Friday, August 26, 2016

Brown Vine Snake, Oxybelis aeneus (Family Colubridae)

Size: 1010 mm SVL, 1668 mm TL, may reach 2 m; hatchlings 200 mm; tail 54-77% SVL. Identification: A slender, vine snake with a sharply pointed snout, no loreal scale, 17 scale rows at mid-body, reduced to 13 scale rows posteriorly, and a uniform gray-brown dorsal pattern. Other Trinidad and Tobago vine snakes (genus Leptophis) have 15 scale rows at mid-body and a loreal scale and while Imantodes has 17 scale rows at mid-body, it has a blunt head, a blotched pattern and an enlarged row of vertebral scales. Rostral not visible from above; nasals single; one or two preocular; one to three postoculars; 7−9 upper labials,7−9 lower labials; ventrals 179−192; divided cloacal plate; divided subcaudals 171−192 in males 156-181 in females; dorsal scales smooth. Distribution: Widespread in the Neotropics, present on Trinidad and Tobago. Habitat: An arboreal, forest and forest-edge snake that uses scrub and agricultural areas. It sleeps off the ground on the vegetation. Biology: Diurnal. Diet is mostly lizards, but frogs and small birds are also eaten. Reproduction: Clutches of 3–6 eggs are laid in May-June.

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