Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Elachistodon westermanni occurs in South Asia. In India, this species is known from Purnea in Bihar, Mal, Bardighi and Calcutta in West Bengal, Wardha, Akola and Amravathi in Maharashtra, and from Corbett National Park in Uttaranchal (Sharma 2003, Captain et al. 2005, Nande and Deshmukh 2007, Dandge 2008). This species has recently been recorded from Surat and Bhavnagar (Vyas 2006), and also from Jesar, Mankhetra and Sasan in Gujarat (Vyas 2010) and the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh (S. Thakur pers comm. March 2011). There is a recent record from the buffer zone of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur District, Maharashtra (S. Wazalwar unpubl. data). It has also been recorded in Rangpur, Bangladesh (its type locality, see Smith 1943) and Chitwan, Nepal (Captain et al. 2005). It has been recorded from 40 to 1000 m asl.

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Continent: Asia
Distribution: Bangladesh, India (Uttar Pradesh, Bhavnagar city, Gujarat state [Piyush Lashkari, pers. comm.; Bhavnagar, Surat [Raju Vyas, pers. comm.], Maharashtra), Nepal  
Type locality: Rangpur, Bengal
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This diurnal and semi-arboreal species inhabits both dry and moist broadleaf forests. It is also known to occur in dry thorny scrub land and deciduous forest (R. Vyas pers. comm. February 2011). Animals have been recorded from urban areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Vyas, R., Thakur, S., Mohapatra, P. & Giri, V.

Reviewer/s
Bowles, P., Das, A., Deepak, V., Achyuthan, N.S., Kulkarni, N.U., Aengals, A. & Molur, S.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because, although it is seldom recorded, it has a relatively wide distribution, is tolerant of a broad range of habitats, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category

History
  • 2010
    Least Concern
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
  • 1994
    Rare
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Rare
    (IUCN 1990)
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Population

Population
According to Sharma (2003), this species is rare. Vyas (2010) reports it to have been collected from at least six different localities in Gujarat over a last few years and reports it to be rare.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
It is unlikely that any major threat is impacting this species. Some specimens have recently been collected as roadkill.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, of India. It has been recorded from Gir National Park, Gujarat and Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Further research into the distribution, and population status of this species should be carried out, and population monitoring is recommended.
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Wikipedia

Indian egg-eating snake

The Indian egg-eating snake (Elachistodon westermanni) is a rare species of egg-eating snake found in the Indian subcontinent. It is also called Westermann's snake, reflecting its scientific name. The snake belongs to the monotypic genus Elachistodon.

Geographic range[edit]

The Indian egg-eating snake is found in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Recent discoveries of the species come from Maharashtra and Gujarat.[1][2] It was thought that the species was extinct in 1969, as listed in Red Data List. However, the species was rediscovered at Amravati district in Maharashtra state in 2004.

Description[edit]

This species is glossy brown to black, with bluish white flecks posteriorly and a middorsal creamy stripe from neck to tail tip. The head is brown with a black arrow mark. The ventrals are white with brown dots. Adults may attain a total length of 78 cm (31 inches), with a tail 11 cm (4¼ inches) long.[3]


Behaviour[edit]

It is nocturnal.[4]

Diet[edit]

Elachistodon westermanni has special adaptations such as a vertebral hypapophysis, a projection of the backbone, that juts into the oesophagus and helps in cracking eggs.[5] The only other snakes that share these egg-eating adaptations are in the genus Dasypeltis found in Africa.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Captain, A. & F. Tillack & A. Gumprecht & P. Dandge (2005). "First Record of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt 1863 (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Maharashtra State, India.". Russian Journal of Herpetology 12 (2): 156–158. 
  2. ^ Nande R and Sawan Deshmukh (2007). "Snakes of Amravati district including Melghat, Maharashtra, with important records of the Indian egg-eater, montane trinket snake and Indian Smooth Snake". Zoos' Print Journal 22 (12): 2920–2924. doi:10.11609/jott.zpj.1653.2920-4. 
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. London.
  4. ^ Dandge, Parag (2007). "Food and feeding habits of Elachistodon westermanni Reinhardt, 1863.". Hamadryad 32 (1). 
  5. ^ Gans, Carl, Oshima, Masamitsu, 1952. Adaptations for egg eating in the snake Elaphe climacophora (Boie). American Museum novitates ; no. 1571 [1]
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