During our bird survey of Eastern Nagaland in May 2010, we stumbled upon this beautiful Bella Rat Snake (Maculophis bella), formerly referred to as Elaphe leonardi close to Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary (in Kiphire dist). This snake turned out to be a new species for India. This small snake (2½-3 feet, 80-90ncm) appears to be a montane species as it can be found at higher elevation like 1500-2000m. This species is known from northern Myanmar and western Yunnan province, China.