Family : XENOPELTIDAE
Species : Xenopeltis unicolor
Maximum Size : 1.25 metre
non-venomous species stays largely hidden in burrows, but comes to the
surface to feed on lizards, frogs, mice and other vertebrates. It is mainly
nocturnal, and prefers secondary forest, agricultural areas, parks and
Under dull light its
colour appears dark brown to black, but under strong sunlight it displays an
attractive iridescence of red, blue, green and yellow. The ventral surface
is white. The head is depressed (flattened) which allows for easy
burrowing. The juvenile has a pale collar around the neck.
The species ranges
throughout southern China and Southeast Asia.
Fig 1 : Sunbeam Snake in waterlogged, muddy
habitat in Singapore.
Fig 2 : Swimming across a shallow, rural pond,
Fig 3 : Juvenile found behind Kata-Karon Beach,
Fig 4 : Scales under dull light.
Fig 5 : Under strong light the scales are iridescent.
References : H1, H2