India’s Christmas Gift to the World
A new Species of Blind Snake has been discovered in India. Announced on Christmas Day, what makes this spectacular is that these harmless blind worm snakes are mostly indigenous to Southeast Asia, not India. Like other burrowing reptiles, they are rarely seen by humans because they live a subterranean existence.
“We have little knowledge about their biology and ecology,” scientist Dr. Mehta told the Indian News Service (IANS), which reported the discovery on Christmas Day.
“A new species of blind snake has been discovered for the first time in Himachal Pradesh, with a 287 mm long specimen having 25 rows of scales around its shiny dark brown body found from a village in the state’s Mandi district.”
For the metric-challenged, 287mm is 11.3 inches.
The creature was found by a farmer in the Mandi district, in Sarkaghat Tehsil, while digging a pit in his mango orchard.
Three scientists at the Zoological Survey of India classified the snake and gave it the scientific name Typhlops diardii, a member of the Typhlopidae family. Records indicate this species was first described in 1839.
The news report says Himachal Pradesh state is home to 3,120 species of flowering plants and 5,721 species of fauna. Saikia, one of the three scientists, said “Reptile fauna is one of our least studied animal groups in this hill state.”
The Zoological Survey of India is based in Solan, a city in Himachal Pradesh state, known for its mushrooms, whiskey and beer.