Subhendu’s wolf snake

3-Non Venomous

Snake Type:

Common Name: Subhendu’s wolf snake
Odia Name: ______
Zoological Name: Lycodon odishii

At hatching – 128 mm, Adults – 197 mm, Maximum – 394 mm.
Identification: Glossy-black colored body in hatchlings which turn to glossy-purplish-greenish-black colored body above in adults. Two tiny spots are present on each scale of the body sans the collar; the twin spots are white in hatchlings and golden yellow in adults. A collar is present in all the stages of life; the collar is white in hatchlings, which turn to yellowish in adults.

Controversy: Most of the authors (but not all) described the Twin-spotted wolf snake Lycodon jara with a ‘young has collar’ hypothesis, and reported ‘young/juvenile of L. jara has a white/yellow collar’. This ‘young/juvenile has white/yellow collar’ hypothesis is not true, because L. odishii contains white collar in hatchlings which turns yellowish collar in adults (mothers). Still many people consider both the snakes to be same, and treat L. odishii as a synonym of L. jara. What do you call a snake with yellowish collar that laid eggs--- a juvenile/young/sub-adult? Can a juvenile snake lay eggs? 🤔

In reality NO collar was found in younger (juveniles & sub-adult) specimens of L. jara published in reputed peer reviewed journals. Three juveniles, i.e. 190 mm (Hussain & Roy 1993:113), 200 mm R/NRC/41 (Bahuguna & Bhutia 2010:37), 220 mm (Shafi et al. 2020:107); two sub-adults, i.e. 240 mm ZSI–8012 (Chaudhuri et al. 2015:97), and 250 mm R/NRC/51 (Bahuguna & Bhutia 2010:37) had NO collar whatsoever. Furthermore, 4 neonates (177–180 mm) of L. jara were all without any collar. We have presented 2 neonates of L. jara to permanently clear any doubt that young/juvenile of L. jara has collar. These 9 young specimens, i.e. 4 neonates (177–180 mm), 3 juveniles (190 mm, 200 mm, 220 mm), and 2 sub-adults (240–250 mm) together prove that L. jara has no collar in the younger stages.

We leave it to the public; they are the best judges. 🙏