Calliophis nigrescens

Black Coral Snake Calliophis nigrescens is a species of snake found in the Western Ghats of India.


See snake scales for terms used
Rostral broader than long; frontal as long as its distance from the end of the snout, much shorter than tho parietals; one pre- and two postoculars; a single temporal; 7 upper labials, third and fourth entering the eye ; anterior chin-shields as long as the posterior or a little shorter, in contact with four labials. Scales in 13 rows. Ventrals 232-261; anal usually divided; subcaudals 33-44. This species comprises four principal colour varieties, which ore connected by insensible gradations; in all the head and nape are black, with an oblique yellow band, sometimes broken up into spots, on each side from the parietals to behind the angle of the mouth, and the upper lip is yellow in front of and behind the eye; lower parts uniform red.

  • A. Dark purplish brown above, with three or five longitudinal series of black, light-edged spots.
  • B. The spots confluent and forming three longitudinal black bands edged with whitish.
  • C. As in the preceding, but the black bands without light edges.
  • D. Pale reddish brown or red above, with five block longitudinal bands. Total length 3.5 feet; tail 4-5 inches.


Western Ghats, Karwar, Wayanad, Nilgiris, Anamalai and Travancore hills at 4000-6000 feet.


  • Günther, A. 1862 On new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 9: 124-132
  • Slowinski, Joseph B.; Boundy, Jeff & Lawson,R. 2001 The phylogenetic relationships of Asian coral snakes (ElapidaCalliophis and Maticora) based on morphological and molecular characters. Herpetologica 57 (2): 233-245
  • Vyas, Raju 1988 Extension range of the striped coral snake (Callophis nigrescens) Hamadryad 13 (2): 3-4

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