|iridescent shieldtail, M. bilineatum|
- Common names: Black shield tail snake
Melanophidium is a genus of nonvenomous shield tail snakes endemic to the Western Ghats of India. These species are identifiable by having a mental groove in their chin shields. Currently, four species are recognized, including one newly described species.
Their very smooth and glossy skin is said to be highly iridescent and is functional in warding off debris during burrowing. They are typically fossorial and nocturnal, becoming active during rainy nights.
|Species||Taxon author||Common name||Geographic range|
|M. bilineatum||Beddome, 1870||Two-lined black shieldtail||Wayanad hills in the Western Ghats: in Peria and Tirhoot Peaks, west of Manantoddy|
|M. punctatum||Beddome, 1871||Spotted black shieldtail||Southern Western Ghats: in Travancore (900–1500 m elevation) and the Anamalai Hills, south of the Palghat Gap.|
|M. wynaudenseT||(Beddome, 1863)||Wayanad black shieldtail||Central Western Ghats: from Wayanad to Manantoddy District, Coorg up to Agumbe Ghats, at 900–1500 m elevation|
|M. khairei||Gower, Giri, Captain & Wilkinson, 2016||Khaire's black shieldtail||Western India in the Northern Western Ghats, of Goa and Maharashtra states.|
- List of uropeltid species and subspecies
- Uropeltidae by common name
- Uropeltidae by taxonomic synonyms
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
- "Melanophidium". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- Rajendran M. V. ( 1985) Studies in Uropeltid Snakes. Madurai university Press, Madurai.
- GOWER, DAVID J.; VARAD GIRI, ASHOK CAPTAIN, MARK WILKINSON 2016. A reassessment of Melanophidium Günther, 1864 (Squamata: Serpentes: Uropeltidae) from the Western Ghats of peninsular India, with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4085 (4): 481–503.
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