Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paradise Tree Snake at Sungei Buloh

Brought a group of students to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves, and one of the students spotted this pretty paradise tree snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) on a sea hibiscus plant (Hibiscus tiliaceus).

According to "A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore", the paradise tree snake is a native snake commonly found in Singapore. It is able to draw in the ventral part of its body such that they resembles a laterally halved piece of bamboo, which allows it to fall from great height at a controlled speed. Some people thus call them flying snakes.

While you can see some pretty red patterns on the back of the paradise tree snake above, these patterns are not present in all specimens.

This snake can grow up to about 1.2m long, and the one we saw probably about 0.5m long, suggesting that it's probably a juvenile.

It is mildly venomous, but the venom is strong enough for it to immobilise its prey, such as small lizards.

No comments: