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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Haas's Bronzeback

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5



Species: Dendrelaphis haasi
Maximum Size : 94 cm

This appears to be a somewhat uncommon species of lowland rainforest, including mature secondary forest. In Singapore the species is known to occur near a stream gully, having been observed a few metres from water amongst low streamside vegetation, and climbing into the mid-canopy up the trunks of slender saplings. Little is known of the ecology of the species.

Long confused with the Painted Bronzeback Dendrelaphis pictus, and only first described in 2008, Haas's Bronzeback is actually fairly easy to separate in the field from the former. Its body is much more slender than the Painted Bronzeback's, its head colour is orange rather than brown, and it lacks a thick black stripe behind the eye and down the neck.

Its other features are typical of the Dendrelaphis genus including a large, elongated head distinct from the body, large eyes, and an enlarged row of vertebral scales.

Haas's Bronzeback ranges from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra and its adjacent islands, Java and Borneo.

Figs 1 to 3 : Images of an adult specimen from Singapore, seen actively hunting on low vegetation and slender saplings.

Figs 4 and 5 : Juvenile specimen from Peninsular Malaysia measuring around 25 cm total length. Its ventral colour is noticeably more yellow than typical adult examples.

Reference : Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) 1. Description of a sympatric species. Amphibia-Reptilia 29: 101-115