Archive for the ‘Snakes’ Category

On the eve of Chinese New Year, we went to a location popular with cyclists to look for… Courtesans.. yeah we have not had enough of Courtesans.  But there were none.  However, we came across a very small but skilled practitioner of the Snake Boxing Wushu Style.

Tailed Jay Caterpillar

Tailed Jay Caterpillar

No bigger than 4cm and appearing to the early 5th instar of the Tailed Jay butterfly, this fiesty little green denizen shook its spiky head violently at ants that got in its green underskirt in an attempt to jab them with its tiny little horns on each side of its bulbous head.

Tailed Jay Caterpillar rearing its head complete with forked tongue

Tailed Jay Caterpillar rearing its head complete with forked tongue

When threatened by much larger animals if you breathed on it or happened to shake its leaves too much or if you decided to touch it, the little fellow will rear its head and stick out its forked tongue, trying to look like a 4cm long snake.Tailed Jay caterpillar3

Tailed Jay

Tailed Jay, Graphium agamemnon agamemnon

When minding about its own business, it moves like a leaf gently moving with the breeze.  When it is done with its multi-legged life, the caterpillar turns into the most beautiful green butterfly which very rarely ever stops for the photographer.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake!

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For all intents and purposes, it’s hard to imagine why a snake might fall on one’s head, considering how graceful, intelligent and poised these creatures are… unless you are prey.

I had the privilege of witnessing one of the members of the Genus Dendrelaphis or commonly known as Bronzebacks come cascading down like a deadly colourful ribbon on a skink amongst some large dead leaves.

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In spite of its length (very long snake… at the very least 1.5m), the Elegant Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis formosus) made no more than a light thwack when it hit the ground and before you could open your mouth to gawk, the tail of the skink was already curling around a corner of the snake’s jaws with the rest of it down its gullet.

Unlike some snakes which would sidle and slink away to the cover of the trees, this snake displayed an interesting curiosity, approaching the lens carefully, sliding under some leaves before raising its head high above the leaves, flicking its red tongue and wavering its long yellow neck.  It did this at several instances, in spite of my boots making considerable amount of noise amongst the leaves, approaching closer instead of backing away.

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Although I got a little hesitant when it got less than a metre away from me, it was hard not to be enraptured by its gaze and dance and took one last photo before letting it carry on on its merry way.