Rough Scaled Sand Boa (Gongylophis Conicus)
The Russels Boa or the rough scaled sand Boa (Gongylophis conicus) often mistaken for the Indian Rock Python (Python.m.molurus) or the deadly Russels viper (Dabola russelii) is a common burrowing non venomous snake endemic to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. One report also indicates their distribution in South Eastern Europe, Africa and West Asia. They are ambush predators, hiding and striking. A small snake, in the sub-family Erycinae of the family Boidae, it is a constrictor reaching a length of upto 01 meter. The color pattern consists of a broad zig zag band dorsally with a uniformly white belly. It is normally active in night and feeds on worms insects, lizards, and small mammals and birds. This specimen from the Keoledeo Ghana National Park at Rajasthan was trying to ingest a bird (Mynah) during the day time. It is viviparious and gives birth to 5 to 12 off springs. Adults are often reared as pets. Adult males are smaller and lighter than the females. While adult females may be 26 to 32 inches long and 400-900 gms. in weight the males could be just 15 to 18 inches long and 70 to 100 gms. in weight.
Also see- https://youtu.be/jBg-3rtSgEI? (An Instinct Denied) , https://youtu.be/evPQBDq0CBk? (Kya Banega Phir Se Gharaunda. A Hindi Version of “An Instinct Denied”) for a fuller film produced by Srimaa Communication which discusses the breeding activity of water birds and the failure of nesting because of scarcity of water. It has studied the painted storks, the open billed storks, the darters, cormorants, cranes, egrets and the baya weaver bird in their wetland surroundings at Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Acknowledgements-Dr. Yashpal Singh, Mrs. Neena Singh, Mr. Rajesh Bedi, Manoj Kumar Yadav