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...

Common Wolf Snake │ Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lycodon aulicus, Common Wolf Snake

Lycodon
Genus Lycodon is the widespread taxa of snakes, ranging from the Caspian Sea to Indonesia and Philippines. Nearly about 25 species under genius Lycodon have been described till date Out of them 11 occurs within Indian subcontinent. Species under this genus are commonly as wolf snakes.

Image source (reptile-database.reptarium.cz)

Common Wolf Snake Lycodon aulicus, Linnaeus, 1758 
Lycodon aulicus, commonly known Indian wolf snake belongs to the family colubridae. It is a non-venomous species of snake distributed throughout South and Southeast Asia. Matches closely to the venomous species of snake common Krait that’s why this snake is frequently confused with the Common Krait. The presence of a Loreal shield and mid body scale can be used to differentiate it from common Krait (Midbody scale is hexagonal). The species also looks like some other species of Lycodon such as Travancore Wolf Snake; Common Bridal Snake; Scarce Bridal Snake & Yellow Collared Wolf Snake. The average length of this species is recorded nearly about 1-2 feet’s & new borns were about 5-6 inches. The maximum length of the species was documented is 3 feet.

The bodies of these snakes are slender having shiny smooth scales of brown greyish or of reddish color. There is white to yellowish white bands found on the dorsal side of body running just behind the head which faint towards the tail region. Youngsters bears prominent collar over the neck which gets constricted in adults. Over the ventral side the scale are whitish without having any pattern, sub-caudal scales are paired and are arranged in zigzag manner in the snakes of this species. Tail is of normal length (4.5 inches) having pointed tip and with or without any bands.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Colubridae
Genus:
Lycodon
Species:
aulicus
Binomial name
Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus1758)

Head in this species is flat & broader than neck. A yellow- whitish collar may exist in these snakes in its range. Eyes are entirely black having elliptical pupil. There are 9/9 supra-labial scales pout of which 3rd to 5th are in contact of eyes; 9/9 infra labials; 1 preocular; 2 postocular; 1 loreal & temporal (2+2 / 2+3). Dorsal scales are 17: 17: 15 in rows having a single apical pit on each scale. On the ventral asides the scales range from 172-214 which angulate laterally; anal scale is divided; 57-80 sub caudal scales.

Stay hidden in cracks or under hefty objects during the day, most of the activity of this species is observe nocturnal. The snake species can be found in variety of habitat viz., dry and mixed deciduous forests, scrub lands & rainforests. Found mostly in rocky terrain, land cracks and near human inhabitance. The snakes of this species prefers to stay in statures, dry surrounding for hiding and foraging, as its diet mainly includes geckos rodents and skinks.

This species of Lycodon is quite aggressive than their other counterparts under this genus. When encountered primarily try to escape at first but later it makes coil wrapping its whole body and hide its head under it. In aggressiveness it tries to bite. Mating in this species is observed on starting of summer which can extends upto monsoon.  Whereas it is believed that this species is capable of mating throughout the year in its geographical range. Female of the species lay near about 5- 10 eggs in land or rock crevices, small mounds, under the rocks or in somewhere dark places at   some heights. Juveniles of the species can be seen mostly during monsoon to winters. Reproduction is oviparous.
The species is found in Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nepal, SriLanka, India, Seychelles, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, Mascarenes, Mauritius, South China & few of the islands of Philippines.


Image source (reptile-database.reptarium.cz)

The main threat of these snakes is it’s killing because of the misperception & misidentification. Another threat that takes the life of this beautiful creature is by way of vehicular movement via roads along the forest trail, that too, mostly during the monsoon months when they were in search of their mate.

Image source (Manhas et al., 2018)

Literature Cited:
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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
Guptha, M.B., Thulasaih, T. and Prasad, N.V.S. (2007). New locality record of yellow collared wolf snake Lycodon flavicollis Mukherjee and Bhupathy, 2007 from Seshachalam Biosphere reserve, Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal of research in Biology. 4(3): 1328-1331.
http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Lycodon&species=aulicus
http://www.indiansnakes.org/content/common-wolf-snake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycodon_aulicus
Kannan P. and Venkatraman, C. 1998. Reptile fauna of Siruvani Hills, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.Cobra, 33: 6-9
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Lanza, B. (1999). A new species of Lycodon from Philippines, with a key to the genus (Reptilia: Serpents: Colubridae). Tropical Zoo, 12:89-104.
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., 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. 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)
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.
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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.                                                             
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PerSonaLife: Common Wolf Snake │ Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Wolf Snake │ Lycodon aulicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lycodon aulicus, Common Wolf Snake
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PerSonaLife
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