Rare Himalayan Worm Snake rediscovered in Uttarakhand

Rare Himalayan Worm Snake discovered by Wildlife Institute of India scientist(Abhijit Das/WII)
Rare Himalayan Worm Snake discovered by Wildlife Institute of India scientist(Abhijit Das/WII)
Updated on Sep 14, 2017 05:59 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By, Dehradun

Indian scientists have re-discovered a rare snake in Uttarakhand which could unveil the evolutionary link between India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Himalayan Worm Snake (Trachischium laeve) also known as Olive Oriental Slender Snake was spotted at Natin village in the Uttarkashi district in June this year. The snake was only described by a scientist Frank Wall in Nainital’s Mukteshwar in 1911 but no specific location was mentioned or documented.

Experts claim that the snake which belongs to Trachischium genus has sister genus Blythia that is found in Myanmar and another Aspidura in Sri Lanka. All three genus show stark resemblance and so, the difference in their presence in different geographical areas raise many questions about the evolution of the specie and also of these countries.

“It’s interesting how three genus were separated over a span of million years. An in-depth study on Himalayan Worm Snake could help us found the evolutionary link between the three countries,” Abhijit Das, scientist at the Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) told Hindustan Times.

The Trachischium genus has five species in India of which four belongs to Eastern Himalayas (North East states) while Himalayan Worm Snake is the only specie found in Western Himalayas. There are not many studies on the species found in north east region.

Salient features of the snake

They all are very small and burrowing snakes

Their length is less than 30 cm

They have a small spiny structure on tail for digging the spoil

They are non-venomous

Das found the snake while studying impact of climate change on Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) as part of a environment ministry study under the National Mission for Sustainable Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE).

The Himalayan Worm Snake is less than 30 centimetres long and like other members of the family, it is a burrowing snake. Experts inform that the historic significance of this snake is greater than other common snakes like King Cobra, Pit Viper.

The snake is found in Himalayas and is inoffensive and non-venomous. It feeds on ants and their eggs and generally expose during monsoon.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Nihi Sharma is a Principal Correspondent based in Dehradun. She has been working with Hindustan Times since 2008. Her focus areas are wildlife and environment. Besides, she also covers politics, health and education.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • ‘Start student polls as per universities act’, demands state student body

    ‘Start student polls as per universities act’, demands state student body

    Mumbai: In a bid to ensure that students get a say in the decision-making process to address various issues related to them on campus, several student bodies are demanding the reintroduction of student body elections in universities across the state. A delegation of students represented by the Maharashtra Students Union approached the state minister for higher and technical education, Uday Samant with this request earlier this month.

  • Three fully grown dense trees with huge branches were found chopped inside the high security Azam Campus on Monday prompting greens to raise an outcry over the issue. (HT PHOTO)

    3 fully grown trees cut down on Azam campus, institute calls it life-threatening

    PUNE Three fully grown dense trees with huge branches were found chopped inside the high security Azam Campus on Monday prompting greens to raise an outcry over the issue. MCE Society president PA Inamdar, when contacted said, “The trees had grown old and it could have caused life-threatening accidents if they were not pruned.” However, the Pune Cantonment Board was unware of the incident.

  • Under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has suspended licences of 46 sonography centres. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

    46 sonography centres in Pune ordered to remain shut for incomplete and wrong documents

    PUNE Under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, the Pune Municipal Corporation has suspended licences of 46 sonography centres for periods ranging from 24 hours to eight days, depending on the severity of violation. Since January 2022 the PMC has been surveying 632 registered sonography centres. The centres have now been shut down temporarily after they were given enough time to challenge the suspension order passed by the PMC.

  • Fishers demanded that the distance be increased to at least 160 metres, based on a February report submitted to the BMC by independent coastal geomorphologist Sudhakar Thakurdesai (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

    BMC denies request for redesign of Coastal Road-Sea Link interchange

    Mumbai Demands by fisherfolk from Worli Koliwada, who since September last year have been protesting an upcoming interchange connecting the Coastal Road and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, were sidelined by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday, which said in a statement that it will not accept the fishers' demands for a redesign.

  • The woman, a 22-year-old, delivered the baby at a government hospital in Ulhasanagar on April 17 and decided to give up the newborn. She left the baby by a dustbin (HT File Photo)

    ‘Wanted to start afresh’: Thane woman, 22, on why she dumped her baby in Mumbai

    A 22-year-old woman living has been arrested on charges of abandoning her 15-day-old infant near a dustbin at Mumbai's Marine Drive, about 75km from her house in Thane district's Khadavli locality, police said on Wednesday. The woman and her brother, 28, who accompanied her, were arrested from Khadavli on Tuesday by a police team that had spent 12 days looking for her.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 18, 2022