It is currently April 27th, 2017, 8:45 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2010, 5:55 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
This morning I discovered that the Park administration had cleaned out my favorite two-mile roadside drainage ditch in anticipation of the typhoon season. Weeds, soil, rocks, two feet of decaying leaves - an entire biotope, all gone; all that's left is the naked concrete ditch. After I had recovered from the shock, I set out to walk it anyway, and although the lizard and frog populations have certainly left the building, traveling animals using the ditch as an autobahn are still to be found... such as this Ptyas dhumnades yearling.

These snakes are the fastest in Asia, and once they've reached their adult size of seven feet and change, they are insanely hard to catch. As behooves a species built for speed, these guys are nervous as purebreds and hard to control in an outdoor setting, so I bagged the little guy and took him home for another issue of Snakes on a Plate (Part One here). Calming him down under the pot took a full ten minutes, and during the photo session I performed every movement as slowly as molasses lest I trigger his flight instinct. My wife was sitting at the table reading a newspaper, and made the mistake to turn a page. That motion caused the snake to shoot off the table like a rocket, and only after another ten-minute session under the pot I could continue my slow-mo shooting.

I sure wonder what he's going to tell his buddies after I've set him free tomorrow morning....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2010, 8:33 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:40 pm
Posts: 339
Awesome as usual! That tiny preocular scale is so cool. Are these snakes common in Taiwan? I imagine Pytas mucosus is pretty common, but what about other Pytas species?

-Alex


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2010, 5:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Ptyas dhumnades is common as dirt in the North (albeit hard to catch!), while Ptyas mucosa is more common in the South. Ptyas korros can be found all around the island, but is quite rare.


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2010, 10:10 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Pytas are some neat snakes; I've only seen one or two captives in person but *wow*. I'd love to see some wild ones (particularly big adults!).
Thanks for the photos


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2010, 12:16 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
I posted two or three topics with large, wild adults before The Crash. I'll see if I can find the pix again.


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2010, 3:24 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 pm
Posts: 277
Ptyas must be one of my favourite genera of colubrids. Messing with P. carinatus is about as exhilarating as "playing" with snakes can get (as long as you don't object to having your face ripped off). They are certainly some of the top athletes of the snake world, but fastest snake in Asia? That's a big call :lol:.

Nice photos BTW.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2010, 10:32 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
TNWJackson wrote:
They are certainly some of the top athletes of the snake world, but fastest snake in Asia? That's a big call :lol:.

Alright, I bite: what contenders do we have? I stick to my statement because that's what I've been told by a plethora of Taiwanese and Chinese herpetologists. But I'm willing to learn. And Australian snakes do not count.


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 24th, 2010, 3:42 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 pm
Posts: 277
Haha, I would say there are a lot of contenders, but I haven't got any actual measurements of speed to compare, just stories of being burnt by various colubrids in Asia. Certainly Dendrelaphis sp. would be up there and we can't forget Psammophis sp. if going a little further West in Asia. In terms of sheer speed (if they don't have to be on the ground!) it would be hard to overlook Chrysopelea though, particularly when they're gliding or jumping. I was once burnt by a wild C. paradisi in the carpark of Singapore Zoo, it went up a tree from the ground and just when I thought I had it, it launched from head height two metres across a gap into a thicket of shrubs and then disappeared. I remember the gleeful laughter of my companion as I stood there with my jaw on the floor.

Anyway I think there are a lot of fast snakes in Asia ;), I think sometimes the fastest snake is the snake nearest to the edge of the road! I have never had an opportunity to play with P. dhumnades but the Ptyas sp. I have messed me have impressed me as much as any other snakes in terms of their athleticism..I think it's a very cool genus!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 24th, 2010, 5:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Interesting, thanks for sharing! I hope to broaden my horizon in this regard when I relocate to Sarawak next year. AFAIK, all the species you mentioned here are present there, too.


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 25th, 2010, 12:55 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 pm
Posts: 277
All of them but the Psammophis would yeah. That should be awesome, from all your posts it looks like you've had a lot of fun herping in Taiwan but I suspect Sarawak is going to blow your mind....I'm green with envy!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Snakes On A Plate, Part II: Ptyas dhumnades
PostPosted: July 25th, 2010, 4:24 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3160
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
TNWJackson wrote:
I suspect Sarawak is going to blow your mind

That's what I'm hoping for :-) In preparation for the move, I'll create a website on the snakes of Borneo next winter. 160+ species is a formidable number, and I hope to see them all during the (minimum) seven years I'll be there...


Top
 Profile WWW 
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron