Friday, October 21, 2016

Cat-eyed Snake, Leptodeira annulata ashmeadi (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Mapepire, mapepire valsyn, annulated night snake, banded night snake, false mapepire, cat eyed night snake, chunkhead, garden snake, night snake.
Size: 1065 mm SVL, 435 mm tail; but most specimens are less than 500 mm in total length.  The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with 19 (or 21) rows of smooth scales that are reduced to 15 rows near the vent, vertebral row slightly enlarged; a vertical pupil; a tan or brown dorsum with black blotches (may number 36–38) along the back that may fuse to form a stripe, or multiple stripes along the vertebral line. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; loreal single; one or two preoculars; one or two postoculars; seven to eight upper labials; 8−10 lower labials; ventrals 177−180; cloacal plate divided; 76−90  paired subcaudals. A habitat generalist, using forests, savanna, agricultural areas, and urban gardens. Nocturnal. Diet: Often found in the vicinity of frog choruses, where it will prey on adult frogs, frog eggs, and larvae. Females have been reported to lay 3−11 eggs in arboreal situations such as cavities in bamboo stems and termitaria, as well as terrestrial sites such as leaf cutter ant nests; females have been found carrying eggs in July. Like many rear fanged snakes this species has been reported to cause mild cases of envenomation in humans. 

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