Sunday, August 20, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Records of the Indian Sand Snake Psammophis condanarus (Merrem, 1820) (Reptilia: Lamprophiidae) in southern India

Psammophis condanarus (Merrem, 1820)

 We present new records of the Indian Sand Snake Psammophis condanarus from southern India, where its existence has remained doubtful till date. Our records are based on both live and preserved voucher specimens that are illustrated and described here. We furnish distribution records of this species from two sites belonging to two different ecoregions in southern India—Tirupati in the Eastern Ghats and Hospete in the Deccan plateau. Our work highlights the obscurity of certain, large-growing, diurnal land snakes that have as yet managed to evade the attention of field biologists largely due to a lack of field surveys in certain ecoregions.

Keywords: Distribution, literature records, snake, southern India.

Psammophis condanarus (Merrem, 1820)
Coluber condanarus Merrem, 1820
Leptophis bellii Jerdon, 1854
Psammophis taeniata Günther, 1862
Psammophis indicus Beddome, 1863
Phayrea isabellina Theobald, 1868 (inc. sed. fide Wall 1921)
Psammophis sibilans quadrilineata Jan, 1870 in Jan & Sordelli, 1866–1870
Mike elegantissima Werner, 1924
Psammophis condanarus condanarus - Smith 1943
Taphrometopon condanarum - Wallach et al. 2014

Image 2. Psammophis condanarus illustrated in life colouration:
(a) from Tirupathi, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, Eastern Ghats © Bubesh Guptha, (b) from Hospete, Bellary District, Karnataka, Deccan plateau © Vivek Sharma, (c) from Nasik, Maharashtra © Vivek Sharma
Image 3. Coluber condanarus. Reproduction of the lectotype’s drawing in plate 27 of Russell (1796)

S.R. Ganesh, Vivek Sharma and M. Bubesh Guptha. 2017. Records of the Indian Sand Snake Psammophis condanarus (Merrem, 1820) (Reptilia: Lamprophiidae) in southern India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9(7); 10453-10458.  DOI: 10.11609/jott.3468.9.7.10453-10458