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Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)Printable Version


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


As hinted at the end of my tree frogs and cane toads article, here are the photographs I managed to capture of a common - or green - tree snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) which has just caught a red-eyed tree frog (Litoria chloris).

The funny thing is, this is a wild snake, but I was at Australia Zoo. These weren't taken while I was volunteering at Australia Zoo, rather, they were taken as a casual visitor, just before.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


My family and I were in the Eastern Grey kangaroo enclosure, resting at the base of a huge pile of boulders. The rocks themselves are not to be climbed by visitors (as they are a refuge for the macropods), and there are two large macadamia nut trees on top. Whilst we were sitting at the base enjoying lunch in the sweltering heat (full credit to the zoo for providing mist showers just outside that enclosure!) I heard what I thought was the sound of a branch falling into the dried leaves at the base of the trees.

A few moments later two of the zoo volunteers alerted us to the fact that the sound was actually a common tree snake striking a red-eyed tree frog. Fortunately I hadn't yet filled my camera and I was able to take quite a number of photographs from as little as a meter or so from the snake.

You can see in this photograph that this individual has the rarer blue colouration.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


Having removed the frog from the grasses at the base, the snake proceeded up the boulders. It was truly a magnificent sight to see this thread-thin reptile gracefully ascend the rock faces with consumate ease.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


Naturally, the snake spent the whole time with the frog in its mouth, never once relenting for fear of losing the prey.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


A long shot of the snake with the frog in its mouth. You can see its tail curled back around.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


This close up photo gives us a better look at the face of this colubrid snake. Interestingly, the snake seems to have an aggressive appearance. I noticed this too with the taipans (photos to come) at the zoo and one of the staff explained that the scale above the eye lends a shape which we - as relational humans - interpret with human expression of aggression.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


This snake really does have a relatively large eye, and a pointy little nose.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


Here you can see the stark contrast between the dark dorsal surface and the bright yellow lips and ventral surface.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


Here again the shape of the brow above the eyes lends a somewhat aggressive look. You can see the swollen throat as he begins to consume the frog and the brilliant blue is coming through between the scales. In Ken Griffiths' book on snakes and reptiles in the Sydney region he makes mention that when threatened the common tree snake will flash blue from between its scales.

Another interesting feature mentioned by Griffiths is that the snake is known for waving its head from side to side.


Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) - click to enlarge


This long shot gives a better idea of the size of the snake. This really was quite a small snake, barely thicker than my finger except for the larger python head. I would estimate the snake was no more than 2 foot (60cm) long.

Links to related information...

Comments - Make a comment
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No Subject
Posted on: 2007-05-09 04:22:10   By: Anonymous
 
Wow i loved those pictures, but it doesn't have a large python head cos it's not a python.
Thanks so much for posting the pictures though they are wonderful.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2007-05-09 04:34:17   By: Anonymous
     
    Hi!

    Thanks for commenting, and thanks for the "heads-up" :) The volunteers told me it was a green tree snake, and then in my research on the species I must have gotten confused with the green tree python. Oops :)

    Will fix!

    Chris.

    [Reply ]

Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)
Posted on: 2007-06-22 04:07:00   By: Anonymous
 
Hi,
My dog dragged a Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) onto our back deck, it was about 60cm long and very thin. It was dead when I found it there. Your pictures confirmed the type of snake for me, as I live in western Brisbane on acreage I wanted to confirm the type before I panicked too much. Thanks for the pictures.

[Reply ]

    Re: Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)
    Posted on: 2007-09-11 05:08:45   By: Anonymous
     
    Hi,

    we have a green tree snake which we see regularly in our garden, in North Rocks, Sydney. Are they poisonous?

    Cassie

    [Reply ]

      Re: Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)
      Posted on: 2007-09-11 05:14:15   By: admin
       
      Hi Cassie,

      You should treat all snakes in Australia as poisonous simply because so many of them *are* poisonous - and the harmful and harmless ones can be really difficult to tell apart.

      That said, I believe the green tree snake is not poisonous.

      Cheers,

      Chris.

      [Reply ]

the tree snake
Posted on: 2007-10-29 02:12:19   By: Anonymous
 
can u get better pictures on here next time thank you

[Reply ]

    Re: the tree snake
    Posted on: 2007-12-05 22:53:38   By: Anonymous
     
    I'll do my best. Feel free to contribute some photographs!

    [Reply ]

      Re: the tree snake
      Posted on: 2007-12-10 19:32:14   By: Anonymous
       
      My son just spotted a tiny one of these in our garden (near our frog-inhabited waterfall!), and your information was great to help us find out about these snakes. Thanks so much - and may I say what fantastic photos you have taken and shared!

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2008-05-22 11:34:23   By: Anonymous
 
st of quality and co high end swiss romain jeromE replicas

[Reply ]


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