Monday, October 26, 2009

First record of Typhlops thurstoni from Waynad, Kerala

Thphlopst thurstoni is one of the 5 species of worm snakes found in the South India. It belongs to a premitive fossorial family of snakes called Typhlopidae. The Thurston’s worm snake(Typhlops thurstoni)was described by Boettger(1890) with the specimen collected from Nilgiris. This snake has been rare and is Known from only 4 specimens (Smith, 1943)and hence its distribution pattern has been confusing. With the physical parameters, the snake can be confusing with the Brahmini worm snake(Ramphotyphlops braminus), the Beddome’s worm snake(Typhlops beddomei) and Tindall's worm snake(Typhlops tindalli) which are also found in parts of the western ghats.
During a visit to Mananthawadi town in Waynad district on 21 December 2008, i happened to find a worm snake which did not look like any of the other worm snakes mentioned above. The 1 foot snake was collected and scalation details were collected and the snake was identified as Typhlops thurstoni. The snake was comparatively longer and thicker than other species of worm snakes except for beaked worm snake. It had 20 Scales rows around the body with 561 transverse scale rows. The Snout rounded, Rostral ½ as broad as head, Eyes indistinct, Scales on head indistinct, Tail ends in a single spine and the Nasal incompletely divided.
Smith (1943) records 4 specimens from 3 areas of Nilgiris, Trissur, Cochin state. There have been No confirmed reports thereafter. Hence this is the first record of this species from Mananthawadi, Waynad which now adds to its distribution.


  1. got nothing to say dude...YU THE MANN!! :)..N i think yu shud expand your area of research...m in dunt confine to one place :) but dat desnt matter yu doin gr8 M A FAN :)

  2. Interesting finding. Any records from Kannur recently?