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King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

Habitat: Primarily in pristine forests, can also be found in degraded forest, mangrove swamps and even agricultural areas with remnants of woodland

Appearance: Body weight: 12 kg, Body length: 10 – 12 feet (maximum 18 feet). Yellow, green, brown, or black. There are usually yellowish or white cross-bars or chevrons on its body.

Diet: Their primary feed is other snakes and occasionally monitor lizards.

Breeding: The reproductive season is reported to be in march and about 21 to 50 eggs are found to be laid during April to July.

Longevity: 17 years

Indian Cobra (Naja naja)

Habitat: Inhabits dense or open forests, plains, agricultural lands, rocky terrain, wetlands, villages and city outskirts

Appearance: Length ranges from 1.3 – 1.6 m (longest 2.3m). Coloration is black, to dark brown, to creamy white. Body is usually covered with a spectacled white or yellow pattern, which sometimes forms ragged bands.

Diet: Primary feed is rats, frogs and toad, also birds, lizards, other snakes including cobras.

Breeding: Mating occurs during January; 12 to 20 eggs are laid in a season. Gestation lasts about 48-69 days.

Longevity: 24 years

Russell’s Viper (Daboia russelii)

Habitat: Mostly all kind of habitats in plains, coastal  lowlands, and hills of suitable habitat

Appearance: Length usually about 1.2 m (max recorded-1.6m). They are ground color brown of varying shades with three series of large ovate spots, one vertebral and two coastal.

Diet: Main diet is murid rodents. Also feeds on kittens, small birds, frogs and lizards.

Breeding: They are viviparous; Gestation exceeds 6 months

Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus)

Habitat: Lives almost in all kinds of habitat suitable for snakes and in wide range of elevations

Appearance: Usually grows up to 1.2 m. They lustrous black or bluish black above, with paired narrow white crossbars indistinct or absent anteriorly.

Diet: Mainly on other snakes including kraits. Occasionally frogs, lizards and small mammals.

Breeding: Mating is apparently in February and march. Clutch size varies from 6 to 15 eggs.

Hump Nosed Pit Viper (Hypnale hypnale)

Habitat: Inhabits evergreen to dry deciduous forest; Hill forest of South India. Found under rocks, inside logs, under leaves and in low bushes

Appearance: Grows to an average of 30 – 45 cm; Body Light brown to Chocolate brown and yellowish or reddish tail tip.

Behaviour: Active during early morning and night. Spends the day in leaf litter and thick bushes. Although it is a slow mover, it is capable of fast strikes.

Diet: Feeds on Geckos, small rodents, Reptile eggs and frogs.

Breeding: It is viviparous. Young hatchlings seen from March to July. Brood size ranges from 4 to 17, and new born are 13 – 14.5 cm long.

Indian Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa)

Habitat: Prefers open country near jungles and fields, gardens near villages

Distribution: All over the India including North-east and Andaman Islands

Appearance: Measures about 2 m (max- 3.5 m). They have dark color patterns on the whole dorsal surface.

Diet: Feeds mostly on rodents and toads. Also feeds upon birds, small mammals, other snakes, all kind of lizards.

Breeding: Breeding season varies with the climate. Eggs in a clutch vary from 6 – 14 in number usually but female lays up to 35 eggs

Indian Wolf snake (Lycodon aulicus)

Habitat: Rainforest, dry and mixed deciduous forests, scrub lands. Lives mainly in rocky terrain, lands having cracks, human habitation

Distribution: All over the India including North-east, deserts, Himalayan region. Not found in Indian islands

Appearance: Grows about 2 ft. Coloration is light brown to dark cigar brown with yellow crossbars.

Diet: Feeds mainly on geckos. Mice and skinks are also eaten.

Breeding: Mating begins with the starting of the summer and extends to monsoon; usually 4 to 11 eggs are laid.

Common Sand Boa (Eryx conicus)

Habitat: Habitat includes agricultural lands, gardens, unused lands having sandy soil, deep cracks and rat holes

Distribution: Found in whole of India excluding North-east states after North-Bengal; also not found in Indian islands

Appearance: Grows up to 60 cm. They have thick & robust body. Dorsally marked with irregular patches.

Diet: Feeds largely on small mammals, particularly rodents and occasionally frogs.

Breeding: Mating occurs in November and it is ovoviviparous.

Red Sand Boa (Eryx johnii)

Habitat: Spends most of its time as burrower; uses dry and sandy soil for burrowing and show activity at night.

Distribution: Found in whole of India excluding North-east states after North-Bengal; also not found in Indian islands. The Easternmost boundary of this species is parts of Odisha.

Appearance: Grows up to 90 cm. Coloration is brown to blackish slender body having uniform thickness and small head.

Diet: Feeds mainly on small mammals killed by constriction.

Breeding: They are ovo-viparous and up to 14 young are born at a time. Gestation period is about 4 to 5 months.

Trinket Snake (Coelognathus helena)

Habitat: Usually found in the periphery of the forest. Occasionally found near human habitation.

Distribution: Distributed all over India and other neighboring countries.

Appearance: Average maximum size is about 1.2 m. Coloration is faint brownish .Fore body has chain like patterns  of light and dark brown which becomes plain on half of the posterior body.

Diet: Feeds on rodents, small mammals and lizards.

Breeding: The young ones hatch prior to June. The smallest specimen obtained measured 287mm, and it is thought that they almost double their length in  the first year.

Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Habitat: Choose dense bushes and plantation to stay at a place without showing any movement. Hides in dense green vegetation of low height. Found both in hills and plains. Lives in variety of forests including mixed, dry and moist deciduous forests

Distribution: Found in whole mainland including north-east states. Not found in Indian islands and Thar desert.

Appearance: Grows up to 1.9 m. Coloration is green dorsal surface.

Diet: Feeds on variety of prey including lizards, birds, frogs, other snakes including venomous ones and rodents.

Breeding: They are ovo-viviparous and gestation lasts nearly 6 months and about 3 to 23 hatchlings are born.

Checkered Keelback (Xenochrophis piscator)

Habitat: Water bodies – lakes, river, pond, sewer line, logged water in agricultural lands, wells

Distribution: Found in all over the country including North-east states.

 Appearance: Grows usually up to 1.2 m. They have strongly keeled scales and five rows of black spots on a yellowish or olive background.

Diet: Feeds mainly on frogs, tadpoles and fishes.

Breeding: Copulation noticed from October and gestation period lasts about 55 to 67 days. Clutch size varies from 8 to 91 eggs.

Indian Rock Python (Python molurus)


Habitat: They are normally a jungle dweller, occurring in dense as well as in open forests with rocky outcrops. In the absence of forests occurs in rivers or lake

Appearance: Body weight: Up to 91 kg. Body length: about 6.5 m. They are marked with rectangular mosaic pattern that runs the full length of the animal.

Diet: They are carnivorous and feed mostly of live prey and mammals. Their diet also contains birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Breeding: The Mating season occurs during cold season in December, January and February. Attain Sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years. Clutch size ranges from 8 to 100 eggs. Incubation period about 58 to 90 days.

Longevity: 16 years

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