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Ocellated Brown Snake
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Xenelaphis ellipsifer
Maximum Size : 2.5 metres

The Ocellated Brown Snake, or Ornate Brown Snake, is a rarely encountered species inhabiting montane areas. It reportedly occurs at elevations of 800 metres or higher, and is only known from primary rainforest habitat. It is predominantly aquatic in habits, but little else is known of this species.

The specimen shown here was discovered by day in a forested stream gully at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia. The finder estimated the length to be between 2 and 3 metres : the maximum recorded size for the species in available literature is around 2.5 metres.

The colouration and patterning of this most attractive snake is unmistakable. The head is orange-brown on top and yellowish around the upper and lower lips. The body is adorned with broad, brownish grey saddles which are edged in black and separated by narrow, pale bands. Towards the neck area the grey/black/white patterning grades into brownish orange : at a glance this part of the body could be confused with the pattern seen on the Reticulated Python.

The eyes are large, with round pupils, and the head is quite distinct from the thickset body. The snout is blunt and somewhat rounded.

This species occurs in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and parts of Borneo.


Figs 1 and 2 : Large adult specimen from Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia at an elevation of around 800 metres.

Photos thanks to Benjamin Schweinhart.


References : H12

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Benjamin Schweinhart
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Benjamin Schweinhart