Amravati district has hilly regions in the north and northeastern borders. These regions adjoin the Burhanpur, Betul and Chhindwara forests. The other parts of the district are dry and have a black cotton soil. In fact there seems to be a perpetual scarcity of water in and around Amravati. Looking to this nature of the terrain therefore it is no wonder that a number of snakes are found in the north while the south seems to confine to Cobra, Russels Viper, Rat snake and the Checkered black. In the hilly north there is a likelihood of the prevalence of the rough tailed snake also. Snake bite cases are few and far between in the south and are mostly confined to the cobras. The bite normally expect-ed is that by a cobra which has a neurotoxic poison. If a poisonous snake has bitten and a sufficient lethal dose of venom injected, then the patient can only be saved by an antivenin. In cases of sub-lethal dose and non-poisonous snake bites, the patients can be cured by psychological treatments.
The snakes in the district are given below:-
This family is represented by Eryx conicus, Eryx johnii and Python molurus.
Eryx conicus: This short snake with blunt tail is found all over the district. It is locally called Dutondya. It has brown irregular patches on its grey body. This snake is very sluggish and grows
to about two and a half feet. It feeds on frogs, lizards and mice
and is absolutely harmless. It may be mistaken to be the young
one of a python. The latter is pink and is much thicker with a
tine tapering tail. Eryx johnii has no patches and is blackish in
colour. It is slightly longer than Eryx conicus and stays more or
less submerged in soil.
Python molurus: This snake is locally called Ajgar and is found in thick forests. It grows to a length of fourteen feet. There are brown patches on its grey body and has a pink head and faint brown lower sides. It is omnivorous and feeds on anything living which it kills by constriction.
Family : Colubridae
Oligodon sp: This brown snake with thick pale cross bars on the body is found near human habitations and in gardens. It is often mistaken for a krait. It is harmless and feeds on insects and frogs.
Lycodon aulicus: This wolf snake is quite common all over the district. It grows to about two feet and is mistaken for a krait. It is harmless and is brown coloured with whitish cross bars.
Natrix piscator: This snake is locally known as Pandiwad. It is a checkered green-black snake with black irregular markings and is found in muddy places.
Ftyas mucosus: This is locally known as Dhaman. It is a long snake growing to about nine feet and is seen all over the district. There are big yellowish brown marks on its body as also in the tail region and at the sides. This snake is harmless, but is often mistaken to be poisonous. This snake feeds on rats and as such it is also called a rat snake.
Natrix stolata: This snake is found particularly after the
monsoon. It does not grow more than three feet and has brown
and black longitudinal stripes. It can be handled with ease and
is sometimes maintained as a pet. It is absolutely harmless.
Dryophis nasutus: This parrot-green snake growing to about 5 feet in length and having a very pointed head is locally known as Sarpatoli. It has the peculiar habit of staying in vegetation growth and keeping its head raised. It should not be mistaken with the tree viper. The latter is of a deeper green colour, has a triangular head and is much thicker and smaller in size than Sarpatoli.
Boiga gokool: This is the cat snake which is found in the areas of low-lying forests. This snake is yellowish above with a series of vertical bars on each side separated from one another by a light vertical line. The head has a large arrow shaped black edged mark. It grows to four feet and is very much feared though it is a non-poisonous snake. Boiga forestens has been recorded in this region.
Bungaurs coarulus: This common krait which is locally known
as Manyar is met with at the bottom of the foot hills. In this
region this snake does not grow more than about 3 feet. It is
steel blue and has white double cross bars over the body. It is a
very poisonous snake and the venom is neurotoxic.
Callophis melanurus: It is found in the areas adjoining Betul. It is light brown with deep scales and light longitudinal lines all over the body.
Naja Naja: Cobras are common all over the district. Both the binocellate variety and the one with no mark are seen in this district. There are brownish varieties found all over the district. This snake can never be mistaken. It is worshipped because of its frightful colouration and the hood as well as its poison. It is quite a deadly snake and the poison is neurotoxic.
Vipera Ruselli: This snake is locally called Ghonas or Kandor. It is a brown snake having three rows of deep brown white ringed marks on the dorsal side. It hisses loudly and could be heard from a very long distance. The poison of this snake is vasotoxic and the bite is extremely painful.