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C R Biol. 2019 Nov 19. pii: S1631-0691(19)30121-0. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2019.10.003. [Epub ahead of print]

A new species of fossorial natricid snakes of the genus Trachischium Günther, 1858 (Serpentes: Natricidae) from the Himalayas of northeastern India.

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Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India.
Department of Biotechnology, Fergusson College, Pune, Maharashtra 411004, India; Annasaheb Kulkarni Department of Biodiversity, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune, Maharashtra 411004, India.
National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, Bangalore, Karnataka 560065, India. Electronic address:


A new species of natricid snakes, Trachischium apteii sp. nov. is described from the northeastern Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. The new species differs from its congeners in the following suite of characters: dorsal scales in 15:15:15 rows, SVL 293-299mm, higher ventral count 143-150, very faint dorsal longitudinal lines, absence of yellow patch on the neck and the belly being pale yellow. Preliminary discussion on the phylogenetic position of the members of the genus Trachischium is presented. This discovery of a new snake species advocates the need for dedicated surveys to document biodiversity across Arunachal Pradesh and the neighbouring States of northeastern India.


Biodiversity hotspot; Molecular phylogeny; Natricidae; Species complex; Taxonomy


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