Uropeltis ocellata

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Uropeltis ocellata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Uropeltis
Species: U. ocellata
Binomial name
Uropeltis ocellata
(Beddome, 1863)
  • Silybura ocellata Beddome, 1863
  • Silybura ochracea Beddome, 1878
  • Silybura dupeni Beddome, 1878
  • Silybura ocellata - Boulenger, 1893
  • Uropeltis ocellatus - M.A. Smith, 1943
  • Uropeltis (Siluboura) ocellatus - Mahendra, 1984
  • Uropeltis ocellata - Das, 1996[2]
Common names: ocellated shieldtail, Nilgiri uropeltis.

Uropeltis ocellata is a non-venomous shield tail snake species found in southern India. No subspecies are currently recognized.[3]


Beddome, 1864: "rostral pointed and much produced; nasal scutella meeting behind the rostral, and separating it from the [pre]frontals; eye very small, obscure, in [the] front of [the] ocular shield; other shields and labials as in the genus; scales round the neck in 18 rows, round the trunk in 17; caudal disk not very clearly defined; scales 2-5-keeled; terminal shield entire, or slightly 2-3-pronged; abdominals 199; subcaudals 8 or 10 pairs, some generally entire. Total length 14.5 inches (37 cm). Colour of the body of the male yellowish, becoming gradually brown near the head and tail, of the female dull brownish, of the young dark purplish brown; all banded with transverse rows of four or five black-edged white or yellow spots (like eyes), generally rather irregularly placed. Sides of the belly with transverse, very irregular shaped, yellow or white blotches, rarely meeting over the abdominals, and forming a transverse band."[4]

Rostral about ¼ the length of the shielded part of the head. Portion of the rostral visible from above longer than its distance from the frontal. Frontal usually longer than broad. Eye very small, its diameter slightly less than ⅓ the length of the ocular shield. Diameter of body 30 to 46 times in the total length. Ventrals about two times as large as the contiguous scales. Tail rounded or slightly flattened. The longest specimen measured by Boulenger was 50 cm (19 58 in) in total length.[5]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in southern India in the Western Ghats: south of the Goa Gap, Anaimalai, Cardamom (souther Kerala), Munnar Hills, Nilgiri Hills and Trivandrum. The type locality given is "at Walaghat on the western slopes of the Neilgherries in the dense forests at an elevation of 3,500 feet."[2]


  1. ^ Srinivasulu, B.; Srinivasulu, C.; Ganesan, S.R.; Vijayakumar, S.P. & Gower, D.J. (2013). "Uropeltis ocellatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b 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).
  3. ^ "Uropeltis ocellata". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2 September 2007. 
  4. ^ Beddome RH. 1864. Description of new species of the family Uropeltidae from Southern India, with notes on other little-known species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 13: 177-180
  5. ^ 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. 150-151.

Further reading[edit]

  • Beddome, R.H. 1863. Descriptions of New Species of the Family Uropeltidæ from Southern India, with Notes on other little-known Species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1863: 225-229, Plates XXV., XXVI., XXVII.
  • Beddome, R.H. 1863. Further notes upon the snakes of the Madras Presidency; with some descriptions of new species. Madras Quart. J. Med. Sci., 6: 41-48 [Reprint: J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London, 1 (10): 306-314, 1940]
  • Beddome, R.H. 1878. Description of six new Species of Snakes of the Genus Silybura, Family Uropeltidæ, from the Peninsula of India. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1878: 800-802.
  • Beddome, R.H. 1886. An Account of the Earth-Snakes of the Peninsula of India and Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (5) 17: 3-33.
  • Rajendran MV. 1979. Uropeltis ocellatus Beddome morphology, ecology and distribution. Recording two subspecies U. ocellatus gansi and U. ocellatus krishnasami. Journal of Madurai Kamaraj University Series B Sciences 8 (1): 97-99,

External links[edit]