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Pararhadinaea melanogaster is a species of the Colubridae (colubrid) family and is endemic to the island of Madagascar. A common name is the Madagascar burrowing snake.

DescriptionEdit

The species is included in the Colubridae family of snakes, subfamily Lamprophiina, and a single subspecies (P. melanogaster marojejyensis) is currently recognized.

It is a small snake with a maximum recorded size of less than 30 centimeters. The color pattern consists of a pale golden-brown ground color with a series of dark-brown and cream parallel longitudinal stripes. The ventral scales are very dark, almost black. The smooth scales show a strong green-blue iridescence.

Geographic rangeEdit

Endemic to Madagascar. Occurs in the northern parts of the island. The type locality is Nosy Be. The single known specimen of the subspecies, P. melanogaster marojejyensis, was collected from the Marojejy National Park.[1]

HabitatEdit

The species has only been found within forested habitats including both Madagascar dry deciduous forests and Madagascar lowland forests at a few localities including Nosy Be, Ankarana Special Reserve, and Daraina Conservation Site and some unprotected forest fragments near the village of Tsarakibany.[2]

Conservation statusEdit

Pararhadinaea melanogaster is yet to be classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to lack of sufficient data. Nonetheless, it is considered a rare species as, since its discovery, only nine specimens have been officially recorded. It is likely to be threatened by deforestation and agricultural development.

BehaviourEdit

Almost nothing is known of the behaviour of this species. It is very secretive and seems to spend most of the day hiding amongst leaf litter, under logs and possibly even below the ground.

FeedingEdit

The diet is likely to consist of small invertebrates.

ReproductionEdit

Nothing is known of the breeding behaviour of this species. It is presumed to lay eggs.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Glaw, F. and M. Vences (2007): A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Köln, Vences and Glaw Verlag.
  2. Labanowski, R.J. and Lowin, A.J. 2011. A reptile survey in a dry deciduous forest fragment in northern Madagascar showing new records for the little-known snake Pararhadinaea melanogaster and a range extension for the skink Amphiglossus tanysoma. Herpetology Notes 4: 113-121.

Further readingEdit

  • Franzen, M., Jones, J., Raselimananam A.P., Nagy, Z.T., D’Cruze, N., Glaw, F., Vences, M. (2009): A new black-bellied snake (Pseudoxyrhophiinae: Liophidium) from western Madagascar, with notes on the genus Pararhadinaea. Amphib. Reptil. 30, 173-183.
  • Glaw, F. and M. Vences (2007): A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Köln, Vences and Glaw Verlag.
  • Labanowski, R.J. and Lowin, A.J. 2011. A reptile survey in a dry deciduous forest fragment in northern Madagascar showing new records for the little-known snake Pararhadinaea melanogaster and a range extension for the skink Amphiglossus tanysoma. Herpetology Notes 4: 113-121.

External linksEdit

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