The Uropeltidae, the shieldtail or shield-tailed snakes, are a family of primitive, nonvenomous, burrowing snakes endemic to peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The name is derived from the Greek words ura ("tail") and pelte ("shield"), indicating the presence of the large keratinous shield at the tip of the tail. Seven or eight genera are recognized, depending on whether Teretrurus rhodogaster is treated in its own genus or as part of Brachyophidium. The family comprises over 50 species. These snakes are not well known in terms of their diversity, biology, and natural history.