Amboli – The Snakesville

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Amboli – The Snakesville

Amboli is known for the numerous snakes found there in the wild. As far as the snake spotting went we did not see many species, but the ones were saw made up for the lack of species count. The heavy rains and the fog were making it extremely difficult to locate snakes. But then we found this beauty, the green morph of the Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus malabaricus). We excitedly got out our cameras to capture as much of it as we could in pictures and videos from a safe distance.

The Malabar Pit Viper is endemic to India and one of the most beautiful and venomous snakes. The triangular head of the snake is broader than its neck. The heat sensitive pit between the nostril and the eye allows it to sense the temperature of a prospective warm blooded prey. Here is a video and some pictures that I captured.

 

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus)

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus malabaricus)

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus)

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus Malabaricus), Amboli

Another most interesting snake that we found at Amboli is the Pied-belly Shieldtail (Melanophidium punctatum). This slender, sleek, smooth scaled snake is non venomous and rare. A small snake, the maximum length that it goes upto is 22 inches.

The one we found tried to slither away quickly, but it being non venomous, our guide expertly picked it up so that we could see it properly. The snake was black in colour with a black and white pattern on its belly. It had an extremely iridescent and glossy body. You can see the rainbow colours on its body in the pictures below. Shieldtails are nocturnal and burrowing snakes and feed on earthworms. The Pied-belly Shieldtail is endemic to India. 

Pied-belly Shieldtail (Melanophidium punctatum)

Pied-belly Shieldtail (Melanophidium punctatum)

Pied-belly Shieldtail (Melanophidium punctatum)

Pied-belly Shieldtail (Melanophidium punctatum)