Colubrinae

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25 records

It is the largest subfamily of colubrids, and even of all snakes. Many of the most commonly known snakes are members of this subfamily, including rat snakes, king snakes, milk snakes, vine snakes, and indigo snakes.

Records

Banded Racer

Total Photos: 1

Banded Racer is an uncommonly seen snake in most of the peninsular India. It mainly lives in drier areas around city outskirts and agricultural fiels. Adults of Banded Racer looks very close to Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja) due to reddish-brown color and almost similar scales even on closer look. In most of the stages of its life it can be identified easily by checking presence of white bands mainly on anterior half of body.

Barred Wolf Snake

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A small size Wolf Snake which looks very close to Kraits due to black dorsal and milky white bands. This is the second most widely distributed Wolf Snake of India. Due to its black color and white bands people often assume it to be Common Krait (B. caeruleus). It can be easily identified by checking thick white bars over glossy black dorsal body. White bands usually have vibrant yellow patches on top which are helpful to distinguish it from Kraits. This species mainly lives in cracks at low heights, loose roots of vegetation and rocky terrain.

Beddome's Cat Snake

Total Photos: 1

Beddome's Cat Snake is a species of Boiga genus found in high elevations of Western Ghats of India also in Sri Lanka. Externally it looks very close to Ceylon Cat Snake (B. ceylonensis) and Collard Cat Snake (B. nuchalis) and usually indistinguishable from these two which are sympatric to it in Western Ghats. Morphologically all three species are known for brown or yellowish dorsal body marked with blackish markings. B. beddomei can be identified by checking 19 mid body rows, high number of ventrals (248-266) and subcaudals (111-133).

Black-headed Royal Snake

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Black-headed Royal is one of the largest Colubrid family member of Indian subcontinent. With size up to 2 meter and beautiful appearance of yellow-orange and black color body this species is accepted to be iconic snake for Western India. Morphologically it bears two or three distinct forms in patterns in three life stages in which adults can be easily identified by having reddish-brown or orange color with more or less black patches in whole body.

Bronze-backed Tree Snake

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Common Bronzeback is the most widespread Dendrelaphis species of India which is the only species of genus in most of the parts of Indian mainland. It can be easily identified by checking a rounded whitish spot on the top of head, very thin body which shows sky blue dots on dorsal surface and most of the side dorsal & belly of yellowish-white color.

Brown Vine Snake

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Brown Vine is the second most widely distributed Ahaetulla of peninsular India. For long time is was assumed to be distributed in Western Ghats only but now accepted as distributed in Eastern Ghats upto Odisha and West Bengal also. It can be easily identified by checking very long & thin body including tail, brown dorsal patched with dark brown or blackish spots and very thin snouted head of arrow or leaf like appearance. However it closely resembles to brown variety of Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta isabellinus). Later have lighter color with diagnostic keys similar to its Ahaetulla nasuta.

Ceylon Cat Snake

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Ceylon Cat Snake or Sri Lankan Cat Snake is a species of Boiga genus found in high elevations of Western Ghats of India also in Sri Lanka. Externally it looks very close to Beddome's Cat Snake (B. beddomei) and Collard Cat Snake (B. nuchalis) and usually indistinguishable from these two which are sympatric to it in Western Ghats. Morphologically all three species are known for brown or yellowish dorsal marked with blackish markings. B. ceylonensis can be identified by checking 19 mid body rows, comparatively lower number of ventrals (215-235) and subcaudals (95-108).

Checkered Keelback

Total Photos: 2

Checkered Keelback is the most commonly found sake across India. Often called as water snake in many regional languages as it is found near fresh water bodies, marshes and agricultural fields. The snake has keels scales and rounded pupil. The coloration vary from region to region with a Checkered pattern all over the body. The overall body color vary from green to dark brown. A good swimmer and very aggressive when threatened.

Common Cat Snake

Total Photos: 1

Common Cat is the most widely distributed Boiga species of Indian subcontinent. This species can be found in almost all kind of forests and wide range of elevations. Can be identified by checking triangular head broader than neck, Y shaped light color mark on the top of head, verticle pupil, brown dorsal marked with black & white irregular markings.

Common Kukri

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Common Kukri is the most widely distributed Kukri Snake (genus Oligodon) found in wide range of forests and lands. Can be identified easily by checking brown dorsal, blackish bands and black arrow shaped markings on head. This is one of the most common semi-fossorial snake found in whole of Indian mainland except North-east states.

Common Trinket

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A narrow headed slender snake with a beautiful colouration. Its light brown body is often adorned with white and dark brown spots. Its head is greenish brown with black markings. However the true purpose of this colouration is camoufladge.

Common Vine Snake

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Green Vine Snake (Common Vine Snake) is the most widely distributed Ahaetulla species in India also the only species of genus in most of the parts of peninsular and northern India. One of the most common and ecologically significant species of Western Ghats. It can be identified easily by checking very thin & long body including tail, green dorsal, leaf or arrow like head with very pointed snout.

Common Wolf Snake

Total Photos: 1

A medium size snake having brown body and yellowish bands. This is one of the most common species found in and around human habitation including exclusive urban areas. Also this is the most widely distributed Lycodon species in Indian subcontinent. Due to bands on its dark color body layman often gets confused with Common Krait and try to threat it. At heights inside houses it can be seen occasionally while feeding on geckos.

Dumeril's Black-headed is one of the smallest Colubrid species found in whole of peninsular India and few states of North India. Seen occasionally or rarely from evening to night. Can be identified easily by checking brown dorsal, black color head and patternless tail ending with pointed tip. It lives as semi-fossorial species and sighted during disturbing thick leaf litters and loose root of plants.

Forsten's Cat Snake

Total Photos: 1

Forsten's Cat is the largest Boiga species found uncommonly in almost all kind of forests of peninsular India. It is known for wide variations in color and patterns. Usually identified by checking larger size than any other Boiga species found in its range, patternless head and light color cross bars in zig-zag manner.

Glossy-bellied Racer

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It is a graceful snake with smooth, round, elongate, gradually tapering body with the tail more than one-fourth the total length. It has a moderately narrow head. It ranges from grey, olive-brown, olive-green or dirty yellow. It has a series of black rhomboidal cross-bars on the back. The scales forming the cross-bars normally have colour on the edges only. The sides have similar smaller spots alternating with interspaces which may be broader or narrower than them. The belly is yellow to white with glossy scales.

Green Keelback

Total Photos: 1

Green Keelback is a yellowish-green colored snake found in peninsular India except above Gangetic plains and most of the Eastern India. This can be identified by checking rich green or yellowish-green body marked with more or less irregular black bands or patches. In most of its life it bears yellow color V shaped marking guarded by black on nape. Sometimes it can be confused with Cobra due to its habit of showing narrow fake hood above the ground as a nervous response.

Indian Egg-eater

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Indian Egg Eater is a unique and well known species specialized for feeding on eggs only. It is found in Himalayan foothills and scrub forests of central-northern India. Morphologically it can be identified by checking reddish-brown head patched with dark blotches, a yellow line running along the vertebra. Due to its unique and very specific diet it comes under Schedule 1 in Indian Wildlife Protection Act.

Indian Rat Snake

Total Photos: 4

Rat Snake (Dhaman) is a commonly seen snake which is famous for its fast crawling speed and much larger size than most of the widely distributed species found in India. Very long body with dark color patterns on the whole dorsal surface are its general identification features. Apart from these it can be identifies precisely by checking posterior body reticulated with black color net like markings. Traditionally people differentiate between Cobra and Rat Snake by accepting Rat Snake to be a snake having head broader than neck or neck thinner than mid body.

Leith's Sand Snake

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Leith's Sand Snake is a rarely seen snake distributed in deserts and semi-deserts of Indian subcontinent. Can be identified by checking light and dark brown stripes on dorsal body. In this species the topmost stripe is lighter and narrower than adjacent stripes. This helps in differentiating it from very close looking and sympatric species Condanarus Sand Snake (P. condanarus) which bears darker and broader stripe on the top.

Montane Trinket

Total Photos: 1

A narrow headed slender snake with a beautiful colouration. Its light brown body is often adorned with black and white transverse stripes. Its head is greenish brown with black markings. However the true purpose of this colouration is camoufladge.

Ornate Flying Snake

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Ornate Flying Snake is the most widely distributed Chrysopelea species found in many countries of Oriental region. In India its distribution is in patched form and regularly sighted in Western Ghats, whole of North-east region, few parts of Central India and Gujarat. Due to colorful and attractive morphology this species is exploited by snake charmers of West Bengal and Odisha.

Russell's Kukri

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Russell's Kukri is the second most widespread Oligodon (genus of Kukri Snakes) found in whole of peninsular India and north India. Not found in Himalayas and North-east states after West Bengal. With number of patterns it gives great confusion in identification specially the populations of south India where maximum number of peninsular Indian Oligodons found.

Slender Racer

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Graceful Racer is a rarely seen snake found in dry parts of western India. It can be identified by checking cream color bars on dark brown ground color on half of fore body. Often confused with Russell's Kukri due to similar head markings. Looks very close to Nagarjun Sagar Racer (Coluber bholanathi) which is found in Eastern Ghats and drier parts of south India and does not overlap with former. The main morphological difference between Günther's Racer and Nagarjun Sagar Racer are: Number of mid body rows (21 in C. gracilis and 19 in C. bholanathi), rostral as broad as high in C. gracilis while two times broader than high in C. bholanathi, discontinuous series of dark patches on posterior half of C. gracilis while no pattern on posterior body and tail in C. bholanathi.

Striped Keelback

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Striped Keelback is the most widely distributed Amphiesma species. Fairly common in many parts and can be seen easily in moist vegetation in moderate temperature. Can be identified by carefully checking two yellow-brown stripes on body (more visible on posterior half) and yellowish color on head including underside.