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 Post subject: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 12th, 2012, 6:43 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3179
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
1. Lycodon albofuscus, Dusky Wolfsnake (this family is called thus onaccounta their curved teeth evolved for lizard hunting). Even though it looks rather slim, this thing was over six feet, long enough to scare the living daylights out of the telecom technician who happened to visit just when I was cleaning the snake's overnight enclosure. Therefore I greeted the unsuspecting man at the door with a coiled-up black lasso in my hand, a lasso that extended a curious pink tongue at the poor sap...:-)
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Check the snake's body in the reflection....
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2. (Repost) Dog-toothed Cat Snake (Boiga cynodon), possibly melanistic. Usually they're mostly tan. This one was the only snake currently in our care that I didn't bring to my public talk at the Sarawak Biodiversity Center last Friday. Very bitey, and while it's a rear-fanged animal, like all Boigas, the large front fangs after which the snake is named are much more worrying than the rear ones.

I'm repeating the above quote from an earlier post because this specimen here was just as bad-ass, only king-sized: seven foot and change. What a bitey bugger, and what formidable front fangs! First blood was drawn when I tried to bag the snake Saturday night:
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And the next morning, the image below was the last one I took before the snake attacked my macro lens with such power that he not only earned himself a bloody nose and an out-of-whack jawbone, but also took a nice piece of paint off the lens (see footnote [1]). I try not to imagine what would have happened had the camera not between me and the reptile...
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Here's the rest of the pix from that morning. I had originally planned to shoot the snake in a nice abandoned orchard, draped over picturesque rocks, but seeing the mess he had made of his face attacking the camera during this part of the shoot, I thought it more humane to release him right away.
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This is what you get when your trusty co-herper of many summers is transversing into the teen age. While keeping the snake inside the shooting range, he called three different people on the phone - and received a corresponding number of calls - to arrange a party appointment for later that night. Sighhhh....
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DISCLAIMER: Hans was not using the tongs as tongs, but rather like a hook - we had forgotten to bring the second hook along. Neither were ribs broken nor vertebrae dislocated during the creation of these images)

3. Tarantula. YESSSSS!!! The first one I've ever seen here, although they're supposed to be easy to roadcruise. Species unknown - the study and knowledge of Borneo's tarantulas is sketchy at best. I'd be very glad if anyone could point me in the direction of general reference material.
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[1] Mangled snake face notwithstanding, I now have the coolest macro lens on the planet: how many people can say "and this bit of chipped-off paint, boys and girls, is the result of a seven-foot snake with teeth like a doberman attacking the lens..."


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 12th, 2012, 6:51 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:30 am
Posts: 653
Location: Clifton, Arizona
Pretty cool animals!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 12th, 2012, 11:24 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 6:17 am
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:thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 16th, 2012, 5:47 am 
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Joined: November 23rd, 2011, 8:26 am
Posts: 372
Location: London, United Kingdom
I was lucky that I found a dainty and gentle sub-adult Dog-Toothed Cat Snake who never hissed or showed any signs of aggression. Wolf Snakes are seriously my nemesis, I have yet to see one alive. After taking a whack off a 5ft Mangrove Cat Snake a couple days ago I'd take a Wolf Snake bite anyday!
Anyway I have a question. Is the Dusky Wolf Snake (Lycodon albofuscus) the same snake as the Slender Wolf Snake (Lepturophis borneensis)???. Because the Merel J. Cox, Peter Paul van Dijk Reptiles of SEA guide has that snake and it seems so similar...


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 16th, 2012, 6:00 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3179
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Ruxs wrote:
I was lucky that I found a dainty and gentle sub-adult Dog-Toothed Cat Snake who never hissed or showed any signs of aggression.

We'll take pictures of another, similarly sized B. cynodon on Sunday. I'll show you the two sets of fangs (plus the "lesser" teeth) these things show while walking their dentures across your hand (gloved in my case) when you grab them by the neck. Very intimidating - no hissing needed :-) But I admit that the first cynodon we ever foundwas quite benign, too. Maybe it's the black/yellow morph that's more hellbent for carnage.

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I'd take a Wolf Snake bite anyday!

You'll rue the day you wrote that. I'll shortly show the video of a L. effranensis deeply dug into my foot, while my friend is trying to get it off without tearing my flesh. Funny scene, but only after the fact :-)

Quote:
Is the Dusky Wolf Snake (Lycodon albofuscus) the same snake as the Slender Wolf Snake (Lepturophis borneensis)?

No. Same-same, but different, as they say in your neck of the woods.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #59: 2 Mean-Fanged Snakes + Tarantula
PostPosted: November 17th, 2012, 7:09 am 
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Joined: November 23rd, 2011, 8:26 am
Posts: 372
Location: London, United Kingdom
No. Same-same, but different, as they say in your neck of the woods.[/quote]
That's a joke by now :) Thanks for the conformation though, I'll look forward to those other pictures.
Planning a post of the last week's 5 or 6 snakes but it's really hard to upload the photo's to photo bucket with current internet...


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