Sunday, October 14, 2012

Common Mock Viper

We all know how much I love the raking (refresher here). As I pulled the cover off our compost pile this morning to dump out a bunch of leaves, I was treated to something I fancy even more than raking: a snake. The serpent was coiled-up on top of the pile, probably getting some morning-time heat. The Common Mock Viper (Psammodynastes pulverulentus) stayed immobile and let me snap away. I'm into that. *** Enlarge the photos by clicking on 'em.

I've seen this species before on Tioman and even on JTP's grounds previously, too. Some interesting tidbits on this species: they mimics pitvipers (a subfamily of venomous snakes, of which rattlesnakes and bushmasters are in) by possessing enlarged maxillary teeth, which aren't the hollow fangs that rattlers and co. are famous for. These teeth still deliver mildly toxic saliva, which can cause burning and itching sensations if us humans get bit, but I don't plan on partaking in that. Even if these photos we're a little too close for Alli's comfort.

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