Amphiesma monticola

Amphiesma monticola (Source)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Diapsida
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Superfamilia: Colubroidea
Familia: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Natricinae
Genera: Amphiesma
Species: Amphiesma monticola


Amphiesma monticola is a harmless colubrid snake species found in the Western Ghats of India. They are especially well known from the Kodagu and Wayanad regions of the Western Ghats.

Adults are small and slender and found in leaf litter in forest habitats. The head is reddish. The body is brownish with a greenish gloss, while some individuals are bright green.

This species has 19 keeled scale rows at midbody, 133-144 ventrals. The anal scales are divided, and has 78-29 subcaudals. There are 8 supralabials with 3, 4 and 5 touching the eye. There is one preocular scale. [1]

Description from G. A. Boulenger, Fauna of British India

Eye large, its diameter more than its distance from the nostril; rostral just visible from above; suture between the internasals shorter than that between the prefrontals; frontal considerably longer than its distance from the end of the snout, as long as the parietals; loreal as long as deep, or deeper than long; one preocular; three post-oculars; temporals 2+2; upper labials 8, third, fourth, and fifth entering the eye; 5 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin-shields, which are a little shorter than the posterior. Scales in 19 rows, strongly keeled, the outer row smooth or feebly keeled. Ventrals 134-142; anal divided; subcaudals 80-92. Green above, with black cross bands divided on each side by a pale spot; a white line across the head behind the eyes and a white dot on each side of the frontal; pre and postoculars and labials 3 to 6, white; lower parts white. Total length 18 inches, tail 5.5.


1. ^ Whitaker and Captain, 2004

Further reading

* Jerdon, T.C. (1853) Catalogue of the Reptiles inhabiting the Peninsula of India. Part 2. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal xxii: 522-534
* Whitaker, R. and Ashok Captain (2004) Snakes of India: The Field Guide. Draco Books, Chennai.

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