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Zong’s Odd-scaled Snake

Achalinus jinggangensis


Zong’s odd-scaled snake is a member of the primitive family Xenodermidae, which diverged from all other living snakes some 8 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs!

This mysterious snake is known only from a few records. There is possibly only one population of the entire species, and only four individuals were recorded between 1983 and 2009. Intensive surveys in 2010 and 2011 uncovered a further 5 individuals, indicating the population to be very small.

It is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List due to its small range (78 km2). Urban expansion and mining activities are threatening its remaining habitat.

  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Xenodermidae
  • Trend: decreasing

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.79 (?)
ED Score: 19.406 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This snake is known only from Mount Jinggang, Jiangxi Province, China, at 940 metres above sea level. It is estimated to occur across an area of 78 km2.

Habitat and Ecology

Very little is known about the ecology of Zong’s odd-scaled snake. As with other members of the genus, it might feed on earthworms and be oviparous.

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