Elaphe helena monticollaris
|Copyright: Subhash Ranjan (sranjan)
|Date Taken: 2011-01-15|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2011-01-17 7:16|
|Favorites: 1 [view]|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This handsome trinket snake is known to make sigma shape (double sigma in this photograph) while charging. My friend Chiplunkar helped me in taking this shot from close quarters. Hope you like the front profile of trinket :)|
Elaphe helena monticollaris
Characteristics: A narrow headed slender snake with a beautiful colouration. Its light brown body is often adorned with white and dark brown spots (E.h.helena) or with black and white transverse stripes (E.h.monticollaris). Its head is greenish brown with black markings. However the true purpose of this colouration is camoufladge. Its species name is derived from the legendary Greek queen Helen.
Habitat: Prefers forests but may frequently venture towards human habitation and occasionally enter human dwellings.
Behaviour: Diurnal and highly active. Has a very nasty temper and will strike repeatedly if molested. Never appreciates captivity and will resist capture with utmost tenacity until helplessly overpowered. Its bites are often very damaging due to its inward pointing teeth.
Food: Feeds mainly on small mammals. It uses its camouflage to stalk its prey and initially disorients its victim with a blitz strike. It then surrounds its prey with its coils and weakens it by biting repeatedly. The victim is finally killed by constriction and swallowed at leisure. It may also prey upon birds, frogs, lizards and other snakes as well but shows a high preference towards small mammals. It is notorious for its voracious appetite. Captive specimens prefer mice and tend to lose interest in lizards especially if they remain motionless.
Breeding: Very little known about its reproductive habits. Probably viviparous. Brood size unknown.
Growth: The smallest known specimens measure around 350mm. The average adult length is around 100 cm and 150 cm the maximum. Females are longer than the males while males have proportionately longer tails.
Venom: Non venomous this snake kills by constriction.
Identification: The following characteristics should be noted:-
01)Nine pairs of Supralabials of which the fifth and sixth pairs touch the eye. 02)19 to 21 rows of Costals two head lengths before the vent. 03)Entire Anal shield 04)Nearly equally sized Frontal and Parietal shields.
Lepidosis: 01)Rostral: Compressed and touches six shields. 02)Frontal: Relatively thin and elongated. 03)Supraoculars: Slender and elongated being nearly as long as the Frontal. 04)Parietals: Each individual shield is slightly larter than the Frontal. 05)Prefrontals: Highly broad as well as long. 06)Internasals: Touch the nostrils. 07)Nasals: Divided along a vertical line on which the nostril is situated. 08)Loreals: Entire 09)Preoculars: Entire 10)Postoculars: Divided into two equally sized shields 11)Temporals: Divided into two equally sized elongated shields. 12)Supralabials: Nine pairs of which the fifth and sixth pairs touch the eye. 13)Mental: Stereotype in form. 14)Infralabials: Six pairs of which the sixth is the largest. 15)Sublinguals: Anterioir and Posterior pairs equal in size and the Posterior pair is separated by 16)smaller scales. 17)Costals: Only the Ultimate row is enlarged. 18)Ventrals: 217 to 265 19)Anal Shield: Entire 20)Subcaudals: 74 to 97, divided.
Dentition: 01)Maxillary: 19 to 25 02)Palatine: 10 to 14 03)Pterygoid: 15 to 30 04)Mandibular: 22 to 30
Distribution: Mainly India and Sri Lanka . Also found in Nepal, Pakistan (Sind) and Bangladesh, Fairly common in the central hills of the island above 800m. Rarely recorded in the plains.
CeltickRanger, eqshannon, Xanthina, boreocypriensis, Mamagolo2, ohmshivam, bahadir has marked this note useful
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WOW ! impressive pose of this snake,
with the fine frontal POV, superbly focused
with great sharpness and details, TFS
As for the moment of capture I do not think there could be as better time. It is like the Tao of photography. Excellent work good doctor!
Perfect timing, amazing shot.
It's look very nervous. Look like molting time of snake... Great pic in every way. TFS...
woww.. Amazing capture MF Subhash! This is really something to be proud of. Stands out beautifully against its surroundings, you seem to have focused it well. Great work MF!
TFS and have a nice new week!
What a stunning action shot. Your timing was impeccable, congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
Impressive photo with excellent composition, wonderful colours and good sharpness.
I have only one word for this image is WOW.
Thank you very much for sharing excellent photo.
Hello Subhash again, another superb shot with great details and composition.
TFS and regards,