Green Day Vipers

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Green Day Vipers

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » July 9th, 2010, 3:57 am

The Bamboo Viper aka Chinese Tree Viper, Viridovipera s. stejnegeri, is a nocturnal creature mostly found sitting in moist ditches, by small canals and ponds, and on trees - in short, pretty much anyplace where frogs can be ambushed. They're fixtures of our herping nights, but if you're lucky, you can occasionally find a few during the day, too. Those are usually individuals who didn't manage to score the night before, but are too hungry to give up and hit the hay. At least that's my theory, but I'm open to others. :mrgreen:

During my four-mile ditch walk today, I was fortunate enough to encounter not one, but two of these insomniacs - around noon, at that. The first one, less than a foot long, was pitifully skinny and hiding behind a small rock inside the ditch; while the second one, a strong, well-fed adult of about 15 inches, was in ambush position by a tiny waterfall that feeds the ditch. Interestingly enough, the waterfall was right next to a very crowded picnic area, and a few of the picnickers who knew me from previous walks called my attention to the snake, who must have been sitting there since the night before, totally oblivious of the noisy humans, scooters and cars not two yards away from it.

Finding nocturnal animals during the day is always a treat because it makes photography so much easier. No futzing around with multiple flashes and other unwieldy gear - just the snake, the camera, and me (okay, and in this case about eighteen picnickers of all ages gawping and pointing at the sweat-soaked gringo ruining his clothes crawling around in the dirt, less than a foot away from a deadly reptile. I'm sure they were running bets on how long it would take me to finally get tagged by the scary green monster......)

So, here's the loot:

Well-fed Viper:
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Skinny Viper:
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Cole Grover
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Cole Grover » July 9th, 2010, 6:32 am

I so dig the rusty eyes and white lateral stripe... What a cool beast to be able to see, Hans. I think I'm as excited for you to move a little further South as you are! Thanks for the continual string of cool finds.

-Cole

Joe Mahoney
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Joe Mahoney » July 9th, 2010, 6:54 am

Hans, those are some really neat looking little green guys. Are they really only 12-15" long? Thanks for sharing.

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Saunders
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Saunders » July 9th, 2010, 6:59 am

Dude I always look forward to your posts and this is why. Great finds man.

Paul White
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Paul White » July 9th, 2010, 7:45 am

I always love a taste of something different :) thanks for the post

jamison
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by jamison » July 9th, 2010, 9:03 am

I hope you had the time of your lives..... :mrgreen:

Sorry, but that's the first thing I thought when I read "Green Day" Vipers. Thanks for sharing Hans.

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Viridovipera
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Viridovipera » July 9th, 2010, 9:23 am

I love how common these are. So awesome. Do you ever find them hanging from low branches by their tails? I've always thought that position is the coolest... is it a leaf? a twig? a branch? nope. a viper in ambush position, just swaying in the wind. Awesome Hans.

-Alex

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » July 9th, 2010, 5:14 pm

Thanks, guys! No, I've never found them hanging from anything but my snake hook, really....they seem to prefer full body support for their ambush positions. And yes, they're really quite small.

joeysgreen
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by joeysgreen » July 10th, 2010, 7:20 am

Thanks Hans :) Did you offer the skinny a frog?

Ian

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » July 10th, 2010, 6:48 pm

Ian, I was actually thinking about it....but I was pressed for time.

DavidG
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by DavidG » July 10th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Wow i love that green colouration :thumb: ! Is this one of the more dangerous snakes in Taiwan?

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » July 10th, 2010, 9:44 pm

DavidG wrote:Is this one of the more dangerous snakes in Taiwan?
Toxicologically, it's dangerous, and there have been (if few) deaths. Behaviorally it's much less dangerous than other vipers who readily lunge at shadows. Once discovered, the Bamboo viper will stay in its position until you get too close - "too close" in this case meaning "practically touching it". Most of the closeups above were shot from within a few inches from the beast, and I'm really a paranoid safety freak.

craigb
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Post by craigb » July 11th, 2010, 6:04 am

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Warren
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Re: Green Day Vipers

Post by Warren » July 12th, 2010, 7:00 pm

Mirabilis! Gratias tibi ago :D

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