Uropeltis woodmasoni

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Uropeltis woodmasoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Uropeltis
Species: U. woodmasoni
Binomial name
Uropeltis woodmasoni
(W. Theobald, 1876)

Uropeltis woodmasoni, commonly known as Wood-Mason's earth snake, is a species of snake in the family Uropeltidae. It is endemic to India. The specific name, woodmasoni, is in honor of Scottish zoologist James Wood-Mason.

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in southern India (Anamalai Hills and Palni Hills, Travancore, Tinnevelly, Nilgiris).

Type locality: "Anamallys and Travancore". [Silybura melanogaster Günther]

Type locality: "Palney hills, S India". [Silybura Wood-Masoni W. Theobald]

Type locality: "Pulney Mountains, 4,000 feet elevation". [Silybura nigra Beddome][2]


Dorsum blackish or dark violet, with transverse series of small round yellow spots or ocelli. A lateral series of large yellow spots which may be confluent into a stripe. Ventrum blackish or dark violet.

Adults may attain a total length of 28 cm (11 inches).

Smooth dorsal scales arranged in 19 rows at midbody, as well as behind the head. Ventrals 163-178; subcaudals 6-11.

Snout pointed. Portion of rostral visible from above longer than its distance from the frontal, in some specimens separating the nasals. Frontal slightly longer than broad. Eye small, its diameter slightly less than ½ the length of the ocular shield. Diameter of body 23 to 30 times in the total length. Ventrals about twice as large as the contiguous scales. Tail rounded, the dorsal scales of the tail strongly pluricarinate. The terminal scute with two small points.[3]


Silybura melanogaster Günther is unavailable because it is a homonym of Uropeltis melanogaster Gray. Therefore the specific name, melanogaster, was replaced with the next available specific name, woodmasoni, by Gans in 1966.[2]


  1. ^ Srinivasulu, B.; Srinivasulu, C.; Ganesan, S.R.; Vijayakumar, S.P. & Prabhu, M. (2013). "Uropeltis woodmasoni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Uropeltis woodmasoni at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 13 December 2007.
  3. ^ 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. p. 151.

Further reading[edit]

  • Theobald, Wm. 1876. Descriptive Catalogue of the Reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink and Co. Calcutta. p. 135. ["S. Wood-Masoni, Theob."]
  • Beddome, R.H. 1878. Descriptions of new Uropeltidae from Southern India, with Remarks on some previously-described Species. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1878 (1): 154-155.
  • 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.
  • Gans, Carl 1966. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Uropeltidae. Das Terreich 84: 1-29.