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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis: Sarcopterygii
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Superfamilia: Booidea

Familia: Uropeltidae
Genus: Plectrurus
Species (2): : P. aureus - P. guentheri - P. perrotetii

Plectrurus Duméril, 1851

Plectrurus is a genus of nonvenomous shield tail snakes endemic to the Western Ghats of South India.[1] Currently, four species are recognized.[3] They inhabit high elevation montane Shola forests and are usually found under fallen logs and rocks. Some species are rare while some are quite common in their range.


Small snakes, they do not exceed 43 cm (17 in).

An ocular shield covers the eye. The eyes are small, diameter not more than half the length of the ocular shield. The tail is laterally compressed. The terminal scute also is laterally compressed, with two superposed points. The points are simple, bifid, or trifid.[4]

Species[3] Taxon author[3] Common name[2] Geographic range[1]
Plectrurus aureus Beddome, 1880 Golden shield tail snake Southern India Coonoor, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. In October 2020, two specimens were found by 10 year old Dhruv Gowda. There hasn't been a recorded sighting of this snake in 140 years.

This snake was last claimed to be seen at Chubra hills in Wayanad, Kerala in 1880. There have been no recorded sightings since 1880 at Chubra hills.

Plectrurus guentheri Beddome, 1863 Günther's shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: Sispara Ghat on the west side of the Nilgiri Hills
Plectrurus perrotetiiT A.H.A. Duméril, 1851 Perrotet's shield tail snake Southern India in the Western Ghats: Nilgiri Hills,where it is a common species.

*) Not including the nominate subspecies
T) Type species[1]

McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
"Plectrurus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families...Uropeltidæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). London. pp. 160-161.


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