From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Trachischium apteii
Mains level : Not Much
Researchers have discovered a new species of non-venomous burrowing snake in Arunachal Pradesh, named Trachischium apteii.
- It was found under fallen logs inside a thickly forested area of the Tally Valley Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh during a field expedition by researchers in July 2019.
- It belongs to a group of fossorial snakes that live mostly underground, and surface mainly during or after a heavy monsoon shower.
- Due to the burrowing habits of species of this genus, snakes belonging to the group are seldom seen and hence remain poorly studied.
- This could have been one of the reasons that the species had eluded the researchers.
- Morphologically, the snake is distinguished by smooth and dorsal scales arranged in 15 rows throughout the body.
- The dorsal colour of the holotype is dark brown to black with faint dorsal longitudinal lines.
- Large-sized members of the genus measure about 293 mm to 299 mm (measuring less than a foot, that is 300 mm or 30 cm).
Behind the name
- Trachischium apteii was named so to honour the contribution of Deepak Apte, well-known marine biologist and Director of the BNHS.
- Trachischium species are commonly called slender snakes, and are currently known by seven species that are distributed across the Himalayas, and the Indo-Burma and Indo-China regions.