Uropeltis phipsonii, Phipson's shieldtail
Uropeltis phipsonii, commonly known as Phipson's shieldtail, is a species of snake in the family Uropeltidae. The species is endemic to India.
Both the specific name, phipsonii, and the common name, Phipson's shieldtail, are in honor of British naturalist Herbert Musgrave Phipson, one of the founders of the Bombay Natural History Society.
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
U. phipsonii is cylindrical-bodied and smooth-scaled. The head is narrower than the neck. The tail is very short, appearing to be cut slant-wise at the end. There is a broad yellow stripe on each side of the tail.Show More
U. phipsonii is brown dorsally and ventrally, either uniform or with yellowish dots. It has a short yellow streak on each side, beginning at the corner of the mouth. There is a yellow crossbar across the vent, connecting the yellow stripes on the sides of the tail.
Adults may attain 28 cm (11 inches) in total length (including tail).
The dorsal scales are arranged in 17 rows at midbody, in 19 rows behind the head. The ventrals number 144–157, and the subcaudals number 7-12.
The snout is obtusely pointed. The rostral is ⅓ the length of the shielded part of the head. The portion of the rostral visible from above is longer than its distance from the frontal. Nasals in contact with each other behind the rostral. The frontal is longer than broad. The diameter of the eye is more than ½ the length of the ocular shield. Diameter of body goes 28 to 38 times into the total length. The ventrals are nearly twice as large as the contiguous scales. The end of the tail is flat dorsally, obliquely truncate, with strongly bicarinate or quadricarinate scales. The terminal scute has a transverse ridge and two points.Show Less
U. phipsonii is found in the Western Ghats, reported at several localities around Maharashtra including hills around Mumbai and Pune.
The behaviour of U. phipsonii is largely unknown. It lives underground, and is a burrower. It is active above ground after heavy rains. It is a docile snake.
U. phipsonii eats earthworms.