Monday, 10 August 2009

Snakes alive!

Okay, just one of them.

The first warm day in a while brought out this green tree snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata). One of our few colubrids, this species is common in forests in northern and eastern Australia. The colour varies from the standard green to blue to black. The black (or very dark green) form often has a brilliant yellow belly and looks as though it's enamelled.

Green tree snakes feed mostly on frogs and lizards, from which they pick up a fascinating range of parasites. They are not venomous, but put on a show when irritated, inflating the throat and hissing and giving you a hell of a surprise if you're not expecting a snake to be in the shrubbery two feet from your face.

This one had plenty of room to make a clean getaway. It moved like lightning when it was no longer happy being the centre of attention, slithering into the forest and up the nearest tree. If the warm weather continues, I expect the scrub pythons will be on the move too. I hope the brush turkeys take note.

7 comments:

mick said...

They also give you a 'helluva' fright when they hang down over the front door just when you are going out! Astonishing what they mistake for a tree. Very nice photo of your one!

Snail said...

Okay, now I'm not normally concerned about snakes, but that has just given me something to think about. Come the really warm weather, I'll be checking the door frames ...

Neil said...

Great photos. Keep looking out for more.

Tyto Tony said...

Snap!

Snail said...

Neil, the neighbours reported a scrub python at their place over the weekend, so it looks as though the snakes are getting lively. I will have to remember to shut all the unscreened windows.

Tony, it must be the day for it!

Estrella said...

that is so scary but pretty at the same time! look at those colours!!
amazing!




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Snail said...

I did get a bit of a jolt when I saw it because I wasn't quite expecting a snake almost underfoot. Fortunately most of the common snakes around here are non-venomous.