Scientific classification

Ahaetulla is a genus of colubrid snakes commonly referred to as vine snakes, or whip snakes. They are found predominantly from Sri Lanka, India through to Korea and much of southeast Asia, including many Pacific islands. They are mildly venomous and what is commonly termed as 'rear-fanged' or more appropriately, opisthoglyphous, meaning their enlarged teeth or fangs intended to aid in venom delivery are located in the back of the upper jaw, instead of in the front like they are in vipers or cobras.

Species Edit

The taxonomy of vine snakes is not well documented, and literature varies widely, but there are 8 commonly accepted species in the genus Ahaetulla:

File:Ahaetulla prasina2.jpg

Description Edit

All Ahaetulla species are characterized by thin, elongated bodies, with extremely long tails and a sharply triangular shaped head. They are primarily green in color, but can vary quite a bit to yellows, oranges, greys, and browns. They can have black and/or white patterning, or can be solid in color. Their eyes are unique in the reptile world, having keen binocular vision and keyhole shaped pupils.

Behavior Edit

They are primarily diurnal and arboreal, living in humid rainforests. Their diet consists mainly of lizards, but sometimes frogs and rodents are also consumed. Ahaetulla fronticincta, however, feeds exclusively on fish, striking its prey from branches overhanging water. Ahaetulla venom is not considered to be dangerous to humans, but serves to cause paralysis in their fast moving prey choices. They are ovoviviparous.

File:Ahaetulla prasina3.jpg

In captivity Edit

Ahaetulla species are frequently imported into the exotic pet trade. They are difficult to care for, requiring a humid arboreal habitat and a diet of lizards as they rarely switch to rodents. They also stress easily, are prone to skin infections, and internal parasites.

References Edit

External links Edit

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