Snake Named After Scientist

This article is about new species of snakes.

A snake discovered a few years back in the Western Ghats region has been named after Varad Girl,the curator of herpetological collection of the Bombay natural History Society.Dendrelaphis girii is endemic to the Western Ghats of India and is known various localities in the states of Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Rainfall over the Western Ghats

In 2001,a team nature enthusiasms led by renowned snake expert Ashok Captain and kader Bhide encountered an interesting  species of snake at Amboli.They identified the snake as being very close to Dendrelaphis bifrenalis,a Lanka.

A view of Western Ghats near Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary,

The snake was released after taking photographs.After two years ,two people saw a similar Snake.They also encountered this particular snake in the forests of castle Rock.In subsequent years,this species of snake was reported from various localities in the Western Ghats and most of the time was identified as Dendrelaphis bifrenalis.

In 2009,Dr.Gernot Vogel an expert on snake taxonomy from Germany visited BNHS to study the specimens  in its museum.During his visit,varad girl show him the interesting specimens of Dendrelaphis form Amboli,Goa and Castle Rack.He informed that this appears to be a new species.

The snakes of the genus Dendrelaphis are widely distributed,ranging form Pakistan in the West to the northern and eastern coast  of Australia in the East and South and to Southern China in the north.They are commonly called as Bronzeback Tree Snakes.Theses snakes are mostly arboreal and have predominantly bornze colouration.When aggressive they expand their skin and a blue coloured skin in between the scales is visible.In India there are about ten species of Dendrelaphis known from across the mainland and Islands.

A species of Dendrelaphis is identified by the combination of characters like two loreal scales between eye and nostrill on each side of the head;15 rows of scales dorsal at midbody:enlarged vertebral scales 166-173 ventrals scales on the belly:140-147 subcaudals scales below tail and other characters.This new species has a black coloured stripe behind the eye,which barely extends onto the neck.



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