Friday, July 7, 2017

Kerala Mud Snake, Dieurostus dussumierii (Duméril, Bibron and Duméril, 1854)

Eurostus dussumierii Duméril, Bibron and Duméril, 1854: 953.  Holotype: MNHN c3458. Type locality: Bengal (in error). Corrected to Malabar Coast (Murphy, 2007: 109).
Hypsirhina dussumierii: Jan, 1863: 78.
Hypsirhina malabaricaWerner, 1913: 26.
Enhydris dussumierii: Smith, 1943: 389.
Dieurostus dussumierii: Kumar et al. 2012: 483

Distribution: Coastal plain of Kerala, India from Vembanad-kole wetlands of Kerala (09°00’ – 10° 40’ N  76°00’ –77° 30’ E) and Vellayani Lake (~8°26’06”N 76°59’31”E) to Neyyar River southern Kerala (Kumar and Captain, 2011).

Diagnosis: Dorsal scales smooth in rows of 25 or 27, nasal scales in contact, posterior labials horizontally divided by divided internasal, upper labials 1–3 contacting loreal; five lower labials contacting chin shields; mostly uniform dorsum with lower ventrolateral stripe. The anterior edge of the first pair of chin shields is narrower than the posterior edge. Until recently known from only the type specimens.

Dieurostus dussumierii. Photo credit Ashok Captain & Biju Kumar.