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Chrysopelea taprobanica, the Sri Lankan flying snake, sighted in Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Jan 2, 2015 14:17 IST

Chrysopelea taprobanica, the flying snake of Sri Lanka was sighted in Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve of Andhra Pradesh, India. This was the first time that the snake was sighted outside the island nation.

Previously it was considered that the snake is epidemic to the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka.

This discovery was published in Check List, a Journal of Biodiversity Data. The study was conducted by researchers Bubesh Guptha, Nimmakayala Venkata Sivaram Prasad, Simon T. Maddock and V. Deepak.

This discovery of the Chrysopelea taprobanica extends the known range of distribution of the species. This discovery also highlights that probably the species moved to India when the dry zones of peninsular India and Sri Lanka were connected, about 17000 years ago.

Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve
Seshachalam Hills the hilly ranges part of the Eastern Ghats in southern Andhra Pradesh was designated as the 17th biosphere reserve by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on 20 September 2010.

Seshachalam Hill Ranges covers parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts and contain seven peaks namely, Anjanadri, Garudadri, Narayanadri, Neeladri, Seshadri, Venkatadri and Vrishabhadri. These hills were formed during the Precambrian era (3.8 billion to 540 million years ago).

These hills are a home of many endangered animals and are also rich in plant diversity. A study suggests that the region is a home of an estimated minimum 1700 species of plants that belongs to 178 families of vascular plants.

178 species of birds have been identified in the region, like globally-threatened Yellow-throated Bulbul Pcynonotus Xantholaemus, Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron Pompadora (a bird generally found in the Himalayan region) and the large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx Sparverioides.

Apart from this, the famous Asian Elephant maximus was discovered in the southern parts of Chittoor district in the year 1984. Before its re-discovery, this species of elephants were not seen for nearly 300 years.

Other species of animals residing in the reason includes leopard, hyena, wild dog, golden jackal, Indian fox, jungle cat, sloth bear, spotted deer, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, Indian giant squirrel and small Indian civet.

Reptiles of the region includes the Gliding Lizard (primarily inhabits evergreen biotopes in the Westren Ghats), the Golden Gecko Calodactylodes Aureus and others. The area also houses 63 species of butterflies belonging to five families.


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