Endemic Colubrid Snakes of Sri Lanka
From the 100 species of Sri Lankan snakes 44 species are colubrids and 19 out of which are endemic. Aspidura, Balanophis, Cercaspis and Haplocercus are relict genera with nine relict colubrid species.

01. Gunther’s Rough-sided Snake      Aspidura guentheri   (Ferguson, 1876)      S: Kuda madilla  



The smallest and the slender of the Rough-sided Snakes, this burrowing snake restricted to lowlands of Sri Lanka. Non venomous and nocturnal snake which inhabit loose soil, leaf litter and rocks in forests and silted up drains in plantations. Known localities include Deniyaya, Kosgama, Rosagalla, Annasigala in Kalutara District and Balangoda. However their natural habitats are being depleted.

FFPO: Protected

02. Boie’s Rough-sided Snake     Aspidura brachyorrhos  (Boie, 1827)       S: Le madilla


Burrowing non venomous snake found in midhills of central Sri Lanka occurs at elevations between 610-1100m.Reported from Teldeniya, Deraniyagala, Gampola, Peradeniya, Kandy, Gammaduwa and Namunukula.

FFPO: Protected


03. Deraniyagala’s Rough-sided Snake     Aspidura deraniyagalae (Gans & Fetcho, 1982)       S:Kandu madilla

A small, non venomous, burrowing snake from the eastern slopes of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It burrows in humus or mulch piles I irrigated agricultural land within tea estates. Known from localities near Namunukula, such as Kanawarella, Spring Valley and Pindarawatta.

 FFPO: Protected


04. Drummond-Hay’s Rough sided Snake       Aspidura drummondhayi  (Boulenger, 1904)       S:Ketiwal madilla


A small, non venomous, burrowing snake from the lowhills of south –western Sri Lanka. Reported from Balangoda and Sinharaja Army Camp above Deniyaya in Sabaragamuwa Province.


FFPO: Protected

05. Common Rough-sided Snake  Aspidura trachyprocta (Cope, 1860)       S:Dalawa madilla


A common small burrowing snake from the midhills to montane limits of central Sri Lanka. Non venomous snake, found in piles of humus, leaf litter and rotten timber, within agricultural land. Known localities include Gammaduwa, Monaragala, Labukelle, Harasbedda, Eskdale, Medamahanuwara, Pundaluoya, Diyagama  Estate, Nuwara Eliya, Nanu Oya, Sita Eliya, Maha Eliya, Ambewela, Pattipola, Hakgala, Horton Plains, Namunukula, Kandy, Radella, Ramboda and Diyatalawa.

FFPO: Protected


06. Cope’s Roughside  Aspidura copei  ( GÜnther,1864)             S:Kalu medilla





A non venomous, fossorial snake which is nocturnal in habits. It is mainly confined to the wet zone third peneplain. Known from Dickoya, Dimbulla, Balangoda.

FFPO: Protected


07. Sri Lankan Blossom Krait     Balanophis ceylonensis  (GÜnther, 1858)       S:Mal karawala , Nihaluwa

Found in wet and some parts of the intermediate forests in the lowlands and the midhills of Sri Lanka. Inhabits the leaf litter of forests, it is slow moving, and when threatened, raises the anterior part of the body to expose the red patch on the neck. Known from wet locations in the plains and lower hills, such as Udagama, Deniyaya, Punagala, Balangoda, Kuruvita, Kegalle, Pelmadulla, Sinharaja, Bandarawela, Uva Patanas,Labugama and Peradeniya.

FFPO: Protected

08. Barne’s Cat Snake          Boiga barnesii          (GÜnther, 1869)            S: Panduru mapila


A nocturnal, arboreal species. They are midly venomous. When threatened they are shake their tales and do bite. Distributed in south-western hills and plains of Sri Lanka. Reported from Kanneliya, Ginigathena, Kitulgala, Kanneliya, Daraniyagala, Kandy,Gannoruwa, Gampola, Matale, Balangoda, Labugama, Sinharaja.

 FFPO: Protected



09. Sri Lanka Wolf Snake          Ceraspis carinatus   (Kuhl,1820)        S: Dhara karawala, Dhara radanakaya


Nocturnal snake mainly confined to the lowlands and submontane forests of the wet zone, occasionally be found within human habitations. Nocturnal, terrestrial, hiding under fallen leaves, logs and under rubble in forest during the day. Known localities include Sinharaja, Galle, Ratnapura, Kahawatta, Balangoda, Matale, and Kandy . When disturbed it coils itself into a ball and hides its head underneath the coils. Apparently a mimic of the highly venomous Sri Lankan Krait (Bungarus ceylonicus).

FFPO: Protected


10. Sri Lankan Flying Snake        Chrysopelea taprobanica      (Smith, 1943)        S: Dangara danda


Diurnal, arboreal and capable of making spectacular glides between trees. Inhabits old growth trees, as well as secondary growth vegetation, cultivations, sometimes entering human dwellings. Distributed in the dry zone lowlands and parts of the intermediate climatic zone, including localities such as minneriya, Girithale, Yala, Pollonnaruwa, Randenigala, Willpattu, Sigiriya, Kurunegala, Jaffna, Kantalai, Trincomalee, Monaragala, Handapanagala and Wellawaya.

FFPO: Protected


11. Oliver’s bronze back          Dendrelaphis oliveri         Taylor, 1950

Arboreal. Has been seen near the beach and in low forest in Trincomalee.

FFPO: Protected

12. Black-spined Snake        Haplocercus ceylonensis        (Gunther, 1858)        S: Rath karawala, Kurun karawala


A nocturnal  subfossorial snake from submontane forests. It lives in damp soil, silted-up drains, beneath heaps of decaying leaves and similar places where there are earthworms, its exclusive food. Restricted to submontane forests and plantations of the Central Highlands, including Ginigathena, Ramboda, Pussellawa, Gampola, Hatton, Knuckles, Balangoda, Pundaluoya, Kotagala, Namunukula, Mousakanda, Gammaduwa.

FFPO: Protected


13. Flowery Wolf Snake     Lycodon osmanhilli  (Taylor, 1950)        S: Mal radanakaya

FFPO: Protected

14. Shaw’s Wolf Snake     Lycodon striatus sinhaleyus (Deraniyagala, 1955)        S: Kabara radanakaya


A non venomous, nocturnal snake stay under decaying logs, leaf litter, heaps of rubble, loose soil and in earth cracks during the day. Confined mostly to the wet zone, up to 1000m. Known localities are Colombo, Matugama, Kotte, Dehiwala, Negambo, Chilaw, Peradeniya, Kandy, Gampola, Udahentenna, Welimada, Namunukula, Bolgoda and Galle.Apparently a mimic of the highly venomous Sri Lankan Krait (Bungarus ceylonicus).


15. Reed-like Kukri Snake        Oligodon calamarius           (Linnaeus, 1754)        S: Kabara dath ketiya


A terrestrial species from the lowlands of the wet zone, reaching montane limits up to 1800m.Known from, Udugama -Southern Province, Hewissa and Matugama - Western Province, Ratnapura, Balangoda - Province of Sabaragamuwa and Teldeniya and Peradeniya in the Central Province. Non venomous.

FFPO: Protected


16. Streaked Kukri Snake    Oligodon sublineatus (Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril, 1854)      S: Pulli dath ketiya

A common species of kukri snake from the plains and the midhills of Sri Lanka. Non venomous. Found in thinly forested areas, often entering human habitation, and usually hides under the leaf litter. Active during the day as well as the dusk, this is a terrestrial species, sometimes occupying termitaria. When threatened it flattens its body but does not attempt to bite. Widespread in Sri Lanka including Laggala- Pallegama, Illukumbura, Teldeniya, Elkaduwa, Kalutara, Matugama, Illukkumbura, Gammaduwa, Loolwatta, Kotmale, Ratnapura, Negambo, Nawala, Gampola, Peradeniya and Kandy, in the central hills, as well as localities in the dry northern parts of the island.

FFPO: Protected


17. Variegated Kukri Snake  Oligodon taeniolatus ceylonicus (Wall,1921)       S: Wairi dath ketiya

This subspecies is terrestrial, and though diurnal, have been observed to be active at dusk. Mainly confined to the first peneplain of the dry zone. Found in Teldeniya in Central Province, Trincomalee and Serukele in North Western Province and Randenigala in Province of Uva.


18. Sri Lankan Keelback Water Snake   Xenochrophis asperrimus   (Boulenger, 1891)      S: Diya bariya , Diya polonga

A common water snake in Sri Lanka from the plains, abundant in water ways such as flooded rice fields, ponds, lakes, marshes and species undergo aestivation in the summer. Distributed in the dry and wet climatic zones.

FFPO: Protected

An undescribed Aspidura species
























































































































"Ellangaawa" A unity care for community & Nature | No:1/112, Hapugoda | Ambatenna | Sri Lanaka. 20136.