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The serpent in paradise

The serpent in paradise
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-04-20
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon 300D, Canon 75-300 mm USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Kruger National Park 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-07-16 14:37
Viewed: 8141
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Philothamnus semivariegatus

DESCRIPTION: Body particularly slender, tail very long, slender and tapering. Bright to olive green above, uniform or more often with black (exceptionally dark bluish) scattered spots or narrow crossbars on anterior half to two-thirds of body, and scattered scales bearing a bluish white spot or edging; underparts greenish white to yellowish, passing to darker shades posteriorly and keeling on either side demarcated by a dark line; eye golden to deep yellow, tongue bluish green basally, passing to black distally. Specimens from Zimbabwe sometimes bluish green anteriorly, passing to bronze posteriorly, while occasionally specimens from the eastern Transvaal are uniform dark olive green above and smoky greenish black below. Average length of adults 60 to 90cm; very seldom, if ever, does it attain a length longer than 130cm.

DISTRIBUTION: From the Eastern Cape Province, northwards throughout the eastern half of South Africa to Zimbabwe, and westwards (in the north) into the northern parts of Namibia; to the north of Southern Africa extending to Tropical West Africa on the west and Sudan and Somalia on the east. It is often found in suburban gardens.

REMARKS: Essentially an arboreal species and found wherever suitable open forest or bush country occurs, often far removed from water. It is a graceful, swift-moving snake and, in its natural environment, is extremely difficult to spot or follow with the eye.

With the aid of the strongly keeled underbody scales, which enables it to hook on to the slightest of uneven surfaces, it can easily negotiate upright tree-trunks or even an unplastered brick wall, or similar vertical surfaces. Although normally tree-living, it is also quite at home on the ground and, when moving undisturbed over the latter, displays the curious habit of keeping its head well raised off the ground and undulating the neck independently of the head and the body. When cornered it puts up a great show of ferocity by distending the neck vertically and striking out viciously.

SIMILAR SPECIES: Because of its colour it is often mistaken for the Green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) or the Boomslang (Dispholidus typus).

ENEMIES: Other snakes, birds of prey, and of course man.

DIET: Its normal diet consists mainly of tree lizards, such as geckos and chameleons, and tree-frogs.

DANGER TO MAN: This snake is non-venomous, and poses no threat to man.

This picture was taken very close to Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park, at approximately 09H00 on 2004/04/20.

1) 'n Volledige gids tot die slange van Suider-Afrika, Johan Marais.
2) http://www.geocities.com/snakes_of_sa/bush.html

elihesam, electra, Robbrown, mogens-j, TAZ, Dee_eS, bedford67, chiliu, gerhardt, nixpix, danbachmann, psammophis, vanderschelden, horia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To electra: Beautiful green guyjanhendrik 1 07-16 15:50
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Critiques [Translate]

This is great,Jan!
very well seen,very well captured in a fine moment with a nice graphism of its curved fome line,great used of DOF and a very good result you reached,also attractive colors and contrast I see here,interesting about the color of the snake with background,amazing.
nicely composed and Thanks for sharing Jan.
Best Regards

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-07-16 15:05]

Hi Jan Hendrik.
Very nice shot of snake. Very interesting object.
Composition, colors are splendid and exposure is excellent. Very well done.
Regards, Krzysztof.

Hello Jan Hendrik, it seem that the snake is watching you. :-) Beautiful green guy. Interesting Picture. Good job well done.

  • Great 
  • Walt Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 12 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-07-16 16:19]

Great shot Jan. Well composed and exposed... great timing!

I love the way your image demonstrates the climbing ability of this beautiful snake. TFS

A real beauty you captured here Jan. Wonderful colours on the snake, very sharp and great dof. I really like the way it is moving both up and down the tree at the same time. Great note too.

Beautiful view of the this gorgeous snake. The composition emphasizes nicely its arboreal natures and the ease with which it travels thought the trees.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-07-17 3:42]

Wow ! Beautiful and interesting shot for this incredible snake ! Composition, colors, details and sharpness are very good ! Thanks for sharing Jan.

Jan Hendrik, this is a great photo. Great colours, sharpness excellent, a very nice composite. TFS

Hello Jan Hendrik,
Very beautiful snake! Its colors were very well returned. This photograph is of a great quality! Cheer.
TFS, cordially,

Hi jan, Yet another super catch! Seeing your photographs from krugerpark I must say you had a very very rewarding stay there. You caught the essence of Krugerpark in flying colors. To me, this is Krugerpark, not just big five, every snakes, birds etc. TFS! T

What a great capture, Jean Hendrik!
Very nice green colour, good details.

Wauw Jan,
prachtige capture, hele goede compositie, uitstekend in beeld gebracht. Jullie Sud Afrikaner moet toch wel op de hoede blijven met het nemen van foto's. Voor je het weet ben je het aas. Goed werk,
gr. Jaap

Lovely moment and great compo.

Composition/placement: *****
Exposure: *****
Focus/sharpness: ****
DOF: ****
POV: ****
Impact: ****

Overall: ****

*Acceptable, **Average, ***Good, ****Great, *****Outstanding

Hey Jan Hendrik this is a beaut. Great moment and well captured. Quick response. The other members have said all the good stuff already so I will ask the question - what if you cropped some of the scene on the right? I am one who is not scared of cropping and quite like long or tall narrow images. Cheers, Rob

Very nice capture of beautifull snake. Great shot and very nice DOF.

Great image and note. The fact that the snake is on a complete vertical angle on the tree is amazing to me!

Amazing the way the snake grips the tree bark, well done for capturing it. I like the shallow DOF which splits the photo in half vertically.

Hi Jan Hendrik,
Took another walk in your Kruger 'garden' and choose this one
'cause I like it very much contentwise. Of course I thought this must be the venomous tree take. Read about it in a note from Paul(pvs). I have to study ''n Volledige gids tot die slange van Suider-Afrika', I guess.
And of course as always in your portfolio images the aesthetic criteria are all checked.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-06-05 7:00]

Hi Jan

I took a look today at your first posts and i found this amazing beauty! ;)
What a terrific snake shot and what an fantastic pose! I guess your quick action here if worth praising!
The details here are impeccable and the colors and very beautiful. I particularly like the wondeful pattern on the snake's body, slowly fading towards that wipped tail.
Gorgeous work!

Bravo and TFS

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