Rare findings: Shield-tail snake spotted in Pune
Pune: A rare shield tail snake was spotted roaming inside the Shahid Major Pradeep Tathawade Udyan in Karve Nagar on Sunday.
Nature lover Nitin Kandhare and wildlife photographer Praneti Khardekar released the snake in its natural habitat.
This type of snake is identified as Phipsons shieldtail (Uropeltis phipsonii). It is a burrower and they spend almost their entire lifetime underground feeding on earthworms. These non-poisonous rare species of reptiles are often found in deep forest areas.
Nature enthusiasts have appealed to citizens that if such rare species of snakes is found in urban areas, then people should not panic. Citizens should immediately inform the ‘sarpmitra’ in their areas or contact the civic authorities to rescue the snake.
Characteristics of shield tail snakes
· Non-venomous snake species found in India.
· Usually lives underground. Eats earthworms, ants and insects.
· It is found commonly in the Western Ghats.
· Keeping the soil moist, limiting the number of other pests in the soil including ants, these species of snakes play an important role in the stabilization of nitrogen in soil.