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 Post subject: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 5:36 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3179
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
"The jasper cat snake (Boiga jaspidea) is a small and slender species of rear-fanged colubrid that is uncommon throughout its range" (Wikipedia).

Uncommon or not, sometimes it just takes a little luck. Just last Sunday the staff at Sarawak's most exclusive golf resort - a place where Malaysia's president keeps his own personal bungalow - gave me this beautiful juvenile they had found in the kitchen of their five-star restaurant. We visit the place quite often, not for golfing, but for hikes through the beautiful montane (3500 ft) cloud forest that surrounds the resort. Instead of killing the snake on the spot, the cooks caught it - completely ignorant of its possible toxicity - put it in a jar, and waited for my return from the trail. Yes, it is good to have a reputation as "Mr. Hans, the Snake King" (their words, not mine). AND they have a promotion on standard double rooms this month! :-)

As to the photo session, I've always wanted to photograph a snake species that forms a double "S" with its anterior body. In spite of the large number of Boiga from various species I've caught here, none of them would ever pose that way for me...until this one came along. Straight out of the bag, it assumed the position and defended its honor with wild and far-reaching strikes that ruled out any proper macro work. But who needs macros if you get warrior poses like these?

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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 7:16 am 
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Joined: November 23rd, 2011, 8:26 am
Posts: 372
Location: London, United Kingdom
That Snake is unholy pretty Hans, Cat Snakes are so good for pictures :)
Almost certainly heading to Sarawak in 2013!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 8:29 am 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
Posts: 572
Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
That is one awesome coil, and an all-around beautiful snake.

When I started reading "The jasper cat" I thought this was an excerpt from T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 9:50 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Posts: 2648
Location: Ventura, CA
Do all Boiga have the enlarged plate-like mid-dorsal scales which are also shared by Kraits? Interesting that it might then seem that there is a loose geographical correlation there but almost certainly coincidental. What other genera/species show that?

btw, Nice pics Hans! :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 11:13 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: Ft. Smith, Arkansas
Awesome, Hans! That's gotta be the first time that particular Boiga sp. has been posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 11:28 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Posts: 525
Location: Huntsville, AL
damn..... that's an awesome snake!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 11:50 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 12:26 pm
Posts: 561
Just amazing, Hans. What a beautiful snake!

Regards,
David


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 6:33 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:39 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Concord TWP, Ohio
Awesome snake Hans...especially that picture number four...simply stunning! Monklet, I know that Immantodes have the enlarged dorsal scales and a few other species I have found as well. Possibly an adaptation for arboreal life, giving the body "tube" more rigidity as they stretch across gaps between branches?


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 5th, 2012, 7:09 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Posts: 5722
Location: Los Angeles County
:shock:

I always enjoy your Borneo Dispatches..

Beautiful Snake thanks for sharing.

Fundad


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 7th, 2012, 12:28 am 
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Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 pm
Posts: 277
Fantastic Hans, I was never lucky enough to find one of these.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 7th, 2012, 7:12 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3179
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks very much for the kind words, everyone! I've put up a second image set of the snake, this time with a more natural background, in this new post. Hope you like.

Quote:
When I started reading "The jasper cat" I thought this was an excerpt from T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Awesome. I'd never heard about it - I'll have to get a copy!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #61: Boiga jaspidea "Black Velvet"
PostPosted: December 7th, 2012, 7:55 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Ventura, CA
Interesting theory Dr. Dark and true or not, good thinking. :idea: Didn't think Kraits are arboreal, but even if not I wouldn't say that negates it.


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