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New Snake species discovered in Western Ghats

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Researchers have discovered a new snake species in the Western Ghats in Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts. It is a burrowing snake of the Melanophidium genus and belongs to the Uropeltidae family of snakes.

Flash points

  • The new snake species belong to burrowing category which live mostly underground
  • The snake is named after Pune-based herpetologist Neelimkumar Khaire to pay tribute to his contribution to the knowledge, appreciation and conservation of snakes in India
  • The scientific name of the species is Melanophidium khairei while its common name is Khaire’s Black ShieldtailNew Snake species discovered in Western Ghats
  • The discovery is the result of the collaborative efforts of scientists from Natural History Museum (NHM), London ,National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore,the Indian Herpetological Society (IHS), Pune and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
  • The researchers have been under this study for more than 15 years since 2001 and the occurrence of this species was identified 144 years ago
  • The research paper about it has been published in the scientific journal, Zootaxa recently
  • The research paper’s main authors are Dr David Gowerand and Dr Mark Wilkinson of the NHM, Dr Varad Giri of NCBS and Ashok Captain of IHS/BNHS

Points to note

  • Herpetologist –The person who studies about Snakes