Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of shield-tailed serpents, of the family Uropeltidæ, and giving name to the Rhinophidæ, having the rostral plate produced between and separating the nasals, and the tail ending in a large shield, as in Uropeltis. They are small serpents, under 2 feet long, and live under ground or in ant-hills, feeding upon worms and insect-larvæ. The tail is short, the mouth not distensible, and the eyes are small. Several Ceylonese species are described, as R. oxyrhynchus and R. punctatus, sharing with those of Uropeltis the name shieldtail.
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