Friday, August 26, 2016

Coffee Snake, Ninia atrata (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 300 mm SVL, 85 mm tail; may reach 490 mm in total length. Identification: The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with a collar making and uniform blue-black color pattern on the dorsum; the venter is immaculate. The collar may be orange, white, or pink, and it may be absent in some specimens, particularly old adults. Scales are keeled and in 19 rows. Rostral visible from above; nasal single; loreal single; preocular absent (fused with loreal); one postoculars; six or seven upper labials; six or seven lower labials; ventrals 147−158; cloacal plate single; 48−59 paired subcaudals. Distribution: A widespread snake, ranging from Honduras and Costa Rica to Ecuador and Venezuela. It also occurs on Trinidad and Tobago and the species is widespread on both islands. Habitat: Forests, urban gardens from sea level to the highest peaks on the islands. Biology: Nocturnal. Diet includes slugs (gastropods). Predators include coral snakes. Other common names: collared snake, ring neck snake, white-collared snake

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