New snake species discovered in Western Ghats

The new snake species has been named as ‘Melanophidium Khairei’ after Neelimkumar Khaire, the legendary founder of Katraj Snake Park and Indian Herpetological Society, Pune.

New snake species discovered in Western Ghats
Image for representational purposes only

Mumbai: A team of researchers claimed to have discovered a new species of snake in the northern Western Ghats.

The new snake species has been named as ‘Melanophidium Khairei’ or ‘Khaire's Black Shieldtail’ after Neelimkumar Khaire, the legendary founder of Katraj Snake Park and Indian Herpetological Society, Pune.

The team comprised of researchers from Gower of Natural History Museum (NHM), London, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, the Indian Herpetological Society (IHS), Pune, and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

The discovery is the result of meticulous efforts of last 15 years by David Gower of  NHM and his colleague Mark Wilkinson, Giri, Ashok Captain of Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai and Indian Herpetological Society, Pune.

According to researcher Varad Giri of National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, the snake belongs to family Uropeltidae, which comprises all species which are burrowers and live mostly underground.

It is said that this would be the first time that a new species has been correctly identified after a gap of 144 years.

The new discovery came barely two days after another Indian team of researchers discovered a new snake genus and a species from Gujarat, which has been named Wallaceophis Gujaratenisis.

 

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