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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 Tirunelveli Hills
U. beddomii (Günther, 1862) Beddome's shieldtail Anaimalai Hills
U. bicatenata (Günther, 1875) two-chained shieldtail Pune Hills
U. broughami (Beddome, 1878) Brougham's shieldtail Palni Hills and Sirumalai Hills
U. ceylanicaT Cuvier, 1829 Cuvier's shieldtail Western Ghats south of Goa.
U. dindigalensis (Beddome, 1877) Dindigul shieldtail Sirumalai Hills
U. ellioti (Gray, 1858) Elliot's shieldtail Hills of peninsular India
U. liura (Günther, 1875) Günther's shieldtail Southern Western Ghats
U. macrolepis (Peters, 1862) Bombay shieldtail Northern Western Ghats
U. macrorhyncha (Beddome, 1877) Ponachi shieldtail Anaimalai Hills
U. maculata (Beddome, 1878) spotted shieldtail Anaimalai Hills
U. madurensis (Beddome, 1878) Madura earth snake Meghamalai
U. melanogaster (Gray, 1858) Gray's shieldtail Sri Lanka
U. myhendrae (Beddome, 1886) barred shieldtail Agasthyamalai Hills
U. nitida (Beddome, 1878) Cochin shieldtail Anaimalai Hills and Nelliyampathi.
U. ocellata (Beddome, 1863) Nilgiri shieldtail Western Ghats south of Nilgiris .
U. petersi (Beddome, 1878) Peters' shieldtail Anaimalai Hills
U. phillipsi (Nicholls, 1929) Phillips' shieldtail Sri Lanka
U. phipsonii (Mason, 1888) Phipson's shieldtail Northern Western Ghats
U. pulneyensis (Beddome, 1863) Palni shieldtail Southern Western Ghats
U. rubrolineata (Günther, 1875) red-lined shieldtail Southern Western Ghats.
U. rubromaculata (Beddome, 1867) red-spotted shieldtail Anaimalai Hills.
U. ruhunae Deraniyagala, 1954 Sri Lanka
U. shorttii (Beddome, 1863) Shevaroy Hills earth snake Yercaud
U. smithi Gans, 1966 Smith's shieldtail, violet shieldtail Anaimalai Hills
U. woodmasoni (W. Theobald, 1876) Palni shieldtail, black-bellied shieldtail Palni Hills .

* 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]