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Plectrurus perottetti sal.jpg
Perrotet's shieldtail, Plectrurus perrotetii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Plectrurus
A.H.A. Duméril, 1851
Common names: burrowing snakes[2]

Plectrurus is a genus of nonvenomous shield tail snakes endemic to the Western Ghats of South India.[1] Currently, four species are recognized.[3] They inhabit high elevation montane Shola forests and are usually found under fallen logs and rocks. Some species are rare while some are quite common in their range.


Small snakes, they do not exceed 43 cm (17 in).

An ocular shield covers the eye. The eyes are small, diameter not more than half the length of the ocular shield. The tail is laterally compressed. The terminal scute also is laterally compressed, with two superposed points. The points are simple, bifid, or trifid.[4]


Species[3] Taxon author[3] Common name[2] Geographic range[1]
P. aureus Beddome, 1880 Golden shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: Chambra Hill, Malabar
P. canaricus (Beddome, 1870) Kudremukh shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: South Canara, Mysore (Kundramukh, Karnataka)
P. guentheri Beddome, 1863 Günther's shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: Sispara Ghat on the west side of the Nilgiri Hills
P. perrotetiiT A.H.A. Duméril, 1851 Perrotet's shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: Nilgiri Hills,where it is a common species.

*) 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, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ a b c "Plectrurus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 September 2007. 
  4. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families...Uropeltidæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). London. pp. 160-161.

External links[edit]