Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » December 22nd, 2013, 12:09 am

I found these two DORs on Friday two klicks from one another on different roads around the same mountain in Southwest Sarawak and couldn't ID them with any of my books. The red-bellied black one was about 30 cm long, the other one ca. four times that size.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Hans

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WW**
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by WW** » December 22nd, 2013, 6:17 am

The first one - pass.

Could the second one have been a juvenile Ptyas carinata? The transition from lighter crossbands to a reticulate pattern with black-edged light rectangles seems to fit quite nicely.

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Dr. Dark » December 22nd, 2013, 6:33 am

Hans, the first one looks like a juvenile Oligodon purpurascens, the maroon kukri snake, and the second a Ptyas (Zaocys) fuscus, the white-bellied rat snake.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Kelly Mc » December 22nd, 2013, 7:22 pm

Does anyone remember those little colubrids imported fairly abundantly in the early 90s, they called them at first "Indonesian Garter Snakes" sometimes "Chinese Garter Snakes" because they ate fish. Then they (the wholesale companies) started listing them as Indo or Chinese "rat snakes"

They were neat O but werent ever listed with their true genus name.

They had rusty orange to yellow suffusion coloring on head and neck. Does anybody remember those guys?

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Jeff
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Jeff » December 22nd, 2013, 7:43 pm

Does anyone remember those little colubrids imported fairly abundantly in the early 90s, they called them at first "Indonesian Garter Snakes" sometimes "Chinese Garter Snakes" because they ate fish. Then they (the wholesale companies) started listing them as Indo or Chinese "rat snakes"

They were neat O but werent ever listed with their true genus name.

They had rusty orange to yellow suffusion coloring on head and neck. Does anybody remember those guys?
Those were Amphiesma stolata

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Kelly Mc » December 22nd, 2013, 8:18 pm

Thanks Jeff - I always wanted to know that.

And now my bumbling non committal hint that the second snake might be one of those guys has been exposed. :mrgreen:

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » December 22nd, 2013, 8:34 pm

Thanks for your help, everyone! The pale one is indeed a young Ptyas carinata - I didn't realize it because I've only seen this species once before, also DOR.

Now, the second one seems to be a little trickier. A few hints point at Calamaria, but with almost thirty species on Borneo, and counting, this could be a new one. Of course, I wasn't able to take the specimen home, as I would have on any ordinary day, but I was on my way to a Little Honeymoon with my wife (the kids are climbing in Thailand for ten days) and had nothing on me in which to preserve the snake for three days...

But please, do keep guessing! :-)

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Kevin Messenger » December 23rd, 2013, 10:38 am

Kelly Mc wrote:Does anyone remember those little colubrids imported fairly abundantly in the early 90s, they called them at first "Indonesian Garter Snakes" sometimes "Chinese Garter Snakes" because they ate fish. Then they (the wholesale companies) started listing them as Indo or Chinese "rat snakes"

They were neat O but werent ever listed with their true genus name.

They had rusty orange to yellow suffusion coloring on head and neck. Does anybody remember those guys?
Could they not have been "Elaphe" (now Oocatochus) rufodorsata as well - the "Chinese garter snake" - which give live birth, and eat frogs, toads, fish, etc. But were placed in the ratsnake genus

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yoloherper
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by yoloherper » December 23rd, 2013, 11:36 am

Hans I've never been to Asia before, but the first snake looks like some sort of pipe snake, Calamaria or Macrocalamus. As you said though, there are quite a few species so I can't really help you further, but I think that you're on the right track.
Good luck!
-Elliot

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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Shane_TX » December 23rd, 2013, 8:55 pm

Calamaria was my thought on the first ones. For whatever reason that genus just sticks in the memory of a Farancia aficionado.

I was also going with Oocatochus on the trip down pet store lane. I remember seeing those guys at a local pet store with some regularity. I guess the selling crowd was finally hit with pricier snakes that managed to survive bad advice.

Hans, considering that you're in the area and asking questions here, I might as well lump one into your conscience;)

Please be on the lookout for the most unusual invert-eating snake that graces this planet. It's called Oreocalamus hanitschi and has no known convergent counterparts in the African or American tropics. It's a small snake that would go unnoticed unless you got bored enough to look for them on a road on a slow night. Tiny, but with a profile reminiscent of a blood python or gaboon viper but with more developed eyes...for its size. It's rarely known as a montane forest snake that definitely inhabits the mid elevation ranges. Possibly somewhat common but it's so damn small that you'd really have to look. And it doesn't autofill on google and there aren't any good pictures. My curiosity comes from the only good photo I know of in Inger's Sabah book. I think they're rarer in herping than Lanthanotus; and just as unusual from a snake standpoint :beer:

Shane

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Micha
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Micha » December 28th, 2013, 3:23 am

Hi Hans,

My best guess is Calamaria schlegeli. The tail pattern seems to fit, aswell as the head pattern. The white side line is present. They don't always have the red head.

Kind regards,
Micha

dendrelaphis
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by dendrelaphis » March 2nd, 2014, 10:13 am

Hi, the first is a Calamaria species, the second a Ptyas carinatus. all the best, Johan

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » March 2nd, 2014, 9:17 pm

dendrelaphis wrote:Hi, the first is a Calamaria species, the second a Ptyas carinatus. all the best, Johan
Thank you! What calamaria?

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Sam Bacchini
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by Sam Bacchini » March 3rd, 2014, 3:41 pm

Kevin Messenger wrote:
Kelly Mc wrote:Does anyone remember those little colubrids imported fairly abundantly in the early 90s, they called them at first "Indonesian Garter Snakes" sometimes "Chinese Garter Snakes" because they ate fish. Then they (the wholesale companies) started listing them as Indo or Chinese "rat snakes"

They were neat O but werent ever listed with their true genus name.

They had rusty orange to yellow suffusion coloring on head and neck. Does anybody remember those guys?
Could they not have been "Elaphe" (now Oocatochus) rufodorsata as well - the "Chinese garter snake" - which give live birth, and eat frogs, toads, fish, etc. But were placed in the ratsnake genus
That's what first came to mind for me, but I do remember when Amphiesma stolata were coming in. Very pretty snakes.

dendrelaphis
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Re: Help with two Borneo snake IDs please

Post by dendrelaphis » March 5th, 2014, 12:01 am

No idea what calamaria species it is, I have never seen it. (By the way, I can not exclude the possbility that it is a Pseudorabdion) Without morphological data, I think it's next to impossible to identify it. I guess this is still the most authoritative work on the genus:

INGER, R.E & H. MARX, 1965. The systematics
and evolution of the oriental colubrid
snakes of the genus Calamaria. Fieldiana Zoo I.
49: 1-304.

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