Rhinophis gunasekarai
Rhinophis gunasekarai (dead) | chamod goonathilake©

A new endemic snake species from the knuckles Mountain Range in Sri Lanka

Rhinophis gunasekarai, One of the most numerous species of reptile in Sri Lanka, Shieldtails is a species of blind snake. There are currently 16 species of Shieldtails found in Sri Lanka and all of them are endemic. Senior reptile and amphibian scientist Mendis Wickramasinghe and his team have been able to introduce a new species of snake found in the Knuckles (Dumbara) Biodiversity Exploration. This new discovery science journal is published in the first issue of the zootaxa science journal (Journal) today (2020-07-09), Volume 4810. This new species of snake, similar in appearance to the striped vulture, is found in the highlands of Riverstone. Samantha Gunasekera, a former Deputy Director of Customs and an environmentalist who is also a member of the World Orchid Specialist Group, which conducts research on orchid species in Sri Lanka, has named this new snake species in his honor in recognition of his great service to the flora and fauna. The new species is known as Gunasekara’s Tudulla in Sinhala and Gunasekara’s Shieldtail in English.

By setting up the Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection (BCNP) Branch at the Customs, Mr. Gunasekera was able to prevent a large number of crimes, such as theft of Sri Lanka’s biological and antiquities resources abroad. In addition, one of Sri Lanka’s 20 endangered stamps for World Wildlife Day 2020 has been featured for this species. One of the distinguishing features of Gunasekera’s furrows is the low abdominal coral number (relatively short length), the absence of the dorsal tail, the absence of two major incisions like the shield of the shield, and the appearance of the yellow lateral markers in the abdominal area. Does not appear to be more dorsal) and may have more than 7 dorsal yellow stripes on the body. With this discovery, there are 17 species of Shieldtails found in Sri Lanka, bringing the total number of snakes to 107. We hope that the research team that contributed to this research, Mendis Wickramasinghe, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana, David Gower, and Nethu Wickramasinghe, will continue to make similar discoveries.



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