Aspidura desilvai — De Silva’s Rough-sided Snake
Since this species was only described a few months before my visit to Sri Lanka, it had not been seen by many people, even people who had seen the vast majority of Sri Lankan snakes, such as my guide Udaya Chanaka. Naturally, he really wanted to find one. He knew where the type specimens had been found, and he put in considerable time and hard work trying to find one. While he and a friend were doing that, I wandered about looking for any old Sri Lankan wildlife to photograph. I turned over a few rocks and found this little guy beneath one of them. I had no idea that it was the very species that Chanaka was looking for, until I called him over to check it out and his eyes went wide. After some cheering and general excitement, he told me that I was probably the first foreigner to ever see this species.
The first photo is as found, after the rock was lifted of course. The other photos were posed nearby. (The snake was of course released where found.)
- Aspidura desilvai account on The Reptile Database
- Aspidura desilvai account on iNaturalist
- L. J. Mendis Wickramasinghe, Imesh Nuwan Bandara, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana & Nethu Wickramasinghe, 2019. A new species of Aspidura Wagler, 1830 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Knuckles, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka