Scientific ClassificationAsoan vine snake (Ahaetulla prasina) (11)

ORDER: SQUAMATA

FAMILY: COLUBRIDAE

GENUS: AHAETULLA

SPECIES: AHAETULLA PRASINA

 

IUCN REDLIST: LEAST CONCERN

HABITAT

Oriental Whip Snakes (OWS) are most commonly encountered whilst sunning themselves on in trees along the forest edge. OWS are arboreal snakes, living on shrubs and bushes, but forage on the ground. In the Southeast Asian mainland and in the Philippines, the snake occupies most of these habitats, and has been found in coconut plantations and areas given over to agro-forestry. As well as that the species can be found in parklands, wooded residential areas and rural agricultural areas. It ranges from sea level to about 1,300m elevation. This species is widely distributed in Asia from India across southern China to Viet Nam, southward to the Philippines and as far east as Ternate, Indonesia.

APPEARANCE

The Oriental Whip Snake can grow up to 2 metres in length and its body form is extremely slender, though fully-grown adults appear more robust. The adult colouration varies from light brown to dull yellow-green and often a startling fluorescent green. The eyes are more forward than on many other snake species, and their pupils are horizontal. The unique spear shape of the head combined with their unique pupils gives them the ability to make distinctions between shapes, detect movements and provides them with excellent depth perception for hunting prey within its habitat.

BEHAVIOUR

The Oriental whip snake is diurnal and solitary sometimes hunt on the ground, for frogs and small lizards, but are typically suited to their arboreal habitat. At night these snakes sleep in the trees. The oriental whip snake can spread it’s neck area to increase by double in size as a defensive technique designed to scare attackers.

REPRODUCTION

In Thailand the Oriental whip snake can mate at two times of the year. Usually between April and July, and then also between December and January. Once impregnated the gestation period is 6 months. The young are born alive and are brown with yellow and black flecks. A clutch is 4-10 births and the juveniles measure from 40 cm to 50 cm.

ECOSYSTEM ROLE & HUMAN BENEFITS

The Oriental whip snake’s ecosystem role is to help control frog and lizard populations. In addition to this the species feeds on small snakes and small birds whilst also falling prey to birds of prey and larger snakes. They are used by humans in traditional medicines and capture to be sold in pet trade.

IMPACTS

Habitat degradation has a huge impact on the populations of these species as it impacts their ability to find a capture prey. Their use in pet trade and traditional medicines also has an impact on their populations but not to the extent of habitat degradation.

INTERESTING FACT

Unlike the fangs of other venomous snakes, vine snake fangs are not hollow, but grooved his allows venom to flow down the teeth from their venom glands and into their prey.

** This data set was written by Luke Anning of Bournemouth University, England and edited by Stephanie Young**



***Identification of these species has been made through, photographic documentation cross referenced with external specialists and identification books. Any errors in our database will be rectified upon notification, if you feel that we have misidentified any species please help us to improve our research through our contact us page. All people involved will be acknowledge in the website and reports***



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