Tag Archive: venomous snakes


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

Genus/species: Ahaetulla fronticincta


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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pencil thin, delicate; green and brown scales. Bulbous wide-set raised eyes.   Length to 60 cm (23.5 inches). 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Myanmar (formerly Burma) Mostly arboreal in brackish mangrove swamps. Diurnal hunter of small fish: gobies, and rice fish. 

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DIET IN THE WILD: Diurnal hunter of small fish: gobies, and rice fish. Prey immobilized with mild venom  from enlarged rear fangs. Visually oriented hunter.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization internal. Viviparous. Newborn snakes are a subtle shade of brown. Polymorphic: some adults turn green, brown, or more rarely two-toned.
The Steinhart Aquarium was the first to display this species. Academy field research on this little-known species continues. An arboreally-adapted species that consumes fishes is an oddity. In the Steinhart, feed on guppies and goldfish. Steinhart’s vine shakes have bred and reproduced in captivity, a first for this species.

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Color is Life: Pencil thin, delicate; green and brown scales conceal these snakes in the bushes along the banks of tidal rivers in brackish mangrove swamps.

CONSERVATION: IUCN  Least Concern (LC)

Water Planet, Feeding Cluster 

References

California Academy of Sciences Water is Life Exhibit

https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=aaplw&p=steinhart+Burmese+Vine+Snake+video

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/192058/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1057253/details

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-OM

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae

Genus/species: Crotalus adamanteus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have a large head with a light bordered dark stripe running diagonally through the eye and a large pit between the nostril and eye.. The body is bulky with a row of large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream borders down its back. The ground color of the body ranges from olive, to brown, to almost black. The tail has a well-developed rattle. Maximum length to 7 feet (average length 33 to 72 inches).

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to the southeast of the United States. Found in in the coastal lowlands, barrier islands. Occasionally it may venture into salt water, swimming to the outlying Keys off the Florida coast.

DIET IN THE WILD; C. adamanteus is crepuscular and are most active in the evening or early morning. They feed primarily on small mammals, from mice to rabbits. Location of the prey is by odor, as well as by sensing the infrared waves (heat) given off by their warm-blooded prey.

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REPRODUCTION: Brood size ranges from 6 to 21. The gestation period is six to seven months. Young are born live, in retreats such as gopher tortoise burrows or hollow logs and can live over 20 years.

PREDATORS: Young are taken by hogs, carnivorous mammals (the gray fox), raptors (the red-tailed hawk), and other snakes (especially king snakes). Adults have no natural predators.

CONSERVATION: Red List (LC) Least concern but the population is decreasing due to fragmentation by agriculture, forestry practices and urbanization.

REMARKS: It preys on rats, mice, rabbits, and other small mammals, many of which are pests to humans.
It can strike up to 2/3 its body length; a 6-foot specimen may strike 4 feet. It has potent venom with a mortality rate for humans is nearly 40 percent. The only acceptable treatment for venomous snakebite, involves the use of antivenom.

Color of Life note: Pit vipers, boas and pythons have heat sensing organs which detect infrared (IR) wavelengths on their face.  The snake can tell the direction from which a signal originates, depending on where the nerve signal strikes a membrane. This partnership between heat detection and visual sensory inputs allows the snake to detect its warm-blooded prey, even when it is too dark to pick out prey from the background.

Ref: California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015.

References 

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8359753686/in/album-72157652559028013/

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

Florida Museum of Natural History www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/crotalus-ada…

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/64308/0

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Crotalus_adamanteus/

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

 

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

Genus/species: Chrysopelea paradisi 

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS  Long slender black body is covered from head to tail with a yellow spotting pattern that may form a somewhat stripped pattern with red or orange splotches starting at the base of the head and extends down to the tail. The head of the snake is distinguished by the 5 yellow, or sometimes orange, bars that span its width. Length: to 3 feet. 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT  Southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Habitat: Arboreal. Lives in a fairly diverse habitat, ranging from tropical evergreen rainforests with relatively sparse undergrowth to deciduous forests with undergrowth of shrubs and grasses.

DIET IN THE WILD  Carnivorous and, like all snakes, swallows its food whole. Prefers lizard species but will eat frogs, bats, small birds and small rodents. They are mildly venomous with rear fangs and also can constrict its prey, which consists of mostly lizards and bats.

PREDATORS: Preyed upon by predatory birds and large mammals.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, with internal fertilization, the female lays clutches of 5 to 11 eggs. Offspring are brightly colored like adults.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Least Concern

The species is fairly common throughout its range.

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REMARKS  The genus Chrysopelea usually posses the ability to “fly.” They slither out to the end of a branch, and dangle in a “J” shape. Using the lower half of their body they form into an S. They then stretch out their ribs, flattening their bodies to double the original width. The belly region of the snake becomes concave, a shape that acts as a parachute as the snake glides on air drafts from a higher branch to a lower one. They can undulate their bodies to change directions and can glide up to 300 feet.

Borneo Rainforest BO13

References

Encyclopedia of Life: http://eol.org/pages/795382/details

California Academy docent rainforest training class 2014

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-UM

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/


Eastern Green Mamba

Dendroaspis angusticeps  Elapidae

Distribution: indigenous to the eastern side of southern Africa.

Habitat: Green mambas make their homes near trees, often in evergreen forest, coastal scrub, or moist savannah. Bamboo thickets and mango plantations are also known to be mamba habitat.

Appearance: Green mambas are slender snakes, with a distinct head and long, thin tail.. D. angusticeps is overall glossy grass-green in color with light bright green underside.

Diet: Birds, rodents and bats.

Remarks: This venomous slender fast moving snake lives in treetops where its vivid green color is goo camouflage.

Eastern Green Mamba

Eastern Green Mamba

Red Spitting Cobra

Red Spitting  Cobra                              Naja pallida                 Elapidae                                         Distribution: Eastern Africa                                                                                    Habitat: Primarily inhabits dry savanna and semi-desert area. Commonly found in oases in desert where it hunts.                                                                                      Appearance: Maximum length of 120 cm (4 feet). Color of this species has great variation from red, deep orange, pale red, pinkish and light brown. Red Spitting Cobras found in Northern Africa have duller color while others are much brighter. The hood of the Red Spitting Cobra is narrow compared with the Indian Cobra and the Cape Cobra. It also has a small round head and a pair of rather large eyes.                                                              Diet: Frogs, rodents and birds.                                                                                      Remarks: The snake squeezes muscles around its venom gland forcing a small jet of toxic liquid through a small hole in the front of the fangs with great accuracy at the eyes of a possible predator capable of blinding or at least causing extreme pain.

                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae

Genus/species: Crotalus horridus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Average length of 91–152 cm (35.8-59.8 in). Dorsally they have a pattern of dark brown or black cross-bands on a yellowish brown or grayish background and an irregular zig-zag edges, and may be V-shaped or M-shaped. Often a rust-colored vertebral stripe is present.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern United States from southern Minnesota and southern New Hampshire, south to east Texas and north Florida in deciduous forests in rugged terrain. 

DIET IN THE WILD: Prey is mainly small mammals, but may include small birds, frogs, or other snakes usually garter snakes.

REMARKS: Potentially, this is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size and high venom yield. This is to some degree offset by its relatively mild disposition. Before striking, they often do a good deal of preliminary rattling and feinting.

Swamp

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8328119005/in/album-72157625194985646/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/s1DZ4b-17

Gabon Viper

Bitis gabonica

Distribution: Tropical Africa

Habitat: Rainforests and nearby woodlands, mainly at low altitudes. they may also be found in swamps, as well as in still and moving waters. They are commonly found in agricultural areas near forests and on roads at night.

Appearance: 1.8 meters, 10kilograms. Adults reach an average length of 4 – 5 feet (up to 1.5 meters). It has camouflage with a color pattern consisting of a series of pale, sub-rectangular blotches running down the center of the back, interspaced with dark, yellow- edged hourglass markings. The flanks have a series of fawn of brown rhomboidal shapes, with light vertical central bars. The belly is pale with irregular brown or black blotches. The head is white or cream with a fine, dark central line, black spots on the rear corners, and a dark blue-black triangle behind and below each eye. The iris color iscream, yellow-white, orange or silvery. As the gaboon viper grows older, it develops rostral horns on its nose.

Diet: Small mammals.

Remarks: B. gabonica has very long fangs known to exceed 1.5 inches. It is a docile slow moving sit and wait predator with a quick strike.

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