Rare snake species found in Telangana

Rare snake species found in Telangana
Highlights

A rare species of snake, the Indian Egg-eating snake or Indian Egg-eater (Elachistodon westermanni), was recently discovered in Telangana, by Friends of Snakes Society.

The Indian egg-eater is a rare species and is protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

A rare species of snake, the Indian Egg-eating snake or Indian Egg-eater (Elachistodon westermanni), was recently discovered in Telangana, by Friends of Snakes Society.

On October 12, a snake managed to enter the compound of a residence in BHEL, Patancheru. Alarmed residents and neighbours were about to kill the snake, when a passerby stopped them and informed the Friends of Snakes Society. Within minutes, J Srinivas, a member of the organisation, reached the site and rescued this unusual snake. On the same night, the snake reached the Society’s shelter in Sainikpuri, where it was identified as the Indian Egg-eater.

This rare egg eating species was thought to be extinct in 1969, as listed in IUCN Red List Data; however, was rediscovered at Corbett National Park, Uttarakand, in 2003. Since then, this specimen was documented from very few parts (merely 16 other locations) of central, western and northern India. The specimen, due to its rare occurrence, is protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, along with Pythons.

The current discovery of this snake is the first record for the State of Telangana. Also, Patancheru is currently the southern-most point in the Indian sub-continent where this species is now known to exist.

Indian Egg-eater is a small, gentle, non-venomous snake growing less than 3 feet, with dark brown overall colouration. It also has a yellow band running down the spine. Not much is known about their behaviour.

It is a nocturnal specimen meaning it is active during nights. It is terrestrial; however, shows characteristics of an arboreal specimen too. They exclusively feed on bird eggs. A specialised vertebral projection, hypapophysis, breaks the ingested egg and the yolk is pushed inward with the peristaltic movement of the esophagus. Once the entire yolk is ingested, the remaining shell is regurgitated.

After the study and scientific documentation, the organisation would relocate the animal, in its probable home range, away from human beings, under the expert guidance of Telangana Forest Department.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories


Top