Species in news: Xylophis Deepaki
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Biodiversity
- Herpetologist Deepak Veerappan has a snake named after him.
- In the first four months of 2021, the Western Ghats presented new butterflies, frogs, fruit flies, and even a freshwater crab.
- Joining the list is a tiny snake of just 20 cm length with iridescent scales – Xylophis Deepaki.
- It was first stumbled upon in a coconut plantation in Kanyakumari.
- It is now reported to be an endemic species of Tamil Nadu and has been sighted in a few locations in the southern part of the Western Ghats.
- The species is named in honour of Indian herpetologist Deepak Veerappan for his contribution in erecting a new subfamily Xylophiinae to accommodate wood snakes.
Do you know?
- Wood snakes are harmless, sub-fossorial and often found while digging soil in farms and under the logs in the Western Ghat forests.
- They feed on earthworms and possibly other invertebrates.
- Interestingly, their close relatives are found in northeast India and Southeast Asia and are known to be arboreal.