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Circumference of the neck, s, of the trunk, 13, of the root of the tail, & inch.
The female has 6 small cylindrical white eggs, each about half an inch in length
TROPIDONOTUS SCHISTOSUS, (Dandin.)
Coluber schistosus, Daudin.
Tropidonotus moestus, Cantor. Above blackish olive, some with an indistinct blackish line from behind the eye along the side ; the lips, the two lowest series of scales on each side, and the abdominal surface whitish yellow. Iris black with a narrow golden ring; tongue small, flesh coloured. Scuta 138, Scutella 77.
Above bright greenish olive, with a black serrated lateral line.
Philippines, Tenassarim, Bengal, Madagascar. The shields of the head are short; there is but a single anterior frontal, of a triangular shape, truncated in front; the frontals are small pentagonal; the nasals nearly equal to the latter; the small semicircular nostrils almost vertical and appearing lincar as they are provided with a valvule as in Ilomalopsis ; from the lower part of the nostril a minute arched groove descends to the inferior margin of the shield; the frenal is small; the præ-orbital in length nearly equals the three postorbitals. The scales of the trunk are disposed in 17 longitudinal series, of which the two lowest on each side are liexagonal, each scale with a minute round protuberance near the apex; the scales of the next two series present a raised line terminating in a protuberance, but the remaining scales are elongated rhomboidal with truncated, slightly notched points, keeled, imbricate. These marks become indistinct when the integuments are about to be changed, which probably caused them to escape the notice of Russell. This species is not numerous in Bengal, and apparently less so on the Malayan Peninsuula. The largest individual measured,
2 ft. 4 inch. Circumference of the neck : 1g, of the trunk : 28, of the tail 1 in. The length of the tail is
variable : in some it is contained 3), in other 6 times in the entire length. This species is very fierce, and prepares to attack by raising the head 3 or 4 inches vertically from the ground, and it has the power of flattening and laterally expanding the skin of the anterior part of the body, like Naja, but in a much slighter degree. It bites uttering a faint hissing sound. Frogs and fishes form its food.
TROPIDONOTUS CERASOGASTER. Syn.-Psammophis cerasogaster, Cantor.
Above yellowish brown with pale golden reflections ; lighter on the sides, the scales of which in some partially edged with yellow; cheeks, lips, throat and abdominal surface cherry-coloured, with a bright yellow lateral line from the muzzle to the point of the tail. Tris and tongue cherry-coloured.
Scuta 144 to 149, Scutella 60 to 69. HABIT.-Malayan Peninsula.
Bengal, Assam. The head is elongated, depressed ; sides angular, compressed ; muzzle truncated; rostral broad, hexagonal, nearly vertical, arched below; the anterior frontals the smallest, next to them the frontals; the rest of the crown-shields are narrow, elongated ; each occipital bordered by two pairs of elongated temporals, below which three smaller. Nasals rectangular, placed at a right angle with the anterior frontals; nostrils moderate, lateral; the frenal smaller than the nasal ; præ-orbital longer than either; the eye moderate, prominent. Besides three post-orbitals, there is a minute infra-orbital wedged in between the fifth and sixth upper labials, of which but a small portion of the sixth touches the orbit below. The lips are straight, turned up near their commissure, covered with 8 or 9 pair of upper, 10 lower shields. The mouth is large; the teeth small, crowded, of equal length. The trunk is cylindrical, compressed, covered with 19 longitudinal series of imbricate, elon
gated rhomboidal scales with rounded, slightly notched points, keeled
O ft. 0 inch.
2 ft. 03 inch. Circumference of the neck, , of the trunk, 19, of the root of the tail, i inch.
In Bengal this species is not numerous. It is very fierce, attacks in a vertical attitude, but without expanding the anterior part of the body. Its food is that of the preceding. The elongated angular head makes this species resemble a Psammophis.
TROPIDONOTUS JUNCEUS, N. S. Head above shining light brown, lips and throat gamboge ; from the angle of the mouth an oblique gamboge band, both joining under a sharp angle on the neck; trunk and tail dull greyish olive, with a series of distant rounded whitish spots on each side ; each scutum and scutellum with a small black spot on the sides, which as well as their anterior margins are minutely dotted with brown. Iris black with a golden ring ; tongue small, greyish.
Scuta 157, Scutella 88. HABIT.- Pinang.
The head is elongated ovate, with the sides angular, compressed ; the muzzle truncated; the rostral shield moderate, square, deeply arched beneath, vertically fixed; the anterior frontals small, tetragonal; the frontals larger, angularly bent over the side, where they border the small square frenal; the other crown shields are rather small, the occipitals on each side bordered by small elongated shields, like the rest of the temples; the eyes large, prominent; præ-orbital one ; postorbitals three; nasal rectangular ; vostrils lateral, large, rounded ; upper labials 9, of which the fourth, fifth and sixth border the orbit lower labials 11; mentals two pairs, elongated. The lips are slightly arched, the mouth wide ; the teeth small, crowded; the last upper
maxillary tooth longer than the rest. The trunk is very slender, cylin-
O ft. 0.9 inch.
2 ft. 3. inch. Circumference of the neck, s, of the trunk, 15, of the root of the tail, 7 inch.
Like most of the Asiatic species of this genus, the present is of fierce habits. It twice unprovokedly bit a wood cutter who happened to pass it. The bite, of course, was productive of no consequences except a slight momentary pain. The very slender make and the elongated tail are characters which approach this species to the arborial Colubridae
GEN. HOMALOPSIS, apud Schlegel. (Erpeton, Lacépède, 1803.-Rhinopirus, Merrem, 1820.-Pseuderyx; Fitzinger, 1826.—Homalopsis, Kuhl, 1827.-Cerberus, Cuvier, 1829.Hypsirhina, Wagler, 1830.-IIydrops, Wagler, 1830.—Helicops, Wagler, 1830.—Potamophis, Cantor, 1836.)
Homalopsis, Kuhl. Nostrils opening vertically in the centre of the small nasals, with a valvule ; crown shields small; dorsal scales imbricate, keeled ; chin with many small shields, throat scaly ; labials narrow; abdomen with scuta ; tail short, tapering to a sharp point ; beneath with scutella.
· HOMALOPSIS RHINCHOPS, (Schneider.) Syn.-Seba, II. T. 15. F. 3.
Hydrus rhinchops, Schneider.
Elaps boaformis, Schneider.
Cerberus cinerens, Cantor. Young. Ash-coloured above, the head with black irregular spots and a short black line behind the eyes; trunk and tail with numerous distant black transversal bands ; lips and throat white, dotted with black ; the three or four lowest series of lateral scales white; beneath white with a black undulating band, frequently interrupted.
Adult.- Ash, lead-coloured or blackish grey with the black marks indistinct or invisible. Iris black; pupil elliptical, vertically contracted by the light; tongue very small, pale greyish.
Scuta 143 to 156, Scutella 49 to 72.
Habit.-Malayan Peninsula and Islands.
New Guinea, Amboina, Timor, Sarapua, Java, Sumatra,
Tenasserim, Bengal, Coromandel. The shields of the upper part of the head, which appear to be of a constant form, are the nasals, the frontals, which enclose the small pair of triangular anterior frontals, (sometimes soldered together,) and the supra-orbitals. The rest are broken up in small, irregular, smooth pieces, differing in outline in each individual. The small eye, placed in a partly vertical, partly lateral position, is surrounded by a pre-orbital a post-orbital and two or three infra-orbitals. The frenal is comparatively, large, irregularly tetragonal. The anterior seven upper labials are narrow, very high ; the posterior five or six each divided in two. A similar arrangement is observed in the inferior 13 or 14 of which the posterior 6 or 7 are very small. On the chin there is a pair of elongated shields immediately behind the 2 pair of labials. The posterior upper maxillary tooth is longer than the rest, and furrowed. The three anterior teeth in the lower jaw are longer than the rest. The trunk is covered with imbricate, finely lineated and keeled scales, of a rhom