Subhendu’s wolf snake
Common Name: Subhendu’s wolf snake
Odia Name: ଓଡିଶୀ ସାପ
Zoological Name: Lycodon odishii
WL(P)A – Schedule – II
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.
Many people think young/juvenile of L. jara contains a yellow/white collar, and treat L. odishii as a synonym of L jara. But in reality, juveniles and sub-adult specimens were reported collarless in peer reviewed journals. Three juveniles, i.e. 190 mm (Hussain & Roy 1993. JBNHS 90:113), 200 mm R/NRC/41 (Bahuguna & Bhutia 2010. Rec. zool. Surv. India: 110:37), 220 mm (Shafi et al. 2020. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27(1):107–108); two sub-adults, i.e. 240 mm ZSI–8012 (Chaudhuri et al.2015. Hamadrayad 37:97), and 250 mm R/NRC/51 (Bahuguna & Bhutia. 2010. Rec. zool. Surv. India: 110:37) had NO collar whatsoever.