REPTILE TOURS IN SRI LANKA

Reptiles are usually hard to see on a general tour if no special attention is given. However, many of the reptiles listed below are not difficult to find on a special reptile watching tour.

If a bird watching or a general wildlife tour is carried out with an interest in this faunal group, what a visitor would come across are tetrapod reptiles (crocodiles, lizards etc.). Snakes (serpentoid reptiles) are difficult to meet with on such tours unless one pays particular attention to find them.

There are 183 species of reptiles recorded in Sri Lanka, out of which 92 are snakes, 72 lizards, 8 turtles and one tortoise. In Sri Lanka there 46 endemic species of snake and 48 endemic lizards (Saurian).

The table below shows the number of possible sites for each species and the number of chances available to try for them on each itinerary.

The list below is based on A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Sri Lanka (2005) by I. Das and A. De Silva. and The Fauna of Sri Lanka. Status of Taxonomy, Research and Conservation. 2006. Edited by C N B Bambaradeniya. IUCN

Note: If the number of ‘chances’ for a species is more than the number of ‘sites’ this indicates that the possibility of finding that species is significantly high and thus it can be expected to be seen on most of our tours. Such species usually seen on most tours are also indicated with: #

SpeciesNumber of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1Itinerary 2Itinerary 3Itinerary 4
SitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChances
Snakes
Python molurus Indian python55556644
Ahaetulla nasuta  Green vine snake  #77777755
Amphiesma stolatum  Buff striped keelback55555544
Aspidura copei Cope’s roughside E33333333
Aspidura trachyprocta Common roughside E11111111
Boiga ceylonensis Sri Lanka cat snake33333333
Boiga forsteni  Forsten’s cat snake33333333
Boiga trigonatus Gamma cat snake33333333
Cercaspis carinata  The Sri Lanka wolf snake  E11111111
Coeloganthus helena Trinket snake33333333
Dendrelaphis bifrenalis  Boulenger’s bronze back11111111
Dendrelaphis tristis Common bronze back33333333
Lycodon aulicus Wolf snake, house snake22222222
SpeciesNumber of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1Itinerary 2Itinerary 3Itinerary 4
SitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChances
Snakes
Lycodon osmanhilli Flowery wolf snake  E33333333
Lycodon striatus Shaw’s wolf snake      E11111111
Oligodon arnensis Common kukri snake, Banded Kukri,22222222
Oligodon calamarius Templeton’s kukri snake,  E22222222
Oligodon sublineatus Dumerul’s kuki snake  E22222222
Oligodon taeniolata Variegated kukri snake  E22222222
Ptyas mucosa Rat snake #68686868
Xenochrophis asperrimus The checkered keelback, E  #66666666
Xenochrophis piscator The Checkered keelback,44444444
Bungarus caeruleus The common krait11111111
Naja naja Indian cobra55555555
Daboia russelii Russell’s viper33333333
Hypnale hypnale The Merrem’s Hump nose viper22222222
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus Green pit viper  E33333333
Lizard
Calotes calotes Green garden lizard #1214121412141011
Calotes ceylonensis Painted lip lizard  E44444444
Calotes liolepis Whistling lizard, Forest lizard  E*12*11*11
Calotes nigrilabris  Black cheek lizard  E22222222
Calotes versicolor Common garden lizard #2035224022361830
Ceratophora aspera Rough horn lizard  E33333333
Ceratophora stoddartii Rhinohorn lizard  E#45454545
SpeciesNumber of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1Itinerary 2Itinerary 3Itinerary 4
SitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChances
Ceratophora tennentii Leafnose lizard  E*12*12*12
Cophotis ceylanica  Pygmy lizard,  E22222222
Lyriocephalus scutatus  Lyre head lizard,  E#33333333
Otocryptis nigristigma Black spotted kangaroo lizard, E33333333
Otocryptis wiegmanni Sri Lankan kangaroo lizard E#510510510510
Sitana ponticeriana Fanthroat lizard,11111111
Chamaeleo zeylanicus Sri Lankan Chameleon,22
Calodactylodes illingworthorum Sri Lankan golden gecko E #22222222
Cnemaspis jerdoni Jerdon’s day gecko    E #
Cnemaspis scalpensis Rocky day gecko33333333
Cnemaspis kandiana Kandyan day gecko #22222222
Cnemaspis podihuna Dwarf day gecko  E
Geckoella triedrus  Spotted bowfinger gecko, E #55555533
Gehyra mutilata  Four-claw gecko     E#101210121012810
Hemidactylus brookii Spotted housegecko #101210121012810
Hemidactylus depressus  Kandyan gecko55555522
Hemidactylusfrenatus  Asian House gecko101210121012810
Hemidactylus maculatus Spotted giant gecko or Rock gecko.34343422
Hemidactylus triedrus Termite hill gecko,55555522
Hemiphyllodactylus typus Slender gecko,55555522
SpeciesNumber of possible sites and chances in each itinerary
Itinerary 1Itinerary 2Itinerary 3Itinerary 4
SitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChancesSitesChances
Ophisops leschenaultii Leschenault’s Snake eye Lizard, E12
Dasia halianus Haly’s treeskink111111
Lankascincus fallax Common lankaskink   E#45454534
Mabuya carinata Common skink #81081081067
Mabuya macularia Bronzegreen little skink55555522
Mabuya madaraszi  Spotted skink    E #88888855
Varanus bengalensis Land monitor #101510151320810
Varanus salvator Water monitor #10111011131589
Crocodylus paluster  Mugger or Marsh Crocodile #47584747
Crocodylus porosus Estuarine Crocodile11221111
Turtles
Melanochelys trijuga Black Turtle #66776666
Caretta caretta Loggerhead Sea Turtle* 11* 11* 11
Chelonia mydas Green turtle* 12* 12* 12
Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Sea Turtle.* 11* 11* 11
Lepidochelys olivacea Olive Ridley Sea Turtle* 11* 11* 11
Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Sea Turtle* 11* 11* 11
Geochelone elegans Indian Star Tortoise44554422
Lissemys punctata Flapshell Turtle #68796868