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A New Species of Uropeltis Cuvier, 1829 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae) From the Eastern Escarpment of the Southern Western Ghats, India

David J. Gower,  Sandeep Das, v. Deepak, Jason D. Gerard, Surya Narayanan

Zootaxa | July 7, 2024

A new species of the uropeltid (‘shieldtail’) snake genus Uropeltis is described based on eight specimens from the southern part of peninsular India’s Western Ghats. Uropeltis caudomaculata sp. nov. is phenotypically and genetically most similar to U. pulneyensis (Beddome, 1863), but differs primarily in having more ventral scales and in being restricted to the eastern escarpment of the Western Ghats between Meghamalai and approximately 15 km East of Munnar rather than in the Palani Hills, as well as differing in DNA nucleotide sequences. From verified records, we consider U. pulneyensis to be known thus far only from the Palani Hills, and we designate a lectotype for the species.