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 Post subject: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatranus)
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 3:51 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Adult Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatranus), ca. 100 cm. Hard to get macro shots from a snake with a two-foot strike range and an attitude like a switchblade fighter. Every time I moved, the snake reacted by repositioning its stance in a barely noticeable, yet highly determined fashion. I would have loved to see the blue inside of the mouth, but my wife insisted I stay on the sane side of things....

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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 6:15 am 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
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Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Who do you want to please -- one sensible woman, or a whole community of lunatic herpers? Blue mouth! Blue mouth! Blue mouth!

Awesome snake, even without the blue mouth showing. But just imagine how much *more* awesome...

John


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 6:38 am 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 10:19 am
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Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Did you actually find this one, Hans? If yes, you're being awfully modest and quiet about it. If I had found one, most of the world would know about it within a few hours.

edit: Had a sneaky look elsewhere and you DID find it. Spectacular species. Details (no locations of course) of where you found it would be nice. I have the impression that Parias are largely canopy-dwelling species and thus difficult to find. Any truth to this?


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 6:54 am 
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Joined: July 20th, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Great picture of the Sumatran Pitviper, the first one is my favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 8:32 am 
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Joined: November 23rd, 2011, 8:26 am
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Location: London, United Kingdom
Martti Niskanen wrote:
If I had found one, most of the world would know about it within a few hours.


My thoughts exactly.

Martti Niskanen wrote:
I have the impression that Parias are largely canopy-dwelling species and thus difficult to find. Any truth to this?


Very interesting, that could easily explain this snake's illusiveness, as it did with the Gonyophis. Reports I have seen before have always been of people finding them in ambush on saplings or crossing forest trails. I'm a little more familiar with the Trimeresurus (Parias) hageni, which is occasionally seen on (lower) branches of trees, but much more frequently found on saplings and low shrubs. Of course, that could just be because humans don't get into the canopy very often... Whatever the case, Parias are certainly more arboreal than the other vipers in this region, although I would have thought their favourite meal (frogs) would make them stick closer to the ground, well, unless they are big on the Rhacorphorids, which I wasn't aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 8:46 am 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 10:19 am
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Ruxs wrote:
Very interesting, that could easily explain this snake's illusiveness


It could also be complete rubbish from my part :)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 9:56 am 
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Martti Niskanen wrote:
Ruxs wrote:
Very interesting, that could easily explain this snake's illusiveness


It could also be complete rubbish from my part :)

But it was an intriguing suggestion...


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 7:31 pm 
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Joined: November 30th, 2012, 7:45 am
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Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee
Ribbit wrote:
Who do you want to please -- one sensible woman, or a whole community of lunatic herpers? Blue mouth! Blue mouth! Blue mouth!


Hehe!! You know what they say... "Happy wife, happy life"...

What a gorgeous snake, do you ever take videos of the herps you find? That would be cool to see it's behavior in action.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 8:20 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks for the nice comments, guys!

No, I didn't find this snake. But it's not a pet. That's all I'm at liberty to say :-)

Indraneil Das told me that this is a mid-range montane species unlikely to cross lowland roads and trails (where the majority of herpers go about their business around these parts).

Sadly, I never shoot video. I really should, I know. But I'm still learning how to handle a photo camera and somehow not ready yet to learn another tool.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 8:25 pm 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Hans...I feel like someday I need to take a trek out to where you are and just follow you around shooting photos of the stuff you find. Excellent snake.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 27th, 2013, 6:19 pm 

Joined: September 26th, 2012, 3:54 pm
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What a beauty, Hans!

My, how I envy your herpadventures!!

Cheers,
Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 28th, 2013, 10:49 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:32 am
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Fantastic photos of an amazing snake!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 29th, 2013, 12:08 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks again, all!


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 29th, 2013, 7:47 am 
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Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:04 am
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Location: 'God's Country' aka western KY
Hans - Beautiful specimen! First photograph very well composed. Would such an arboreal snake perhaps use that reddish-tipped tail as a caudel lure???

Rock ON!

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 29th, 2013, 11:35 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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I loved the 2nd shot, and I agree Blue mouth, Blue Mouth! LOL, I'm sure this was quite the rush to find and photo.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 29th, 2013, 5:35 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks again for the compliments!

walk-about wrote:
Would such an arboreal snake perhaps use that reddish-tipped tail as a caudel lure???

I'm pretty sure it would - you see reddish tail tips in many arboreal South-East Asian pitvipers, and they've been confirmed as caudal lures in a number of them (e.g. Vividovipera stejnegeri)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: July 30th, 2013, 6:35 am 
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Joined: December 8th, 2011, 2:40 pm
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Gorgeous snake! Would love to see the blue mouth as well! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: August 1st, 2013, 5:33 am 
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Joined: August 16th, 2010, 6:14 am
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...just more fan mail here. WOW!! I knew I was an amateur, but thank you for reminding me in such a clear and dramatic way. lol

Just to chime in - my vote is to stay safe and then even a further 1ft back from that. Avoid harassing the animal TOO too much. Leave the blue mouth pics for another, luckier day.


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: August 1st, 2013, 5:46 am 
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Joined: July 7th, 2013, 1:19 pm
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Location: Alexandria, VA
Quote:
Hard to get macro shots from a snake with a two-foot strike range and an attitude like a switchblade fighter.


Hans, those are beautiful shots and I also tip my hat to you for composing such a great sentence to go with them!

MontyNajar wrote:
Just to chime in - my vote is to stay safe and then even a further 1ft back from that. Avoid harassing the animal TOO too much. Leave the blue mouth pics for another, luckier day.


My sentiments exactly. You may get an awesome blue mouth shot, but it might be your last one. And then the shot would probably never make it onto the forum for all your eggers-on to see! :o


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: August 1st, 2013, 6:05 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Thanks again for the nice compliments and the display of common sense & sanity :-)

But before you get too much an exalted opinion of my photographic chops: the light was crap (early equatorial afternoon, too dark in the shade, too bright outside), and of all the pictures I took, these here were the only halfway useful ones, and even that only after heavy editing and cropping (the "macro" tongue shot is just a crop, as you can see form the graininess)

Let's just say that if I had shot this session on 100% manual control and with an equally fine, but less forgiving camera (such as my Dad's semi-automatic Hasselblad from the early Seventies), and if it weren't for modern image editing software for putting heavy mascara on the pig, every single picture would have been utter crap. Translation: I'm just a lucky amateur with access to machines that fake it for me :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Borneo Dispatches #71: Sumatran Pitviper (Parias sumatra
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2013, 4:20 pm 
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Joined: November 17th, 2010, 6:44 pm
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Beautiful


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