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

 
     
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
   
 
Striped Kukri Snake
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Oligodon taeniatus
Maximum Size : 45 cm

Oligodon taeniatus (Striped Kukri Snake) is a typical species of kukri snake which ranges widely in the lowlands of Indochina. It is nocturnal and terrestrial in habits; by day it typically lies concealed beneath forest floor debris such as leaves, and rocks. 

Its diet comprises frogs, lizards and their eggs (Das, 2010). When disturbed it will raise or vibrate its tail, which reveals the red underside as a warning to potential predators.

In the field the species is most easily identified by "the presence of two dark longitudinal paravertebral stripes edging a (yellow) vertebral stripe, and two narrower dorsolateral stripes" (Reptile Database). The arrangement of dark and pale markings on top of the head is also useful for identification in photographs, but these may appear faded in some examples.

Its body and tail dimensions (both subcylindrical in cross-section) and head shape are typical of the genus Oligodon.

This species is known to occur in southern Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

In Singapore the species referred to as "Striped Kukri Snake" is a quite different species, namely Oligodon octolineatus.


Figs 1 and 2 : Small example (estimated total length of around 30 cm) from Siem Reap, Cambodia, found in botanic gardens in the late afternoon. It was observed vibrating the last 5 cm of its tail when disturbed, and readily assumed a strike pose. Photos thanks to Derek Clark.


References : H12

Links:

Reptile Database



 

 

Fig 1
  
ゥ  Derek Clark
    
Fig 2
  
ゥ  Derek Clark