Friday, March 13, 2009

Elaphe porphyracea nigrofasciata

Elaphe porphyracea nigrofasciata is a rat snake species that is mainly found in upland forest in Hong Kong which gives its common name, Red Mountain Racer. It is described as crepuscular but most of the individuals were found in the daytime. According to Karsen et. al. (1998), the snake is considered to has a timid and docile disposition. However, this individual attempted to bite vigorously when it was discovered and handled. It is not as docile as expected.

It is interesting to know that the whole body of a snake is covered with scales, including its eyes. Snakes do not have eyelids while its eyes are covered with a transparent scale called spectacle. This structure will turn cloudy when the snake is ready to shed its skin off, causing the snake temporarily blind!

Karsen S, WN Lau and A Bogadek. 1998. Hong Kong Amphibians and Reptiles. The Provisional Urban Council, Hong Kong.

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