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Plectrurus guentheri, commonly known as Günther's burrowing snake, is a species of snake in the family Uropeltidae. The species is endemic to the Western Ghats of India.

Plectrurus guentheri
Davidraju Guntheri (7).jpg
Günther's burrowing snake
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Uropeltidae
Genus: Plectrurus
P. guentheri
Binomial name
Plectrurus guentheri
Beddome, 1863



The following description of P. guentheri is provided by Beddome (1864: 180): "Scales of the neck in 17 rows; anterior portion of the trunk in 13 rows, of the rest of the body in 15 rows; head-shields as in P. perroteti, only the rostral is not produced so far back. All the scales of the tail 5-6-keeled, and some of the approximated scales of the body also keeled; terminal scale of the tail with four sharp points, and covered with small tubercles; abdominals 172, and a bifid anal; subcaudals 12. Total length 13 inches [33 cm], circumference 1 28 inches [32 mm]. Colour of the body a bright reddish purple; belly yellow, the yellow colour rising up on the sides of the trunk into regular pyramid-shaped markings, and the purple colour descending in the same way down to the abdominals".

Boulenger (1893) added the following details: "Snout obtuse; rostral small, the portion visible from above shorter than its distance from the frontal; nasals in contact; frontal longer than broad. Eye half the length of the ocular. Diameter of body 36 to 42 times in the total length. Ventrals not twice as large as the contiguous scales. Terminal scute with two superposed bi- or tricuspid transverse ridges.[1]


P. guentheri is named after Albert Günther (1830–1914), German-born zoologist at the British Museum.[2]

Geographic rangeEdit

P. guentheri is found in the Western Ghats and associated hills of southern India.

The type locality is "Walaghat on the Western slopes of the Neilgherries" (Nilgiris).


  1. ^ Boulenger GA (1893). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Uropeltidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Plectrurus guentheri, p. 162).
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Plectrurus guentheri, p. 110).

Further readingEdit

  • Beddome RH (1863). "Descriptions of New Species of the Family Uropeltidæ from Southern India, with Notes on other little-known Species". Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1863: 225-229 + Plates XXV, XXVI, XXVII. (Plectrurus guentheri, new species, p. 228 + Plate XXVII).
  • Beddome RH (1863). "Further Notes upon the Snakes of the Madras Presidency; with some Descriptions of New Species". Madras Quart. J. Med. Sci. 6: 41-48. [Reprint: 1940. J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Sci., London 1 (10): 306-314.]
  • Beddome RH (1864). "Descriptions of New Species of the family Uropeltidae from Southern India, with Notes on other little-known Species". Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Third Series 13: 177-180.
  • Beddome RH (1886). "An Account of the Earth-Snakes of the Peninsula of India and Ceylon". Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Fifth Series 17: 3-33.

External linksEdit