Showing posts with label Indonesia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indonesia. Show all posts

Friday, March 11, 2011

A New Snake From Indonesia

Boiga jaspidea, Borneo
An estimated 400 species of known snakes occur in Indonesia and this number has remained relatively stable during the past few decades, because little work has been done in this collection of islands and very few herpetologists are working in Indonesia. This situation has changed. The genus Boiga (sometimes called cat snakes) contains 32 to 35 species depending upon who is doing the counting. The genus is widely distributed in Southeast Asia and composed of mostly medium to large-sized snakes that feed on birds and small mammals. Boiga. dendrophila (sometimes called the Mangrove Snake) has numerous but distinctive subspecies, a rare case for Southeast Asian herpetofauna and it is unclear if this is a widespread species or a complex of species. Widespread species are relatively uncommon in Southeast Asia because of the regions complex geological history that has imposed and removed barriers to gene flow over time. Gilang Ramadham and colleagues have discovered a snake similar in morphology to Boiga cynodon (Boie, 1827). However, It differs from cynodon in several ways, it is only half of the size of B. cynodon , has a higher number of dorsal scales, a lower number of ventral and subcaudals and has a very fine postorbital stripe. The new snake, Boiga hoeseli inhabits the Nusa Tenggara Islands of Indonesia and the type locality is Flores. The new snake is named after J. K. P. van Hoesel author of the first guide book to Java snakes.

Citation
Ramadhan, Gilang; Djoko T. Iskandar and Dadang R. Subasri. 2010. New Species of Cat Snake (Serpentes: Colubridae) Morphologically Similar to Boiga cynodon from the Nusa Tenggara Islands, Indonesia. Asian Herpetological Research 1 (1): 22-30.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Predator and Prey: Reticulated Pythons and Humans

Reticulated Pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus) inhabit South and Southeast Asia and they are the longest snake alive today. Humans are attacked and eaten by these super predators and in Indonesia and Sarawak (Malaysia) there are 20 reasonably reliable cases known in the last 150 years. Ruud de Lang reports that this is an underestimate of reality because many cases of Reticulated Python predation on humans remain known only at the local level. He investigated several incidents. As is often the case, food webs are more complex that first thought, and humans do prey upon and eat Reticulated Pythons. He notes the difficult in deciding why the Reticulated Pythons attacked humans. They may have been accidental encounters that resulted in a defensive attack or a hungry snake waiting in ambush for a prey. Large Reticulated Pythons are strong and a single person is no match for a snake that is 3 m long or more.


Citation
De Lang R., 2010. The Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus) and man (Homo sapiens) Eat Each Other: Animals , Enjoy Your Meal! Litteratura Serpentium 30(4):254-269.