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



Paradise Tree Snake

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4



Species: Chrysopelea paradisi
Maximum Size : 1.2 metres

The Paradise Tree Snake is considered by some to be rare, however in Singapore it is commonly encountered in a variety of habitats including mangrove, secondary forest, and parks and gardens. This is a back-fanged colubrid with weak venom sufficiently powerful to immobilise its small prey, which comprises mainly tree-dwelling lizards. The species is active by day.

It is an adept climber, and a favoured haunt is the crown of coconut palms. As with other members of the Chrysopelea genus it has the remarkable ability to glide from tree to tree : it achieves this by flattening the body so that the ventral surface becomes concave, and then projecting itself into the air from a high branch whilst making sinuous snake-like movements.

The body is slender, and the tail long. Typical patterning is an attractive arrangement of dark-edged yellow scales, however some specimens have red patterning along the dorsal surface.

The species ranges from parts of Myanmar and  southern Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Indonesia (Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi) and parts of the Philippines.

Fig 1 : Medium-size specimen with red patterning along the dorsal line.

Fig 2 : Full grown adult in typical posture when negotiating from tree to tree.

Fig 3 : A 30 cm juvenile amongst palm leaves near the forest floor.

Fig 4 : A tree-dwelling gecko makes for easy prey.

References : H1, H2

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