Friday, August 26, 2016

Red Snake, Erythrolamprus ocellatus (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 400–530 mm TL, hatchlings about 180 mm TL; tail 19.8% of SVL. Identification: The only Tobago snake with a red dorsum and a series of 21–28 dark ocelli on body with white-yellow center. Rostral visible from above; single loreal; divided nasal; one preocular; two postoculars; seven upper labials (3−4 enter orbit); nine lower labials; 168–179 ventrals; cloacal plate divided; 40–49 paired subcaudals; smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody with no reduction posteriorly; anterior chin shields larger or equal in size to posterior pair. Head black, red scales tipped with black, belly is white with some red pigment intruding from the dorsum. Habitat: Uses forest and forest edge habitats as well as cacao plantations.Biology: Diurnal particularly in early morning. Diet: snakes: Atractus trilineatus, Tantilla melanocephala, and the lizard Hemidactylus mabouia.

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