Trachischium apteii – A New Snake from Arunachal

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In yet another new discovery, a non-venomous burrowing snake species was found in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh.


  • The new species, Trachischium apteii, was found in July 2019 in the forested area of Tally Valley Wildlife Sanctuary near Ziro town of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The discovery was made by three researchers – one from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one from Pune’s Fergusson College and the other from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru.
  • The discovery was published in the science journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.

Trachischium apteii

  • As per the researchers, the new species belongs to a group of fossorial snakes that lives underground surfacing only after a heavy monsoon shower.
    Due to this burrowing behaviour of the species, snakes of this group are seldom seen and are poorly studied.
  • The name Trachischium apteii is in the honour of Deepak Apte, a well-known marine biologist and Director of BNHS.
  • Trachischium species are distributed across the Himalayas, Indo-Bruma and Indo-China regions.
  • There are seven known species of these slender snakes.
  • The snakes can grow up to a length of about 293mm to 299mm, generally lower than a foot in length.


Researchers have stated that Northeast India is one of the least explored regions of the world for biodiversity. It is especially so for reptiles, amphibians and most invertebrate groups.

The researchers have documented more species during their exploration of the region and are ascertaining the identities of the species. They are of the opinion that more new species will be discovered.

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