Reptile ID

28 Mar 2016 20:19 - 28 Mar 2016 20:27 #3618 by Geoff Potter
Geoff Potter created the topic: Reptile ID
I have no idea what kind of snake this is that visited me in my hide in KKC.? Came in from the back of the hide and just slid past me. I took a shot of the tail as it was a beautiful pink color. The second shot is a lizard that was very common in Huay Kha Kaeng, again no idea what it is. The lady doing the cooking says they block themselves into their burrows and hibernate for over three months during the rainy season.
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28 Mar 2016 21:20 - 28 Mar 2016 21:23 #3622 by rushenb
rushenb replied the topic: Reptile ID
I will let Ton confirm, he is the expert, but just guessing :)

Oligodon taeniatus for the kukri snake.

Leiolepis belliana for the lizard

.. no idea about the second snake photo with the body.

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29 Mar 2016 17:05 #3630 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Reptile ID
About the lizard, Rushen's ID is correct, Common Butterfly Lizard, Leiolepis belliana. Interesting species that besides insects eats veggies as well. And it takes care of its offspring, which I have not heard off in any other lizard species. Crocs do, but they are not considered lizards...
You might see the adult with a bunch of juveniles near the entrance of their burrow.

The snake is a Coelognathus radiatus it is known under several common names like Copperhead Rat Snake, or Radiated Rat Snake. Beautiful specimen!
Non-venomous, so you were safe ;-)
If handled, it's generally quite an aggressive species. If you google this snake you will see a lot of images where it is in threat display, body heavily laterally compressed with strong markings on the body which are not really visible when the snake is at ease.
Quite common, especially in cultivated areas with lots of rodents.

The markings on the head are a clear diagnostic feature.
Another species, less common, in the same genus that occurs in Kaeng krachan is the Coelognathus flavolineatus (Black Copper Rat Snake or Yellow-striped Rat Snake), also a beautiful snake. C. flavolineatus lacks the black stripe on the nape, and has some more distinct (wider) black 'tear drops' behind/ under the eye.

Just as a tip for any of you who experience something similar to what Geoff experienced when e.g. sitting in a photo blind. If you suddenly notice a snake at a too close range (I mean within striking range), it's usually best to just freeze, unless you see the snake is already visibly in defence posture and ready to strike. If you'd move, and it is at such a close range it might get scared and feel cornered, so instead of fleeing it might defend itself. In this case it is a harmless species which would give nothing more than a bloody bite wound, but obviously you don't want such thing to happen with anything more serious like e.g. a cobra, krait, or viper species.
Snakes don't just randomly bite things, haha, so when you are not moving and the snake hasn't really noticed you, it considers your body/ feet as just another object in the landscape and it will just continue its search for prey.
If it is still 1 metre or more away, you can obviously just back off and it will likely do exactly the same as soon as it realizes you are not just a tree...
But when you suddenly see it sliding between your feet, you are best off to just stand still.

Paul wrote about a similar experience recently. Only in his case t was highly venomous species, and when he noticed the snake (after he had turned to look at it) the snake had also already noticed him and due to the short distance in between him and the cobra, the snake decided to hood instead of moving off.
In that case I agree running away might have been the best choice. Obviously the snake and the photographer were equally scared and surprised ;-) .

Snakes do not hunt you down, they do not want anything to do with you, and they do not want to get hurt/ eaten.

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