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Ahaetulla fronticincta

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Ahaetulla fronticincta
Species Authority: (Günther, 1858)
Common Name(s):
English River Vine Snake
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly placed in the genus Dryophis. Records of this mangrove species from far inland in northeastern India, presumably from upland forest, are very likely to be misidentifications.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-30
Assessor(s): Wogan, G. & Vogel, G.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Cox, N.A.
Justification:
This species is assessed as Least Concern, as it is abundant in areas of suitable habitat and populations are believed to be stable. However, more research is needed to study how habitat loss is impacting known populations.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has been recorded disjunctly in northeastern India (Darjeeling and Assam) and in Myanmar (Smith 1943, Wogan et al. 2008). It may also occur in Bangladesh. The snake's presence in India is doubtful, and recent surveys in the area have not recorded it (Chettri and Bhupathy 2007). The snake's occurrence in Myanmar's Rakhine state is uncertain as it is based from an old record and has not been confirmed in recent surveys (Theobald 1882, G. Wogan pers. comm. 2011).
Countries:
Native:
Myanmar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species was reported to be abundant on bushes along the banks of tidal rivers in Myanmar (Smith 1943). More recent research confirms that the species is common where present (R. Lucas, unpubl. thesis, J. Slowinski pers. comm. to I. Das 2000), suggesting a population that is stable where suitable habitat is present. The snake's habitat requirements are however highly specific, making it potentially highly susceptible to the loss of its mangrove habitat.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found on bushes along the banks of tidal rivers in Myanmar, including mangroves in brackish water (Wogan et al. 2008), and is reported to dive into the water when threatened (Smith 1943). This snake is a mangrove specialist and, unusually for an arboreal snake, feeds only on fish. It can occur in somewhat degraded habitat, however as it requires a large enough area of mangrove habitat to support fish populations, it will not persist in sites where the mangrove zone is only a few trees thick (G. Wogan pers. comm. February 2012).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species may be threatened by loss of mangrove forest, as people within its range rely heavily on mangrove resources and this may be reducing suitable habitat for this snake. Mangroves are among the most threatened habitat types in Southeast Asia, and are at risk within this snake's range primarily from firewood collection, which may leave remaining mangrove stands too small to support populations of this snake (G. Wogan pers. comm. February 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Taxonomic study is needed to determine if the Myanmar and Indian populations are conspecific. The disjunct distribution and different ecologies (lowland coastal mangroves in Myanmar, inland upland habitat in India) suggests that they are not conspecific. Wall (in Smith 1943) commented on this unusual distribution. The species has been recorded for some protected areas in Southern Myanmar.

Citation: Wogan, G. & Vogel, G. 2012. Ahaetulla fronticincta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 September 2014.
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