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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2015
   

 

   
   
 
Red-tailed Pipe Snake
   
   

Family : CYLINDROPHIIDAE
Species : Cylindrophis ruffus
Maximum Size : 90 cm

This is a lowland species, generally preferring swampy, forested habitats but may also occur in disturbed, agricultural areas.

It leads a burrowing lifestyle : its body shape, being cylindrical in cross-section, is ideally suited. It feeds mainly on other snakes and eels, and is a good swimmer.

The body is dark but iridescent, with indistinct lighter bands. The blunt tail has reddish colouration which it displays when threatened. Typically there is a lighter band on the back of the neck. There is an irregular pattern of pale bars and blotches on the underside.

The head is short and blunt, and of the same width as the body, and the eyes are small.

The Red-tailed Pipe Snake ranges from Burma, Thailand, Indochina and southern China to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.


Fig 1 : Dorsal side, with typical orange-red banding.

Fig 2 : Ventral side, with broken white bars.

Fig 3 : The head is barely wider than the body and the eyes are small.

Fig 4 : Here the tail is raised as a warning sign.

All photos of a specimen from Singapore, thanks to Benjamin Lee.


References : H1, H2

 

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Benjamin Lee
 
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Benjamin Lee
  
Fig 3
 
ゥ  Benjamin Lee
 
Fig 4
 
ゥ  Benjamin Lee