Friday, August 26, 2016

False Coral Snake, Oxyrhopus petolarius (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 725 mm TL, maximum total length about 1.1 m. Identification: Rostral barely visible from above; nasal single; loreal elongate and single; one or two preoculars; two postoculars; 7–8 upper labials; 8–9 lower labials; 199–204 ventrals; cloacal plate single; 81–86 subcaudals. Dorsal scales smooth in 19 rows (occasionally 17) at midbody. Most specimens black with red annuli which do not extend onto the venter, however may be uniform black, may also have crossbars reduced to large spots; venter uniform cream. The only T&T snake with 19 (or 17) rows of smooth dorsal scales, a single cloacal plate, a single nasal, and usually a banded pattern of red and black, but may be entirely black on dorsum. Hatchlings completely red with a black head. Habitat: Forest, savanna, secondary growth. Biology: Nocturnal. Diet includes small mammals, lizards, and snakes. Reproduction: Clutches of 5–10 eggs.

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