or brown color dorsal body with faint bands or without having any bands. Belly and belly scales (191-233) in these species are of white or yellowish-white colour in adults and greenish-white in juveniles. Sub caudal scales (73-92 in number) paired in zigzag manner. Head bearing the pointed and prominently tapering snout, distinct than neck.   In adults it is pattern less brown in adults; where in juvenile’s greenish or purplish shade over the top having white, black and brown markings in the form of patches.  Eyes are large eyes have round pupil.
The species is occurring in India, in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Dispersed in varied range of forests including dry deciduous, mixed deciduous, scrub, grasslands, semi-desert and hilly dry lands. Also found in drier portions of its range such as rocky terrain, agricultural, gardens, domains having dense vegetation , rodent holes,  rock crevices, bushes, under leaf litters and under the roots of old trees.

Juvenile
It is a diurnal species of snakes which is capable of climbing also for hunt of prey and shelter. Locomotion is fast in meandering manner. It is an alert, active and very quick species of snake to react. Under hostile conditions it prefers to flee where on provocation it expands its fore body and coils its body with the head above the ground.  Feeds keenly on rodents, lizards, insects, bird and frogs by hunting them .The species is oviparous nature, female lay near about 7- 10 eggs in  some where dark place  like holes, cracks, under rocks from summer to monsoon months. Mating ritual in these snakes can be observed during monsoon months to the start of summer.


Characters Of Species Observed In Bhopal, MP
Characteristics
Range
Full body length
410 mm-1280 mm
Snout-vent length
320 mm-1020 mm
Tail length
90 mm-220 mm
**Dorsal scales (A:M:P)
21:23:15
Supra-labial scales (4th & 5th in eye contact)
8/8
Infra-labial scales
9/9
Ventral scales
195-210
Anal scales
1 (paired)
Sub-caudal scales
80-90
**Note: A- Anterior; M-Midbody; P-Posterior

Threats include the killing of these snakes under misidentification with venomous snakes & by way of road transport in all parts of its range. Besides, habitat destruction is also the rising threat for the species as the preferred living habitat of the species is getting reduced because of severe over-grazing and clearing of vegetation

Literature Cited:

Acharji, M.N. and Kripalani, M.B. 1952. On a collection of Reptilia and Batrachia from the Kangra and Kulu Valleys, Western Himalayas. Records of Indian Museum, 49 (2): 175-184.
Aengals, R., Kumar, S.V.M. and Palot, M.J. 2012. Updated Checklist of Indian Reptiles (http://www.lacertilia.de/AS/Bibliografie/BIB_6715.pdf.).
Agarwal, I., Mistry, V.K. and Atreya, R. 2010. A preliminary checklist of reptiles of Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 17 (2): 81-83.
Ali, W., Arshad J., Syed M. H., Hamda A. and Ghazala J. 2016. The Amphibians and Reptiles Collected from Different Habitat Types in District Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan. Pakistan J. Zool., 48(4): 1201-1204 - get paper here
Anderson, J. 1871. On some Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1871: 149-211 - get paper here
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Boulenger G. A. (1890) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Taylor and Francis.
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Chandra K., and Gajbe P. U. 2005. An inventory of herpetofauna of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Zoos' Print Journal, 20 (3): 1812-1819
Chandra, K. and Gajbe, U.P. 2005. An inventory of Herpetofauna of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Zoos’ Print Journal, 20 (3): 1812-1819.
Daniel, J.C. 1983. The Book of Indian Reptiles. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University press, Mumbai, India.
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Duda, P.L. and Sahi, D.N. 1977. An uptodate checklist of herptiles of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir University Review, 6 (10): 1-7.
Fellows, S. 2015. Species Diversity of Snakes in Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Entomol Ornithol Herpetol., 4: 136. doi:10.4172/2161-0983.1000136
Ganesh S. R., and Asokan J. R. 2010. Catalogue of Indian herpetological specimens in the collection of the Government Museum Chennai, India. Hamadryad, 35 (1):46-63.
Ganesh S. R., Chadramouli S. R., Sreekar R. and Shankar P. G. 2013. Reptiles of the Central Western Ghats, India- a reappraisal and revised checklist, with emphasis on the Agumbe Plateau. Russian Journal of Herpetology. 20 (2):134-142.
Ganesh, S.R. and Asokan, J.R. 2010. Catalogue of Indian herpetological specimens in the collection of the Government Museum Chennai, India. Hamadryad, 35 (1):46-63
http://indian-animals.blogspot.com/2009/06/banded-racer-argyrogena-fasciolatus.html
http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Argyrogena&species=fasciolata
http://www.indiansnakes.org/content/banded-racer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banded_racer
Kannan P. and Venkatraman, C. 1998. Reptile fauna of Siruvani Hills, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.Cobra, 33: 6-9
Khaire, N.K. 2010. “Snakes”, In: Milind, L.P. (Eds.). Jyotsna Prakashan Dhavalgiri, Pune, India.
Khaire, N.K. 2015. “Indian Snakes a field guide”, In: Milind, L.P. (Eds.). Jyotsna Prakashan Dhavalgiri, Pune, India.
Khan, Q.A. and Khan, S.M. 1996. Snakes of state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Proceedings of. Pakistan Congress of Zoology, 16: 173-182.
Manhas, A., Kotwal, A., Wanganeo, R.R. and Wanganeo, A. 2015. Diversity, Threats and Conservation of Herpetofauna in and around Barkatullah University, Bhopal (MP), India. Int. J. Adv. Res. 3: 1546-1553.                       
Manhas, A., Raina, R. and Wanganeo, A. 2017. Current Status and Diversity of Ophidians (Reptilia: Squamata: Serpents) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Int. J. Cur. Micro. Appl. sci., 6 (5): 1384-1390.
Manhas, A., Raina, R. and Wanganeo, A. 2018. Reptilian diversity of the Bhopal region of state Madhya Pradesh of central India. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians, 25 (2):104-114.
Manhas, A., Raina, R., and Wanganeo, A. 2016. An addition to the reptilian diversity of Barkatullah university campus, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Int. J. Pure Appl. Zool., 4 (4): 306-309.                                                             
Manhas, A., Raina, R., and Wanganeo, A., 2015. Snakes of the Bhopal district, Madhya Pradesh, India with special reference to road mortality. J. Res. Biol., 5: 1868-1873.
Manhas, A., Raina, R., and Wanganeo, A., 2016. An assessment of reptilian diversity and their distribution in Jammu and Kashmir state from Jammu city in northern India: A case study. IJFBS, 3: 20-23.
Manhas, A., Raina, R. and Wanganeo, A. 2017. Role Of Varying Climatic Regimes On The Reptilian Fauna Under Temperate And Tropical Conditions. Ph.D. Thesis submitted to Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India (Unpublished)
Murthy, T. S. N. 1990. Illustrated Guide to the Snakes of the Western Ghats, India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper No. 114
Murthy, T.S.N. 1990. Illustrated Guide to the Snakes of the Western Ghats, India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper No. 114
Murthy, T.S.N. and Sharma, B.D. 1976. A contribution to the Herpetology of Jammu and Kashmir. British Journal of Herpetology, 5: 533-538.
Murthy, T.S.N. and Sharma, B.D. 1979. Second report on the herpetofauna of Jammu and Kashmir. The snake, 11: 234-241.
Sahi, D.N. 1979. A contribution to the herpetology of Jammu and Kashmir. Ph.D. Thesis submitted to University of Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India (Unpublished).
Sahi, D.N. and Duda, P.L. 1985. A checklist and keys to the amphibians and reptiles of Jammu and Kashmir State, India. Bulletin of Chicago Herpetological Society, 20 (3-4): 86-97.
Sahi, D.N. and Duda, P.L. 1986. Affinities and distribution of amphibians and reptiles of Jammu and Kashmir state (India). Bulletin of Chicago Herpetological Society, 21(3-4): 84-88.
Saikia, U., Sharma, D.K. and Sharma, R.M. 2007. Checklist of reptilian fauna of Himachal Pradesh. Reptile Rap, 8: 6-9.
Shaw, G. 1802. General Zoology or Systematic Natural History. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London, 3 (2):313-615 - get paper here
Smith, M.A. 1943. “Fauna of British India”, Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London.
Srinivasulu C., and Das I. 2008. The herpetofauna of Nallamala Hills, Eastern Ghats, India: an annotated checklist, with remarks on nomenclature, taxonomy, habitat use, adaptive types and biogeography. Asiatic Herpetological Research, 11: 110–131
Wallach, V., Williams, K. L. and Boundy, J. 2014. Snakes of the World: A catalogue of living and extinct species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press.
Whitaker, R. 2006. “Common Indian snakes” a field guide. Macmillan India press, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Whitaker, R. and Captain, A. 2004. “Snakes of India”, the Field Guide. Draco Books, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Wilson, L. D. 1967. Generic reallocation and review of Coluber fasciolatus Shaw (Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetologica, 23 (4): 260-275 - get paper here

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PerSonaLife: Banded Racer | Argyrogena fasciolata Shaw, 1802
Banded Racer | Argyrogena fasciolata Shaw, 1802
Argyrogena fasciolata, Banded Racer
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