Mystery Reed Snake

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Mark
Posts: 20
Joined: July 30th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Mystery Reed Snake

Post by Mark » June 2nd, 2019, 9:40 am

Hi there,

This past winter I found three of these reed snakes while on separate night hikes in Tawau Hills Park in Sabah, Borneo. However, despite there being at least locally common, seemingly, nobody - including a couple Malaysian herpetologists, can ID them to species. Everyone is agreed that they're some kind of reed snake (Calamaria), but the exact species remains a mystery. So has anyone saw this species before in Borneo and/or knows what species it is?

Thanks,
M
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Mark
Posts: 20
Joined: July 30th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Re: Mystery Reed Snake

Post by Mark » June 2nd, 2019, 9:41 am

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Kookamongus
Posts: 23
Joined: September 18th, 2018, 11:31 am
Location: San Francisco Bay area

Re: Mystery Reed Snake

Post by Kookamongus » June 3rd, 2019, 10:38 am

Looks to me like the variable reedsnake (c. lumbricoidea) though a lot thicker and more yellow bands than they usually have

Mark
Posts: 20
Joined: July 30th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Re: Mystery Reed Snake

Post by Mark » June 4th, 2019, 12:19 pm

Thanks, although junvenile variable reed snakes do have very narrow whitish or yellowish rings, along with red heads, they completely lose their rings and red heads as adults. As I mentioned I found three individuals of this species, two adults and a tiny neonate. I'll attach a pic here (which I should have included in the original post) of that neonate showing, unlike junvenile variable reed snakes, that it does not have a red head or narrow rings. So between the young not having red heads and the adults having yellow bands I think we can pretty definitively rule out them being variable reed snakes.
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Reed Snake (4).JPG

dendrelaphis
Posts: 153
Joined: February 28th, 2014, 12:10 am

Re: Mystery Reed Snake

Post by dendrelaphis » June 6th, 2019, 10:03 am

No idea, I have never seen anything like it (neither in "the snakes of Borneo", "Amphibiens and Reptiles of Mount Kinabulu" or "Amphibien und Reptilien Sudost Asiens"). It might be an undescribed species. However, without morphological data, it's impossible to say

Mark
Posts: 20
Joined: July 30th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Re: Mystery Reed Snake

Post by Mark » June 11th, 2019, 8:27 am

Thanks for your input. Well I guess it'll remain a mystery for now. Unless anyone else has any guesses?

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