Platyplectrurus madurensis

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Platyplectrurus madurensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Platyplectrurus
Species: P. madurensis
Binomial name
Platyplectrurus madurensis
Beddome, 1877

Platyplectrurus madurensis, commonly known as the Travancore Hills thorntail snake, Palni purple-brown worm thorntail snake, or Madurai shieldtail, is a species of uropeltid snake. It is found in southern India[1] and, depending on the source, Sri Lanka.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

P. madurensis is found in the Western Ghats of India and in Sri Lanka.

Type locality of Platyplectrurus madurensis: "About Kodiukarnal on the Pulney Mountains (Madura district), 6000 feet elevation".

Type locality of Wallia inexpectata: "Südindien (Pulney Hills, Madura)".

Type locality of Platyplectrurus ruhanae: "Galle" district in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka.[2]


The dorsum of P. madurensis is iridescent purplish brown. The ventrals and the scales in the two adjoining rows on both sides are white in the center, with purplish brown borders.

The longest of Beddome's type specimens measures 35 cm (13 34 in) in total length (including tail).

The dorsal scales are in 15 rows at midbody (in 17 rows behind the head). The ventrals number 158-175; and the subcaudals, 10-15.

P. madurensis is very similar to P. trilineatus, except the head shields are shorter, and the supraocular is not longer than the prefrontal. Diameter of body 38-42 times in total length.[3]


Two subspecies are recognized, including the nominate race.

The subspecific name, ruhanae, refers to the Ancient Sri Lankan Kingdom of Ruhuna (also spelled Ruhana).[5] Some sources consider it to be a separate species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Srinivasulu, C.; Srinivasulu, B.; Ganesan, S.R. (2013). "Platyplectrurus madurensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T178420A1533817. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Platyplectrurus madurensis at the Reptile Database. Accessed 16 November 2016.
  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. (Platyplectrurus madurensis, p. 166 + Plate XI, figures 2, 2a).
  4. ^ "Platyplectrurus madurensis ". Dahms Tierleben.
  5. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Platyplectrurus madurensis ruhanae, p. 228).

Further reading[edit]

  • Beddome RH (1877). "Descriptions of three new Snakes of the Family Uropeltidae from Southern India". Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1877: 167-168. (Platyplectrurus madurensis, new species, p. 167).
  • Beddome RH (1886). "An Account of the Earth-Snakes of the Peninsula of India and Ceylon". Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Fifth Series 17: 3-33.
  • 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. (Platyplectrurus madurensis, p. 274).
  • Das I (2002). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of India. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-056-5. (Platyplectrurus madurensis, p. 59).
  • Deraniyagala PEP (1954). "Two new snakes from Ceylon". Proc. 10th Congress Ceylon. Assoc. Advancement Sci. 1: 24.
  • 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. (Platyplectrurus madurensis, p. 69).
  • Werner F (1925). "Neue oder wenig bekannte Schlangen aus dem Naturhistorischen Staatsmuseum in Wien. II ". Teil. Sitz. Ber. Akad. Wiss., Wien, Abt. I, 134: 45-66.