TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae (Colubrids)

Genus/species: Langaha madagascariensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Displays striking sexual dimorphism: male has a pointed snout and body with contrasting coloration; female has leaf-shaped snout and is uniformly dark brown. 

                    female belowLangaha madagascariensis8599840662_312f136ba9_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to Madagascar. Found at low elevations in much of the island. It is arboreal, living on and in vines. 

                    female belowLangaha madagascariensis3268009379_b359b1da8b_o

DIET IN THE WILD: Lizards Primarily ambush predators, rather than active foragers although it has been observed chasing skinks on the ground. Usually vertical ‘hanging’ behavior as adults, mimicking the seed pods of Malagasy plants (and perhaps deter predation, though by what predator is unclear).

                     male belowLangaha madagascariensis2981271735_2d1bf7df0f_b-2

REPRODUCTION: Egg laying.

CONSERVATION: ICUN Red list Least Concern (LC) 

Wide distribution and presumed large overall population, make it unlikely to decline fast enough to qualify for a more threatened category.

REMARKS: Venomous; bites can produce severe local pain and swelling that may last for several days. Colubrids tend to chew when they bite, further envenomating and infecting the site. 

Madagascar Rainforest MA03

References 

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Manual 2014

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/794161/details

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8599840662/in/set-72157620708610230/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1rx