Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department,

Government of Uttar Pradesh, India

Shri. Yogi Adityanath

Hon'ble Chief Minister,Uttar Pradesh

Shri. Dara Singh Chauhan

Hon'ble Minister,Forest Department

Reptiles of Dudhwa National Park-3

Snakes

Snakes are misunderstood and feared. In India most snakes are absolutlely harmless to humans while only 4 species are responsible for many deaths every year. About 270 species of snakes are found in India. Snakes belong to Order Squamata of reptiles. The elongate body of the snake is remarkably supple and is able to make twisting and other movements impossible for other vertebrate animals. The scales on the body of the snake are imbricate, that is they overlap in the manner of tiles, and form patterns which are characteristic of the species. The skin, and the scales on it. are so constructed that stretching is possible to an enormous degree enabling snakes to swallow large prey. The heat sensitive 'Pits' between the nostril and the eye in pit vipers can detect temperature change as slight as three thousandths of a degree Centigrade. Pits are very helpful in finding warm-blooded rodents or birds or even a slightly warm frog or toad on a cool dark night. Pythons have similar infrared receptors along their upper lips. The skin is shed periodically and the shed skin is often unbroken and maintains its form to a remarkable degree.

The mouth is armed with numerous teeth which are not embedded in sockets. The teeth are recurved and serve to hold the prey, and thus assist in swallowing which is virtually done by the two halves of the jaw alternately walking over the prey and thus pushing it down the throat.

Three types of fangs occur in harmful snakes. In the back fanged snakes, the last two or three teeth of the upper jaw are large and are grooved. The groove is connected by a duct to the poison glands. In the snakes with fangs in the front of the mouth such as the Cobras, Kraits and the Vipers the groove has become a closed canal for the conveyance of the poison.

The forked tongue in snakes is an organ of smell rather than of taste and serves to collect scent particles by its constant quiver and play. Snakes have no external ears and cannot hear noise carried through the air but they arc able to feel through their jaws, vibrations carried through the substratum. Snakes are sensitive to vibrations through the ground and in this way can feel you walking. The eye varies in size and effectiveness. In some snakes including the blind snake, the eye is hidden beneath a head shield. When visible the eye lack lids but have a transparent watch-glass like shield beneath which they move. The pupil may be circular, vertical or horizontal.

The majority of snakes lay eggs with a white or yellow parchment like shell. Parental care in the form of brooding is seen in many instances.

Some of snake species are found in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
  • Indian Python (Python molurus)
  • Indian Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa)
  • Cobra (Naja nab)
  • Russel 's Viper (Daboia russelii)
  • Himalayan Pit Viper (Gloydiushimalayanus)
  • Common Krait (Bun gurus caeruleus)
  • Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus)
  • Fresh Water Snake (Enhydris enhydris)
  • Checkered Keelback (Xenochroph is piscator)
  • Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus)
  • Red Sand Boa (Dyxjohnii)
  • Common Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)
  • Common Kukri Snake (Oligodon arnensis)
  • Russell's Kukri Snake (01i,rdon taeniolcaus)
  • Common Cat Snake (Boiga trigoncaa)

Two type of Monitor Lizards - Common Indian Monitor and Yellow Monitor along with few Gecko and Garden lizards are also found in the Reserve.