First Record of Dicephalism in the Banded Kukri from Nepal

Another exciting case of dicephalism from Nepal!

Save The Snakes’ Conservation Partner in Nepal, Kamal Devkota, has documented another case of dicephalism. This time in the Banded Kukri, Oligodon arnensis! Dicephalism as we know is a rare condition in snakes and this new sighting in Nepal presents an opportunity to further understand this condition in snakes and find other such snakes.

In 2018, a neonate Banded Kukri was found by local villagers in the Nawalpur District of Nepal and carried to Kathmandu. Fortunately, the snake was rescued by police officers and transferred to the park rangers from Kasara, Chitwan National Park, who subsequently released it into natural habitat. New-born snakes with two heads can have trouble moving around as each head is representative of an individual and both would need to work together to coordinate and move in any given environment.

Kamal is doing fantastic snake educational work with Nepal Toxinology Association to reduce human-snake conflict, create awareness about snakes and reduce snake killings. This specimen is another new addition to the list of two-headed snakes from Nepal. This study shows that there is opportunity for such encounters in the Nepal if snake killings are reduced and snake encounters are reported.