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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021



Reed Snake (North Kalimantan)

Species : Calamaria sp.
Maximum Size : unknown

This small, brightly coloured snake (with an estimated total length of 13-15 cm) was found near a stream in a forested area of North Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, at an elevation of no more than 300 metres, by Mr. William Bruce.

Its body colour is orange-red, and it bears around 35 narrow dark bars which are equally spaced along the body and tail.

Based on the shape of the head and body, and the short tail, this is probably a species of Reed Snake or Calamaria sp. There are images of similar snakes from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo to the north, however these typically have broader dark bars than are evident in this example, and conversely they have less dark marking on the nape.

A search of available literature failed to identify this snake to species level: it has probably yet to be formally named or described.

Calamaria is a genus of terrestrial or fossorial snakes which are typically found after dark on the forest floor. They feed mainly on soft-bodied invertebrates.

Fig 1 : The bright colour and patterning of this small snake, probably a species of Calamaria, make it easy to spot on the forest floor. It was found in a forested area with many small, clear streams.

Fig 2 : Forest and stream habitat close to the location of the discovery of this small snake.

Photos thanks to William Bruce.

Fig 1
ゥ  William Bruce
Fig 1
ゥ  William Bruce