ARPHA Preprints, doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e94479
A contribution to taxonomy and biology of Spalerosophis diadema diadema Schlegel, 1837 along with new record of Spalerosophis atriceps Fisher, 1885 from district Poonch of Jammu and Kashmir, India (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae).
expand article infoSarshad Hussain, Asgar A. Shah§, Khursheed Ahmad|
‡ Govt Degree College, Surankote, India§ Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Jammu and Kashmir, India| Sher-e Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Open Access

Present studies aimed to validate the occurrence of two species of Diadem or Royal snakes of Genus Spalerosophis Jan, 1865 from district Poonch of Jammu and Kashmir, India along with the presentation of different colour morphs and diagnostic characters. A total of 56 number of individuals belonging to genus Spalerosophis have been reported from the study during the period 2019-2021 during their activity period falling between spring to fall (May to October). 56 individuals encompass 8 different colour morphs viz., 4 different colour morph of S. d. diadema Schlegel, 1837 (total 47 individuals), 2 colour morph of S. atriceps Fisher, 1885 (3 individuals), 1 colour morph of subadults (5 individuals) and 1 colour morph though resembles much with S. d. diadema but identification remain inconclusive on the basis of low numbers of sub-caudal scales which are hinting towards S.d.cliffordi Schlegel, 1837 (one specimen only) whose identity is subjected for further investigations. Distribution, activity, habitat and behaviour of the individuals has also been reported along with the morphological, morphometric and meristic characters. Among two identified species S. atriceps is a new report from Poonch district. Among the examined specimens only dead specimens have been preserved in Mendhar College Museum of Zoology (MCMZ) after taking due permission from Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Department. Reported specimens are mapped across the study area and are depicted here in distribution map. 

Colour morphs, new report, revalidation, Spalerosophis atriceps, d. diadema, diadema (?).