Species in news: Xylophis Deepaki 

  • IASbaba
  • May 3, 2021
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Species in news: Xylophis Deepaki 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Biodiversity 

In news

  • Herpetologist Deepak Veerappan has a snake named after him.

Key takeaways 

  • 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.

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