Friday, April 19, 2013

A new cat-eyed snake from India



The nocturnal, arboreal, rear-fanged colubrine snake genus Boiga (the cat-eyed snakes) is represented in Peninsular India by six species:  B. trigonataB. forsteniB. ceylonensisB. nuchalisB. dightoni and B. beddomei. Of these, the last four are characteristic of the wet hill-forest tracts of India’s Western Ghats, and, in the case of B. ceylonensis and B. beddomei, the wet-zone of central, hilly Sri Lanka as well.


Boiga flaviviridis from Kaigal, India. Photo Ashok Captain. 
In a recent paper Vogel and Ganesh (2013) describe a new species of cat snake, related to Boiga beddomei. The new species Boiga flaviviridis from the dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. It occupies a large geographic range from Berhampore, near the River Mahanadi in the northeast to Kaigal near the southern Eastern Ghats in the southwest. Boiga flaviviridis is diagnosed by having 19 dorsal scale rows at mid-body, a high number of ventral scales for the genus Boiga (248–259), a yellowish-green dorsal coloration with numerous faint black bands, an uniform, un-patterned yellow-colored venter and a relatively short tail (18-20% of the total length).

Citation
Vogel G. & S.R. Ganesh (2013) A new species of cat snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. Zootaxa 3637:158-168.

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