Snake Species Native To Assam Rediscovered Again

News Desk: A species of snake has been rediscovered by a team from Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII). The snake species which was thought to be extinct for over 129 years has been rediscovered in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

The species ‘Herpetoreas pealii’ which is commonly known as Assam Keelback was first discovered in 1891 by a British tea planter Samuel Edward Peal when he collected two male specimens from Sibsagar district in Assam. Later, the snake was no longer seen and was thought to be extinct.
One of the two snakes was kept at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in Kolkata and the other was sent to London’s Natural History Museum (NHM).

The snake was later found accidentally near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in a forest reserve, 118 Km away from where it was discovered earlier. The snake species was found when a workforce of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was retracing steps of the Abor Expedition. The Abor Expedition was a military expedition introduced by the British against the Abors in 1911.
The recent discovery was published on June 26 in Vertebrate Zoology, an International journal from Germany under the title:

“Lost and Found: rediscovery and Systematics of the Northeast Indian snake Hebius pealii (Sclater, 1891)”

Abhijit Das, a scientist in Endangered Species Administration Division of WII caught the rediscovered snake, a grown-up female which is bi-colored- dark brown above and pale mid-ventrally. The rediscovered snake measures around 50-60 cm and is non-venomous.
Image Source: Internet


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A multimedia journalist based out of Guwahati, covering public policy, healthcare, and social issues.


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