Assam keelback spotted for the first time in 129 years
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The Assam keelback snake has been sighted by a team from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, for the first time since 1869. This snake was spotted in 2018 by zoologist Abhijit Das when he, along with a team, was retracing the Abor expedition.
- An iconic expedition that took place from 1911-1912 that had yielded a rich list of flora and fauna of the Assam region.
- First known as Hebius pealii this snake was named after Edward Peal, a British tea planter who first collected two specimens of this snake from upper Assam, 129 years ago.
- The Assam keelback is so far known only to inhabit Sivasagar in Upper Assam and Poba in the AssamArunachal border. So, as far as present knowledge goes, it is an endemic snake of Upper Assam.
- Through a molecular study, the team has shown that this snake belongs to the genus Herpetoreas, which has only three other known members.