Platyceps rhodorachis

Platyceps  Edward Blyth erected the genus Platyceps in 1860. The genus name “Platyceps” was inadvertently used for a fossil species in 187...


Edward Blyth erected the genus Platyceps in 1860. The genus name “Platyceps” was inadvertently used for a fossil species in 1877 now recognized as “Platycepsion wilkinsoni”. 
Currently 26 species come under this genus which is: Platyceps afarensis (Schätti & Ineich, 2004); Platyceps bholanathi (Sharma, 1976); Platyceps noeli (Schätti, Tillack & Kucharzewski, 2014); Platyceps brevis (Boulenger, 1895); Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1865); Platyceps rogersi (Anderson, 1893); Platyceps collaris (F. Müller, 1878) ; Platyceps saharicus (Schätti & McCarthy, 2004); Platyceps scortecci (Lanza, 1963); Platyceps elegantissimus (Günther, 1878); Platyceps florulentus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1827); Platyceps sinai (Schmidt & Marx, 1956); Platyceps sindhensis (Schätti, Tillack & Kucharzewski, 2014); Platyceps gracilis (Günther, 1862); Platyceps insulanus (Mertens, 1965); Platyceps karelini (Brandt, 1838); Platyceps ladacensis (Anderson, 1871); Platyceps somalicus (Boulenger, 1896); Platyceps taylori (Parker, 1949); Platyceps tessellata (F. Werner, 1910); Platyceps thomasi (Parker, 1931); Platyceps variabilis (Boulenger, 1905); Platyceps largeni (Schätti, 2001) & Platyceps messanai (Schätti & Lanza, 1989) 

Platyceps rhodorachis (Source: reptile-database)

Jan's Cliff racer | Platyceps rhodorachis Jan, 1865
Platyceps rhodorachis is commonly known as Jan's Cliff racer or Braid snake. It is a species of snake which fall under family colubridae & found in Central Asia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Oman, Afghanistan, S Uzbekistan, Yemen, S Kazakhstan, W Kyrgyzstan, NW Tajikistan, S Turkmenistan, Iran (Kavir Desert), W Pakistan, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Chad & Eritrea.

Scientific classification
Binomial name
Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1865)

It is the most controvert species between researchers regarding its taxonomy, species namely Platyceps r. subniger distributed from Eritrea to Somalia, Platyceps r. ladacensis distributed in Iran, east to Afghanistan, north to S Turkmenistan, S Uzbekistan, W Tajikistan., Pakistan, Platyceps r. kashmirensis reported from Pakistan are considered the sub species of Platyceps rhodorachis.

Platyceps rhodorachis (Source: reptile-database)Scalation in P.rhodorachis is as: Supralabial 9, usually 5th-6th touches the (rarely 4th-6th) eye, there are 9-11 infralabials acknowledged, midbody scale are arranged as 19: 19:13/15; ventral’s are 195-277 angulated laterally, where subcaudals are between 108-144. The total length (snout to vent) of the specimens recorded are 859-1043 mm, while that of tail is 244-354 mm. Distinctive pre and post oculo-labial stripes are present in the species. The colour of the species shows variation such as: Head was recorded as gray to brownish colour having light yellowish preocular and postocular bar; while that of body it is light to average gray & sometimes may be brownish or greenish in colour, where anterior half of body have small traverse bars, posterior unicolour.
Reproduction: oviparous 

Literature Cited: 
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Anderson, S.C. 1963. Amphibians and Reptiles from Iran. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. Ser., 31(16): 417-498 - get paper here
Baig, K.J, Masroor, R. and Arshad, M. 2008. Biodiversity and ecology of the herpetofauna of Cholistan Desert, Pakistan. Russ. J. Herpetol., 15 (3): 193-205 - get paper here
Ball, L.D. and Borrell, J.S. 2016. An inventory of herpetofauna from Wadi Sayq, Dhofar, Oman. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 8 (12): 9454-9460 
Barbour, T. 1914. Notes on some reptiles from Sinai and Syria. Proc. New England zool., Club 5: 73-92 - get paper here
Boulenger G. A. 1890. The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Taylor and Francis. 
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Carranza, S., Xipell, M., Tarroso, P., Gardner, A., Arnold, E.N., Robinson, M.D. 2018. Diversity, distribution and conservation of the terrestrial reptiles of Oman (Sauropsida, Squamata). PLoS One, 13(2): e0190389 - get paper here
Corkill, N.L. and Cochrane, J.A. 1966. The snakes of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 62 (3): 475-506 (1965) - get paper here
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Das I., Dattagupta, B., Gayen, N.C. 1998. History and catalogue of reptile types in the collection of the Zoological Survey of India. J. South Asian nat. Hist., 3 (2): 121-172 
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Flower, S. 1933. Notes on the recent reptiles and amphibians of Egypt, with a list of the species recorded from that kingdom. Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 735-851 
Geniez, P. and Gauthier, Y. 2008. On the distribution of Platyceps saharicus (Reptilia: Colubridae) in the Sahara. Salamandra, 44 (4): 255-256 - get paper here
Haas, G. and Werner, Y.L. 1969. Lizards and snakes from Southwestern Asia, collected by Henry Field. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, 138: 327-406. - get paper here
Platyceps rhodorachis at retrieved on 29 August 2019 
Glossy-bellied-racer at retrieved on 29 August 2019 
Platyceps at retrieved on 29 August 2019 
Platyceps rhodorachis at Wikipedia retrieved on 29 August 2019
Jamal, Q., Muhammad, I., Saif, U., Muhammad, A., Farrah, Z., Qaiser, Z. and Syed, B.R., 2018. Diversity and Altitudinal Distribution of Squamata in Two Distinct Ecological Zones of Dir, A Himalayan Sub-Zone of Northern Pakistan Pakistan J. Zool., 50(5): 1835-1839 - get paper here
Khan, M.S. 1986. A noteworthy collection of Amphibians and reptiles from North- Western Punjab, Pakistan. The Snake, 18: 118-125 
Khan, M.S. 1997. Taxonomic notes on Pakistani snakes of the Coluber karelini-rhodorachis-ventromaculatus species complex: a new approach to the problem. Asiatic Herpetological Research, 7: 51–60 
Khan, M.S. 2004. Annotated checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Pakistan. Asiatic Herpetological Research, 10: 191-201 - get paper here
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Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 
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Loveridge, A. 1936. African reptiles and amphibians in the Field Museum of Natural History. Zool. Ser. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Chicago, 22 (1): 1-122 - get paper here
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Mulder, J. 2002. The Thread Snake, Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus (Reptilia: Leptotyphlopidae) as a presumed prey item for the racer Coluber rhodorachis (Reptilia: Colubridae). Zoology in the Middle East, 26: 89 - get paper here
Murthy, T.S.N. 1990. Illustrated Guide to the Snakes of the Western Ghats, India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper No. 114 
Narayanan, A. and Satyanarayan, K. 2012. Glossy-bellied racer snake Platyceps ventromaculatus (Gray, 1834) (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae): new locality record in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India. Check List, 8 (6): 1356–1358 
Perry, G. 1985. A new subspecies of Coluber rhodorachis (Ophidia: Colubridae) from Israel. Israel Journal of Zoology, 33:123 [meeting abstract] 
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Perry, G. 2012. On the Appropriate Names for Snakes Usually Identified as Coluber rhodorachis (Jan, 1865) or Why Ecologists Should Approach the Forest of Taxonomy with Great Care. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians, 19 (2): 90–100 - get paper here
Ramesh, C., Balraj, S., Arun, P. R., Ramapurath, K.S., Murugesan, M., Abhijit, D. and Subramanian, B. 2015. Further confirmation for Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1865), from India, with a note on feeding on Cyrtodactylus fasiolatus (Blyth, 1861). Herpetozoa, 28 (1/2): 109-112 - get paper here
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Herps Of Doda: Platyceps rhodorachis
Platyceps rhodorachis
Herps Of Doda
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