Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dead Malayan Bridle Snake

As Alli and I finished our beach patrol tonight she reminded me she saw a dead snake by the large rocks on the beach near where JTP is located. Say what!?! "How come you didn't tell me earlier?" I asked quickly while I ditched the serious conservation we were currently in. "Because you weren't here" she quipped. Fair enough. Lucky for me the dead herp was still there, laying on the sand, with a chunk missing from the lower third of its body, and still being very dead. Since it was a new species I hadn't seen before I scooped it up and brought it back with me. My apologies in advance because the photos didn't turn out so hot.

View of the entire Malayan Bridle Snake (Dryocalamus subannulatus). Notice the chunk missing.
One Malayan Bridle Snake (Dryocalamus subannulatus) was in our possession. It's a small, slender snake, but not too long, clocking in at only 56.4cm total length. According to the in-house field guide these are rarely seen, but do fancy boulders and tall trees, plus they can do a stellar gecko impersonation: going scansorial and crawling on the vertical surfaces of rocks and tree trunks. Hell yeah.

Two close ups of the chunk. Gnarly views huh? I'm thinking a cat or some other mammal on the prowl got it. I could be very wrong though.
If they get spooked though they'll drop off their higher habitat onto the ground. Maybe a cat scared 'em down and that was that. If so, it was probably Bucket, the feistiest and most claw happy kitty we have round here. She's also my favorite, but the damn feline probably kills anything with a pulse. The snake is found throughout SE Asia, but only on three of the 62 islands in the Seribuat Archilpelago, the collection Tioman is located in. Below is how you try to preserve dead stuff with limited resources (the clear liquid is very old Smirnoff vodka). Glad the empty jar of sub-par chocolate almonds is getting a second life though.

How you preserve a dead snake on limited resources: use a disappointing, but empty  jar of duty-free chocolate almonds and add some old Smirnoff vodka to it.

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