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...

Himalayan Mountain Keelback | Herpetoreas platyceps (Blyth, 1854)

Himalayan Mountain Keelback, Herpetoreas platyceps

Himalayan Mountain Keelback is a non-venomous species of grass snake under Natricidae family. The species is regarded as endemic to South Asia. The snake species possess the following physiological characteristics: The body of the species is generally olive-brown above having small black spots dorsally; there are two black lines running parallel to each other towards the nape; a black streak runs on lateral sides of the head from eye to gape (corner of mouth); on the ventral side belly is usually yellowish, with blackish dots sometimes while sometime not; often a black line or series of blackish spots are present laterally whereas the underside of tail is frequently spotted with blackish; throat may appear sometimes black. Moderate eyes; rostral evident from above; suture present between the internasals; frontal are longer than its distance from the end of the snout & shorter than the parietals; loreal l; preocular 1; Postoculars 2-3; temporals, 1+1 or 2+2; Super labials 7-8, 3-5 are in contact with eye; Infra labials 4-5 & are in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are reported much shorter than the chin shields of posterior side. Maxillary teeth are 18-22 where last 2-3 are prominently engorged. Dorsal scales are feebly keeled in rows (19:19:17); ventral’s scales are 177-235; anal paired & subcaudals are 75-107 (paired).

 
Image Source: indiansnakes.org

The total length of the species observed is 3 ft. Tail is observed to be moderate size in these snakes. This species of snake is observed to be quick & of shy nature usually flee when encountered. The specimens of this species are oviparous. The species is distributed along the Himalayan region of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan & China between the altitudes ranging from 1000 - 3600 m.asl. 

Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Natricidae
Genus:
Herpetoreas
Species:
platyceps
Binomial name
Herpetoreas platyceps (Blyth, 1854)
In India the species has been recorded from places such as; Jammu & Kashmir (Doda (1,830–2,175 m.asl), Poonch & Srinagar) Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Darjeeling, Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh. 
The species is commonly prefer hills and mountain terrain to thrive, it is a terrestrial & diurnal snake feeds mainly on lizards, frogs, fishes etc.

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
Avadhani, R. 2005. Snakes of India. Reptilia (GB) (41): 32-37 - get paper here
Bhupathy, S. and Sathishkumar N. 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
Blyth, E. 1855. "Notices and descriptions of various reptiles, new or little known [part-II]". J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, 23 (3): 287-302. - get paper here
Boulenger G. A. (1890) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Taylor and Francis. 
Boulenger G. A. (1896) Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 3, London: Taylor and Francis. 
Daniel, J.C. 1983. The Book of Indian Reptiles. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University press, Mumbai, India. 
Daniel, J.C. 2002. The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University press, Mumbai, India. 
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. 
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://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Herpetoreas&species=platyceps 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_keelback 
http://www.indiansnakes.org/content/himalayan%20keelback 
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. 
Malnate, E. V. 1966. Amphiesma platyceps (BLYTH) and Amphiesma sieboldii (G√úNTHER): sibling species (Reptilia: Serpentes). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 63 (1): 1-17 - get paper here
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. (2018). Reptilian diversity and their distribution in the District Doda of State Jammu & Kashmir, India. Reptiles & Amphibians, 25 (3):164-169. 
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 
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. 
Pyron, A. 2014. A taxonomic revision of the Asian keelback snakes, genus Amphiesma (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae), with description of a new species. Zootaxa, 3873 (4): 425–440 - get paper here 
Sahi, D.N. 1979. A contribution to the herpetology of Jammu and Kashmir. Ph.D. Thesis submitted to University of Jammu (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. 
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 
Wall, F. 1913. A new snake of the genus Tropidonotus from the Eastern Himalayas. Tropidonotus Firthi, spec. nov. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc,. 23: 167 - get paper here
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. 
Whitaker, R. and Whitaker, S. 2012. Venom, antivenom production and the medically important snakes of India. Current science, 103 (6): 635-643. 
Ziegler, T., and Quyet, L.K. 2006. A new natricine snake of the genus Amphiesma (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from the central Truong Son, Vietnam. Zootaxa, 1225:39-56 - get paper here

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PerSonaLife: Himalayan Mountain Keelback | Herpetoreas platyceps (Blyth, 1854)
Himalayan Mountain Keelback | Herpetoreas platyceps (Blyth, 1854)
Himalayan Mountain Keelback, Herpetoreas platyceps
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