Check Out This New Species of Shieldtail Snake Just Discovered in India

March 14, 2016

Researchers led by Dr. David Gower with the National History Museum in London, England describe a new species of shieldtail snake that was discovered in India. The snake, Khaire’s black shieldtail (Melanophidium khairei), has beautiful black scales on white skin with a rainbow glow. 

Khaire’s black shieldtail

david j. gower

Khaire’s black shieldtail snake was discovered in India..

This particular species in unique in that all previous species in the Melanophidium genus come from the Western Ghats region of the country, including Peermede Hills, Kerala, and the Anamalai Hills in Tamil Nadu. This species was discovered in southern Maharashtra, Goa, and northern Karnataka, making it the the northernmost member of the genus, according to a report in Sci-News. 

The snake, which was described in the Journal Zootaxa earlier this month, was named in honor or Neelimkumar ‘Anna’ Khaire, the director of the Snake Park in Pune, India. Khaire is known in the country for his advocacy for the conservation of snakes. 

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