Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Reptilia > shore
seen? This shy snake looks just like another branch in
a mangrove tree where it usually coils motionless. It is more active
at night. According to Baker, in Singapore, it is found in Sungei
Buloh, Lim Chu Kang, Sentosa, Pasir Ris and Pulau Ubin. This mangrove
tree-dwelling snake is found in Sumatra, peninsular Malaysia to Thailand.
It is also sometimes called the Mangrove pit viper and was previously
known as Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus.
Features: To about 1m long. A small snake with the typical broad triangular
head of a viper and large red eyes on a rather angry looking face.
Those seen in our mangroves are uniformly dark purplish brown, sometimes
with a fine white stripe. Elsewhere, they may be speckled. Like
other vipers, it has a prehensile tail and can grip a branch to hang
on while it whips out the rest of its body for the lethal bite.
This venomous snake can strike far and rapidly and can be aggressive.
So please do leave it alone. When distressed, it has been observed
to shake its tail vigorously against the vegetation, creating a rattling
does it eat? It feeds on lizards, frogs and other
small animals, possibly small birds. Like
other vipers, it has heat-sensing pits on its lips to detect its prey.
Dog-faced babies: Mama snake gives
birth to live young in litters of 7-14. Hatchlings have dark brown
saddle bars along the back.
Status and threats:Our
Shore pit vipers are listed as 'Endangered' on the Red List of threatened
animals of Singapore. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone,
they are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.
Wetland Reserve, Nov 03
pit vipers on Singapore shores
- Jeremy W. L. Yeo & Tan Heok Hui. 29 January 2016. Mangrove pit-vipers at Pasir Ris and Sungei Buloh. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2016: 20-21
- Lim, Kelvin
K. P. & Francis L K Lim, 1992. A
Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of SingaporeSingapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
- Baker, Nick
and Kelvin Lim. 2008. Wild
Animals of Singapore: A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles,
Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
- Cox, Merel
J., Peter Paul van Dijk, Jarujin Nabhitabhata and Kumthorn Thirakhupt.
Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Thailand, Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore New Holland. pp 144.
G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore
Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.