Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka

Hendala, Sri Lanka

Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka

Hendala, Sri Lanka
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Mendis Wickramasinghe L.J.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Vidanapathirana D.R.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Gehan Rajeev M.D.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Gower D.J.,Natural History Museum in London
Zootaxa | Year: 2017

A new species of uropeltid snake, Rhinophis roshanpererai sp. nov., is described based on three specimens from Badulla District, Sri Lanka. The new species is distinguished from its congeners by the number of dorsal scale rows and ventral scales, a colour pattern that lacks pale stripes, and by having a very small tail shield with four or three prominent spines. Based on lack of records from similar habitats and elevations elsewhere in Sri Lanka, the new species likely has a very small range in the central highlands. The description of the new species brings the total nominal species of Rhinophis to 20, with four of the 16 Sri Lankan species having been described since 2009. Copyright © 2017 Magnolia Press.


Freed L.A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Vidanapathirana D.R.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Evolutionary Ecology Research | Year: 2017

Background: Weaver ants in central Sri Lanka endure two monsoon seasons per year and mowing of the understory in coconut palm plantations. Hypothesis: Mowing of the understory and torrential rain represent selective pressures. Organisms: Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina). Field sites: Two coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) plantations. Methods: We documented mowing in June as one selective pressure, and torrential rain in October to December as the second selective pressure. One farmer postponed mowing by a month, although he had mowed in June in previous years. We tagged understory plants and trees and counted weaver ant nests. Results: Weaver ants suffer nest losses on understory plants but not on trees due to torrential rain. We documented movement onto coconut palms the month before mowing even when not mowed. Altogether, 145 out of 326 palms had weaver ants; 60 of these 145 palms had active ant nests less than 2 m away, suggesting polydomy. Conclusions: Mowing the understory is a human-caused selective pressure. Torrential rain is a natural selective pressure. The movement of the ants under protective foliage in trees protects their nests because trees are not mowed. This movement enables the ants to persist in the plantations.


Ranga Vidanapathirana D.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Gehan Rajeev M.D.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Wickramasinghe N.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Fernando S.S.,Center for Applied Biodiversity Research and Education | And 2 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

A new species of rock dwelling gecko belonging to the genus Cnemaspis is described from Sri Lanka based on a suite of morphological features. The species is the largest of its genus described from Sri Lanka so far (snout-vent length 52-54 mm) and is the second largest of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot. It may be diagnosed in details of both scalation (ventrals186-207; mid-subcaudals large; absence of precloacal pores; 15 femoral pores on each side; 22-23 and 23-25 subdigital lamellae on finger IV and on toe IV, respectively; smooth scales on tail dorsum) and colouration (five prominent trilobate shaped cream markings pointing towards head and extending from neck to vent).The species is found in a unique habitat in the Rammalakanda Forest, where it is threatened by deforestation Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press.


Gower D.J.,Natural History Museum in London | Wickramasinghe L.J.M.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

The Sri Lankan uropeltid (shieldtail) snake Rhinophis dorsimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1941 was described originally from two specimens that were subsequently lost. The small amount of previously published data and lack of published colour photographs made this one of South Asia's most poorly known snake species, and this resulted in at least one instance of taxonomic misidentification. An additional 10 specimens from a historical collection from the vicinity of the type locality recently came to light. This material is reviewed and documented and the species recharacterized. An additional locality for the species is reported. The newly reported material helps to corroborate the taxonomic validity and distinctiveness of Rhinophis dorsimaculatus. The species is readily distinguished from congeners by having 227 or more ventral scales; a large, dorsally carinate rostral shield; posterior margins of paired anals that are largely separated by the posteriormost ventral scale; and a distinctive colour pattern with bilaterally asymmetrical dark blotches within a broad, pale middorsal stripe and regularly punctate flanks. Copyright © 2016 Magnolia Press.


PubMed | Natural History Museum in London and Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

The Sri Lankan uropeltid (shieldtail) snake Rhinophis dorsimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1941 was described originally from two specimens that were subsequently lost. The small amount of previously published data and lack of published colour photographs made this one of South Asias most poorly known snake species, and this resulted in at least one instance of taxonomic misidentification. An additional 10 specimens from a historical collection from the vicinity of the type locality recently came to light. This material is reviewed and documented and the species recharacterized. An additional locality for the species is reported. The newly reported material helps to corroborate the taxonomic validity and distinctiveness of Rhinophis dorsimaculatus. The species is readily distinguished from congeners by having 227 or more ventral scales; a large, dorsally carinate rostral shield; posterior margins of paired anals that are largely separated by the posteriormost ventral scale; and a distinctive colour pattern with bilaterally asymmetrical dark blotches within a broad, pale middorsal stripe and regularly punctate flanks.


Wickramasinghe L.J.M.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Vidanapathirana D.R.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Gayan Priyankara Rathnayake R.M.,Nethmina
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of Cnemaspis, Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. is described and is the fourth rock dwelling species belonging to the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout vent length 36 40 mm; precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7 8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146 186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9; total lamellae on finger IV 19 22, shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical; and its unique colour pattern. The new species is recorded from Salgala Forest an unprotected lowland rain forest. © 2016 Magnolia Press.


Wickramasinghe L.J.M.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of Dendrelaphis, Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov. is described, the sixth species of the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by its colour pattern and scalation. The species is a canopy-dweller known only from the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and its vicinity, in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. © 2016 Magnolia Press.


Wickramasinghe L.J.M.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Vidanapathirana D.R.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka | Wickramasinghe N.,Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Adenomus kandianus Günther (1872) was previously known only from two specimens both deposited in the British Museum, the holotype BMNH1947.2.20.63, and the syntype of A. kelaarti BMNH1947.2.20.62. The only record of A. kandianus since the initial description in 1872 was by Ferguson in 1876, who mentions two specimens resembling Bufo kandianus in his collection, making A. kandianus the world's rarest toad. The species had not been reported since, and was considered extinct. Here we report on its rediscovery. copyright © 2012. Magnolia press.


PubMed | Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of Dendrelaphis, Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov. is described, the sixth species of the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by its colour pattern and scalation. The species is a canopy-dweller known only from the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and its vicinity, in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka.


PubMed | Nethmina and Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

A new species of Cnemaspis, Cnemaspis rajakarunai sp. nov. is described and is the fourth rock dwelling species belonging to the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: adult snout-vent length 36-40 mm; precloacal pores absent, large femoero-precloacal scales 22; femoral pores 7-8, enlarged femoral scales 6; ventral scales 146-186; supralabials (to midorbital position) 7; supralabials (to angle of jaws) 9; total lamellae on finger IV 19-22, shape of the basal lamellae on toe IV elliptical; and its unique colour pattern. The new species is recorded from Salgala Forest an unprotected lowland rain forest.

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