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Silybura shortii.jpg
Ceylon earth snake, U. ceylanica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Uropeltis
Cuvier, 1829
Common names: shieldtails.

Uropeltis is a genus of nonvenomous shield tail snakes endemic to southern India and Sri Lanka. Currently, 23 species are recognized.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

Uropeltis species are found in southern India and Sri Lanka.[1]


Eye in the ocular shield. No supraoculars. No temporals. No mental groove. Tail conical or obliquely truncated, terminating in a small scute, the end of which is square, or bicuspid with the points side by side.[3]


Species[2][4] Taxon author[2][4] Common name Geographic range[1][4]
U. arcticeps (Günther, 1875) Tinevelly shieldtail southern India
U. beddomii (Günther, 1862) Beddome's shieldtail southern India
U. bicatenata (Günther, 1875) two-chained shieldtail western India
U. broughami (Beddome, 1878) Sirumalai shieldtail southern India (Palni and Sirumalai Hills, Madura district; Nilgiris)
U. ceylanicaT Cuvier, 1829 Cuvier's shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats (Kerala) from Castle Rock to Travancore (Anaimalai Hills), in the Eastern Ghats in the Shevaroy Hills, and in the southern Ghats from Kunjithanni (Idikki District) to Trivandrum.
U. dindigalensis (Beddome, 1877) Dindigul shieldtail southern India
U. ellioti (Gray, 1858) Elliot's shieldtail southern India
U. liura (Günther, 1875) Günther's shieldtail southern India
U. macrolepis (Peters, 1862) Bombay shieldtail southern India
U. macrorhyncha (Beddome, 1877) Ponachi shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats: Anaimalai Hills, Madura District.
U. maculata (Beddome, 1878) spotted shieldtail southern India
U. madurensis (Beddome, 1878) Madura earth snake southern India
U. melanogaster (Gray, 1858) Gray's shieldtail Sri Lanka
U. myhendrae (Beddome, 1886) barred shieldtail southern India
U. nitida (Beddome, 1878) Cochin shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats on the Cochin side of the Anaimalai Hills.
U. ocellata (Beddome, 1863) Nilgiri shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats: south of the Goa Gap, Anaimalai, Cardamom (southern Kerala), Munnar Hills, Nilgiri Hills and Trivandrum.
U. petersi (Beddome, 1878) Peters' shieldtail southern India
U. phillipsi (Nicholls, 1929) Phillips' shieldtail Sri Lanka
U. phipsonii (Mason, 1888) Phipson's shieldtail India
U. pulneyensis (Beddome, 1863) Palni shieldtail India
U. rubrolineata (Günther, 1875) red-lined shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats: south of the Palghat to Bhimshankar and in the Anaimalai and Travancore Hills.
U. rubromaculata (Beddome, 1867) red-spotted shieldtail southern India in the Western Ghats: Anaimalai Hills and Nilgiri Hills between 1,200 and 1,500 m elevation.
U. ruhunae Deraniyagala, 1954 Sri Lanka
U. shorttii (Beddome, 1863) Shevaroy Hills earth snake southern India
U. smithi Gans, 1966 Smith's shieldtail, violet shieldtail southern India
U. woodmasoni (W. Theobald, 1876) Palni shieldtail, black-bellied shieldtail southern India

* Not including the nominate subspecies.
T Type species.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c "Uropeltis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 September 2007. 
  3. ^ Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Uropeltidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Genus Silybura, p. 144).
  4. ^ a b c "Uropeltis ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xviii + 541 pp. (Genus Silybura, p. 257, Figure 81).
  • Smith MA. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia, Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Genus Uropeltis, p. 73).
  • Wall F. 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]: Colombo Museum. (H.R. Cottle, Government Printer). xxii + 581 pp. (Genus Uropeltis, pp. 23–25, Figures 7-9).

External links[edit]