Monday, November 26, 2012

Green seed pod? No, Green Vine Snake!

In childhood, we used to talk about the exciting stories that we heard - like that of snakes and ghosts. Out of the snake stories there was one that of a green snake that strikes at eyes when one approaches it! It is the Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta, Green whip snake, 'Patcha paamboo' or 'Kankotthi paamboo' in Tamil).
It lives on trees, moves from one branch to the other, unseen and camouflaged in the background of leaves. It has a slender body of about 2 meter length and an elongated and pointed snout; eyes are larger with golden-coloured irises. Its green colour is produced by the interaction of its yellow scales with bluish skin. It is seen in gardens and groves of India, SriLanka and Southeast Asian countries. Diet consists of frogs and lizards. It is viviparous - giving birth to young ones that grow within the body of mother.

On exciting it, it threatens back by expanding its body and by opening the mouth wide; but it is harmless and is only a mildly venomous snake; bites produce only swelling and numbness that disappear in a few days. I have seen often other men walk holding this snake by its tail!
This is a slender wonder snake that resembles the green pod of a Drumstick tree (moringa), by hanging down from tree!

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