Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 28:
A new species of wolf snake discovered in Odisha has been acknowledged by The Russian Journal of Herpetology and has been named ‘Lycodon Odishi’.
He informed that he and Dr Siba Prasad Parida had captured the rare species at a school at Tangipali industrial area in Berhampur on July 5, 2013. They had handed over the snake to the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).
The rare variety of snake has strong resemblances with Lycodon jara. However, while jara has no yellow mark on the fang, the species captured by Mallick and Parida has a yellow mark on the head, informed Mallick.
They had prepared a thesis making a case for its recognition as a new species, which was approved by the Russian journal, Mallick said.
Apart from Mallik and Parida, the others involved in the preparation of the species were Ashis Kumar Mohanty, Asutosh Mallik, Kamal Lochan Purohit, Siddhartha Mohanty, Shakti Nanda, Sadhwi Sindura, Swetashree Purohit, Anuja Tarini Mishra and Sujata Sahoo.
“Morphologically, the new species is most similar to Lycodon jara, but differs by its well defined collar. The collar is white in hatchlings and white with yellow blotches on the dorsal side in juveniles and adults. The snout is projected beyond the lower jaw (vs. not beyond as in L. jara). The post-oculars are one or two (vs. 2 always in L. jara). Twin spots are present on each scale of the body except the 6 – 7 rows of scales in the collar region (vs. each scale in L. jara). The color of twin spots is white in hatchlings and yellow in adults in the new species. The yellow tinges on the head shields are much less as compared to L. jara in the adults of the new species,” the journal said recoginising it as a new species.