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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Genting Highlands Reed Snake
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Macrocalamus gentingensis
Maximum Size : 38 cm 

First described in 2002, this medium-sized reed snake is only known from Genting Highlands, a tourist resort in the Titiwangsa Range (the 'main range') which makes up the central forested spine of Peninsular Malaysia.

Its body and head are of typical reed snake shape i.e. subcylindrical body, with a small head.

Its dorsal surface is dark in colour, and its ventral surface somewhat lighter. There are yellow patches on the anterior lower flanks, small yellow spots on the tail, and a thin, yellow median stripe on its belly. The supralabial and infralabial scales are also yellow.

The type location of the species is at 1181 metres elevation. Other specimens have been found at higher elevations of up to ~1700 metres. Forested habitats at these elevations are categorised as lower montane.

As is typical of other reed snakes, this species is secretive: it generally lies concealed amongst forest floor leaf litter and beneath fallen logs. Little is known of its diet, but earthworms are consumed (see Fig 3).


Figs 1 to 3 : Example from 1500 metres elevation at Genting Highlands, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Photos thanks to Law Ing Sind.


References : H12

Yaakob, N. & Lim, B. L. (2002). A new species of mountain reed snake, Macrocalamus gentingensis, from Genting Highlands, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Hamadryad-Madras-27, 83-89.

Fig 1
  
ゥ  Law Ing Sind
Fig 2
  
ゥ  Law Ing Sind
Fig 3
 
ゥ  Law Ing Sind