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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Mountain Bronzeback
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species: Dendrelaphis subocularis
Maximum Size : 63-88 cm

The Mountain Bronzeback inhabits forest and forest edge habitats in hilly parts of Indochina up to 450 metres elevation.

This is a fast-moving, diurnal and mainly arboreal snake which is known to feed on frogs and lizards.

As with other species of Dendrelaphis, its body is slender, its head is distinct from its neck and its snout is rounded. Though apparently shorter in maximum length (between 63 and 88 cm), it is similar in appearance to the Painted Bronzeback Dendrelaphis pictus, but can be distinguished in the field from smaller specimens of the latter by the dark edges to its dorsal scales (Fig. 3).

Its dorsum is brown, and its lower flanks are cream. The top of its head is bronze, and there is a short, dark brown stripe extending from behind the eye to the start of the neck, beyond which it breaks up into a few vague, dark blotches.

This species occurs in southern Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and southern China.


Figs 1 and 2 : Example from Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand. The snake was found active on bushes around one metre above the ground, at the edge of mature secondary forest near limestone karst, at an elevation of around 300 metres. It measured an estimated 60 cm total length.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the vertebral and dorsal scales of another specimen, showing the dark-edged scales.

Fig 4 : Karst scenery and secondary forest at Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand

All photos thanks to Charles Currin.


References : H12, H20


 

Fig 1
 
ゥ Charles Currin
Fig 2
   
ゥ Charles Currin
Fig 3
   
ゥ Charles Currin
Fig 4
   
ゥ Charles Currin