- Just 40 cm long and iridescent brown, Bhupathy’s shieldtail is the latest addition to the snake fauna of the Western Ghats.
- The snake, currently observed only in the forests of the Anaikatty hills in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district, has been named Uropeltis bhupathyi , after the late herpetologist S. Bhupathy, for his contributions to the field.
- The reptile belongs to a family of snakes found only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
- They are non-venomous, burrowing and mostly earthworm-eating, and are called shieldtails after the large, flat tips of their tails, which make them appear almost sliced off.
- The discovery takes the number of known species of shieldtails in India to 41. The country is home to more than 300 snake species.