Indian egg-eating snake

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Indian egg-eater snake
Indian egg eater snake Elachistodon westermanni by Krishna Khan Amravati.jpg
Indian egg-eater at Amravati
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Binomial name
Elachistodon westermanni

The Indian egg-eating snake or Indian egg-eater (Elachistodon westermanni) is a rare species of egg-eating snake found in the Indian subcontinent. It is also called Westermann's snake, reflecting its scientific name. The snake belongs to the monotypic genus Elachistodon.

Geographic range[edit]

The Indian egg-eating snake is found in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Recent discoveries of the species come from Maharashtra and Gujarat.[1][2] It was thought that the species was extinct in 1969, as listed in Red Data List. However, the species was rediscovered at Amravati district in Maharashtra state in 2004.

Description[edit]

This species is glossy brown to black, with bluish white flecks posteriorly and a middorsal creamy stripe from neck to tail tip. The head is brown with a black arrow mark. The ventrals are white with brown dots. Adults may attain a total length of 78 cm (31 inches), with a tail 11 cm (4¼ inches) long.[3]


Behaviour[edit]

It is nocturnal.[4]

Diet[edit]

Elachistodon westermanni has special adaptations such as a vertebral hypapophysis, a projection of the backbone, that juts into the oesophagus and helps in cracking eggs.[5] The only other snakes that share these egg-eating adaptations are in the genus Dasypeltis found in Africa.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Captain, A. & F. Tillack & A. Gumprecht & P. Dandge (2005). "First Record of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt 1863 (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Maharashtra State, India.". Russian Journal of Herpetology 12 (2): 156–158. 
  2. ^ Nande R and Sawan Deshmukh (2007). "Snakes of Amravati district including Melghat, Maharashtra, with important records of the Indian egg-eater, montane trinket snake and Indian Smooth Snake". Zoos' Print Journal 22 (12): 2920–2924. doi:10.11609/jott.zpj.1653.2920-4. 
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. London.
  4. ^ Dandge, Parag (2007). "Food and feeding habits of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863.". Hamadryad 32 (1). 
  5. ^ Gans, Carl, Oshima, Masamitsu, 1952. Adaptations for egg eating in the snake Elaphe climacophora (Boie). American Museum novitates ; no. 1571 [1]

External links[edit]