Hebius monticola 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Natricidae

Scientific Name: Hebius monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Hill Keelback, Montane Keelback, Wynad Keelback
Amphiesma monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Natrix monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Rhabdophis monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Tropidonotus monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Tropidonotus monticolus Jerdon, 1853
Taxonomic Source(s): Guo, P., Zhu, F., Liu, Q., Zhang, L., Li, J.X., Huang, Y.Y. and Pyron, R.A. 2014. A taxonomic revision of the Asian keelback snakes, genus Amphiesma (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae), with description of a new species. Zootaxa 3873(4): 425–440.
Taxonomic Notes: Hebius monticola was first described by Jerdon in 1853 as Tropidonotus monticolus based on specimens collected from Wayanad Hills, Western Ghats (Smith 1943). The type of this species is lost.

A phylogenetic analysis of the Amphiesma group has shown them to consist of three distinct, monophyletic lineages with strong support. Amphiesma is monotypic and all the remaining species are moved to Herpetoreasor Hebius. This species has been provisionally placed under Hebius (Guo et al. 2014).

This is an amended assessment to account for the taxonomic change.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2010-11-11
Assessor(s): Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B. & Shankar, G.
Reviewer(s): Shankar, G., Thakur, S., Deepak, V., Bowles, P. & Molur, S.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution (with an extent of occurrence of approximately 64,000 km2), and because although this species appears intolerant of habitat disturbance threats presently appear to be localized.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Hebius monticola is endemic to the Western Ghats of India, and is known from south of Talewadi, Belgaum District, Karnataka to Agasthyamalai Hills, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu (Smith 1943, Whitaker and Captain 2004). It has been recorded from 500 to 1,300 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:64000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Lower elevation limit (metres):500
Upper elevation limit (metres):1300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species has been reported to be rare generally (Smith 1943), and uncommon in Wayanad and Nilgiri Hills (Wall 1919). In Agumbe, it appears to be a more common species (G. Shankar pers. comm. March 2011). Nothing is known about its population status.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Hebius monticola occurs in semi-evergreen forests, in relatively undisturbed patches. It is a diurnal and terrestrial snake observed near forest streams and other water bodies, and has been noted to feed on frogs and smaller toads (Whitaker and Captain 2004). Mating has been observed between four males and a single female (G. Shankar pers. comm. March 2011).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not in use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by forest fragmentation resulting through conversion of land to agricultural and urban use.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. It occurs in a few protected areas, including Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Periyar National Park in Kerala and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. Further survey work is needed to understand its biology, ecology, population status and trends.

Citation: Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B. & Shankar, G. 2016. Hebius monticola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T172633A96310193. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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