Bronze-back Tree Snake | Dendrelaphis tristis



Labels: Bronze-back Tree Snake, Lal-Dhaman
Binomial name: Dendrelaphis tristis
Common name: Bronze-back Tree Snake


Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Chordata

Class:

Reptilia

Order:

Squamata

Suborder:

Serpentes

Family:

Colubridae

Genus:

Dendrelaphis

Species:

D. tristis


Type: HARMLESS

Distinguishing Features: Medium-sized; quite slender; smooth scales; wide brown or bronze stripes from head to tail.

Average Length: 1 m; At Birth: 15 cm; Maximum: 1.5 m.

Description: Bronze-back Tree Snakes are pretty long and slender with flat heads and large eyes. Their sides are often dark brown or black in colour with a wide light bronze stripe down the centre of the back. The young ones often resemble the adults to a great extent, but have a faint banded pattern which disappears in the first year. Their underside is whitish, grey to light brown. There are in all 8 species of Bronze-backs in India, which are mostly found in the hills.

Distribution: They are found throughout India, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, up to 2000 m above sea level.

Habitat: Mainly this species is arboreal and occupy low bushes, thorn tree such as Acacia, Toddy palms and Palmyra.

Habits: They are diurnal and very active even during the hottest part of a summer day. Bronze-backs are very alert snakes and engage their neck and forebody in a ‘strange wavering dance’ while moving about or when disturbed. When manhandled, they strike and bite with quick jabs, but calms down after proper handling. Unlike other snakes these snakes don’t fear falling and regularly jump among branches and to the ground from heights of 10-20 m. They rarely seem to hide and are mostly found in the open.

Young: The female lays about 6 long thin eggs in a tree hole or old bird nest.

Food: They mainly feed on frogs and lizards. Also, it is not rare for this snake to hunt tree frogs and geckos in thatched roofs.

Status: Bronze-back Tree Snakes are very commonly found.

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