First record of the “Bella” Ratsnake for India from Fakim WLS, Nagaland

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As part of a Nagaland bird survey, explorers Shashank Dalvi and Ramki Sreenivasan stumbled upon this beautiful snake close to Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary above Pungro town in Eastern Nagaland close to the Myanmar border. It turned out to be new species for India — “Bella” Rat Snake (Maculophis bella bella). Bella means beautiful in Italian.

This small snake (2½-3 feet, 80-90 cm in length) appears to be a montane species found in higher elevations like 1500 – 2000m. … Read More