Biodiversity / Animals
Kashmir Rock ( Laudakia tuberculata Agama)
Head is depressed, elongated, tympanum is large and distinct. Dorsal colour is dark-olive brown with numerous dark-brown spots on either side of a lighter vertebral line. In adults the spots are replaced by a dark-brown and yellowish colouration; upper side of head is light brown; throat and chest are brownish, profusely spotted with dark blue; belly is whitish.
Males during the breeding season acquire beautiful and brilliant shades of bright yellow, orange bluish-black, purple and black on shoulders, breast, flanks, underparts and throat. The species is terrestrial, inhabiting the holes, crevices and such other rocky structures. In most of the localities of the range these agamas can be seen basking on rocks, more commonly between the altitudes of 300-700 meters; during the early hours of the day. The species is omnivorous and its food mainly comprises the insects like ants, small insects, butterflies and other insects; it also has a liking towards the vegetable food like tender leaves, flowers and seeds of wild plants. Breeding season is from May to August. It lays 7-20 eggs in a single clutch.
Himalayan Ground (Scincella himalayanus Skink )
This is a small skink with an iridescent bronze dorsum, with indistinct lighter and darker markings; many individuals are with a dark-brown vertebral stripe; lateral stripe is of brass colour and is having irregular margin; there is a broad, dark-brown stripe emerging from snout and reaching up to the proximal part of tail through eye and upperside of the forelimbs; this lower broad stripe is bordered below by a narrow, irregular, white stripe edged with black; distal body protein is bronzy, with numerous light and dark-brown spots; top of the head and upperside of the limbs are bronzy, with dark dots all over; belly is bluish-white.
The species prefers damp areas or open grass lands between 400 to 1200 meters, also available in lake sides, banks of rivers and gardens. The species is insectivorous and viviparous (produces 3 or 4 young at a time).
Karakoram bent-toed Gecko or Kashmir Rock Gecko (Gymnodactylus stoliczkai)
Small and grey coloured nocturnal gecko, with a series of dark brown white edged cross bars on the back. Flanks, head, tail and limbs speckled with black; labials with alternate black and white bars and belly dirty white or pale yellow. Large head, snout depressed, with small rounded tubercles. Eyes large with vertically elliptical pupil. The species is quite agile and prefers to live under stones, crevices and rocks. Occasionally, they enter into houses and are nocturnal in nature.
Eastern Keelback (Tropidonotus platyceps Blyth)
Body slender; scales in 19 rows, distinctly keeled. Colouration variable. Olive brown above, with small black spots. The species has been recorded from the hill streams and on several occasions they have been observed at night in the pine forests near streams. The snake is docile in nature and sometimes confused with Xenochriphis piscator.
Indian Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosus Gunther)
The vertebrals may or may not be slightly enlarged. Maxillary teeth 20 to 25. This is one of the common species of on-poisonous snakes found in the Eco-development areas of GHNP. The major food item being small mammals, toads and birds.
Himalayan Pit Viper(Halys himalayanus Gunther)
Snout not pointed, not turned up at the end; This is the most common poisonous snake of the Himalayan region and is quite docile in nature. When handled, they do not attempt to bite. The snake is viviparous and five to seven youngs are produced at a time. During winter, the snake hibernates.