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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  10:51:57  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tonight after midnight we heard a noise just outside our front door. I opened the door to notice that the plastic trash can there had had its lid knocked off. I presumed the resident rat had done that. Then I saw a small, black critter in front of me, and I drew back my cane, ready to strike out. But it was my Chihuahua, Missy.

Missy rushed away from my front door into the middle of the carport, and seemed to have something at bay there. I figured "rat" once again, in my one-track mind. But it was a snake, a small one, coiled, hiss-coughing and making striking motions. I told Missy to "leave it!" and rushed to get my camera. Bim came out with me this time and began loudly (and instinctively) demanding the death of the little snake. Instead, I took some rather amateurish flash photos.



Dog Defying Mystery Serpent of the South Seas.

I take this little snake (about a foot, foot-and-a-half long) to be of genus Dendrelaphis, but I have no idea of the species. If it's indeed a Dendrelaphis, then it's probably a nonvenomous frog-eater.

Maybe Filthy can tell us more?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 09/01/2010 20:19:08

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  11:16:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Filthy's the expert, so I'll defer to his opinion. But a simple search for "snakes of the Philippines" uncovered this website (with photos). Looks like a Dendrelaphis to me.

Common Treesnakes, Genus Dendrelaphis spp.

These snakes have a number of characteristics that aid in identification and comparison with other snakes likely to be found in the region. These include a slender body, relatively large head and eyes, alert behavior, defensive strategy of inflating the neck and anterior body vertically when excited, exposing a lighter skin coloration between the scales that may include blue or black spots, and unicolor olive green to dark blue/black coloration with or without a conspicuous dorsal stripe. These harmless racer-like snakes are encountered on the ground or in vegetation when active in daylight hours, or on low vegetation when sleeping at night. Dendrelaphis species are native to a broad area spanning Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and approaching the Central Pacific Region as far east as Palau. A green-colored species of the genus was captured in Saipan several years ago and was thought to have arrived as a stowaway in construction materials arriving from the Philippines. This beautiful snake is a predator of lizards and frogs and poses no threat to man. It should be protected from being killed within its native range.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  12:24:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think y'all have nailed it, and can make no better an ID. Kind of a pretty, little guy, isn't he?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  12:41:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speaking of snakes in the night, me and the missus were out running the other evening in our local forest. The sun had set some time previously and it was getting fairly dark. At one point I hear a rustling sound emanating from the grass just next to the path (and right next to me). Looking down I see a rather long rattle snake making it's way into the undergrowth. I must have been less than a foot away from stepping on it. Unlike the last one I almost stepped on, this one didn't use it's rattle. Exciting, eh?

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  16:50:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Speaking of snakes in the night, me and the missus were out running the other evening in our local forest. The sun had set some time previously and it was getting fairly dark. At one point I hear a rustling sound emanating from the grass just next to the path (and right next to me). Looking down I see a rather long rattle snake making it's way into the undergrowth. I must have been less than a foot away from stepping on it. Unlike the last one I almost stepped on, this one didn't use it's rattle. Exciting, eh?

Depending upon what part of Canada you live in, your buzzworms were either the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotaluis h. horridus),



the Eastern or Western Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus or S. c. edwardsi respectivly). The Eastern is pictured and is little different from it's Western cousin.



Or the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus v. viridis)



I have kept and presented all but the Eastern 'Sauga, which is federally protected in the U.S. The timbers were the easiest to get along with, usually having very mild dispositions.

Edited to change an illustration.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 09/01/2010 16:55:59
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2010 :  20:56:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

I think y'all have nailed it, and can make no better an ID. Kind of a pretty, little guy, isn't he?

It sure was. Though I could see little more than its skinny silhouette in the darkness of midnight with my naked eyes, the flash photos did reveal a sort of beautifully metallic olive drab hide on the little critter. I begin to see why you likes them herps, Fil.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  06:49:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by filthy

I think y'all have nailed it, and can make no better an ID. Kind of a pretty, little guy, isn't he?

It sure was. Though I could see little more than its skinny silhouette in the darkness of midnight with my naked eyes, the flash photos did reveal a sort of beautifully metallic olive drab hide on the little critter. I begin to see why you likes them herps, Fil.

Delighted to hear it, but be very careful what you pick up (if you get as crazy with it as I am). A juvie King cobra is an attractive serpent as well and they have a relatively slender hood. Mistakes can be made. The Philippines have a lot of really marvelous herps, hot and not. The best way to catch them is with a camera.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  07:28:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
filthy,

Looking on the web, it would seem that it was a Western rattle snake (aka Crotalus oreganus oreganus, Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Diamond Back Rattle Snake, Pacific Rattlesnake, Black Rattlesnake, Western Black Rattlesnake, Western Rattler, Black Diamond Rattlesnake, Confluent Rattlesnake, Southern Rattlesnake, Great Basin Rattlesnake, Hallowell's Rattlesnake, Pacific Rattler, and Black Snake).



From the Ministry of Environment and Parks website:
One of the most noteworthy habits of rattlesnakes, particularly where winters are cold, is their use of communal dens for hibernation. Twenty-four dens which were studied near Vernon contained from 8 to 266 rattlesnakes per den.


Vernon is my neck of the woods and the article in question was about the Western rattle snake, which makes me think that I might have gotten the species right.

Western Rattlesnakes are unique in being the only venomous (poisonous) snakes in British Columbia (apart from the mildly venomous Night Snake, which is not believed to be harmful to humans). In recent years, however, the average number of people bitten has been only three or four per year, and only one of 63 bites was fatal. Many bites are a result of foolish behaviour around rattlesnakes and could be avoided.


I take comfort in that they only inject poison in 1 out of 10 bites (at least that is what it says on the message board near the park entrance).

P.S.
Just to add to the list of dangerous creatures around here, I ran into an acquaintance yesterday whose husband had, some weeks previously, been bitten or scratched by an unidentified bat. He had had to get the full set of rabies shots. It's sort of funny when it doesn't happen to you.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  09:16:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's C. v. Viridis. It's often called the Western Rattlesnake, and common names suck. They are wrong about the Great basin Rattler. It is one of the nine viridis subspecies, C.V. lutosus. The Western Rattlesnake is another common name for the Prairie. I like the Great Basin and it is another that I have kept. Some of them look almost silvery.



As you can see, it has the same general markings as it's close relative. All of the Viridis Complex are the pretty much same. I've found them to be quite flighty; either running of getting ready to fight when approached. Neat, noisy snakes!

There is currently some argument as to whether the various subspecies are really no more than local color variations of C. v. viridis. Happily, I am not involved in that.

Don't take that dry bite percentage too seriously. Of all the hot hits I've had, only one was dry and I think another was a low yield bite (Eastern Diamondback [Crotalus adamanteous]in the field that had just fed).

Here's another pretty viridis, the Hopi Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis nuntius). It is commonly used in certain Indian ceremonies, making our Christian snake handlers look like bunch of johnny-come-latelys.



Oh, and before I forget it, the Black Rattlesnake is simply a melinistic version of any of several viridis and is fairly common, as it is in many species.

Now don't you wish that you and 'mooner hadn't got me going on this?






"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 09/02/2010 09:30:14
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  09:43:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by filthy

I think y'all have nailed it, and can make no better an ID. Kind of a pretty, little guy, isn't he?

It sure was. Though I could see little more than its skinny silhouette in the darkness of midnight with my naked eyes, the flash photos did reveal a sort of beautifully metallic olive drab hide on the little critter. I begin to see why you likes them herps, Fil.

Delighted to hear it, but be very careful what you pick up (if you get as crazy with it as I am). A juvie King cobra is an attractive serpent as well and they have a relatively slender hood. Mistakes can be made. The Philippines have a lot of really marvelous herps, hot and not. The best way to catch them is with a camera.

Oh, don't worry, Fil, I won't be handling snakes, even pretty ones. I was quite cautious even with this harmless-seeming specimen. When it came time to herd the feller out of the gate (which I did much more for his protection from Bim than vice versa), I did so with gentle nudgings with my cane, at more than arm's length.

There are supposed to be three whole classes of venomous snakes here in the Philippines, including pit vipers and two species of cobras, and I have no idea what most of them look like. If it had been, for instance, a juvenile cobra of some kind, I think I stayed safe from a strike, which is only done by cobras at a 45 degree downward angle (so I think I heard). If it had been a venom-spiting baby cobra, well, I was at least wearing glasses.

Hey, I read yesterday somewhere that all snakes are venomous, and that only the strength and quality of the venom varies (as well as the fang arrangements). Is that so, Filthy?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  11:32:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, I read yesterday somewhere that all snakes are venomous, and that only the strength and quality of the venom varies (as well as the fang arrangements). Is that so, Filthy?

Well, it is and it ain't. All snakes have a saliva that contains certain enzymes and proteins that aid in digestion and might or might not slow down small prey. Often they are hemorrhagic, making a bite a lot messier than it needs to be. Water and Garter snakes are good examples. The same holds for all reptiles except turtles.

But as that goes, all creatures that have salivary glands could be considered venomous, including me and thee. The difference is in the delivery system. True hot snakes deliver their venom from a modified salivary gland known as Duvernoy's Organ by injection through fangs of varying efficiency. None of the others are medically significant, at least to ourselves, and many of the hot ones will give little more than some local discomfort.

That "all snakes are venomous" business is just an excuse for shitheads to kill snakes.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  14:20:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy
Neat, noisy snakes!

As opposed to the one we saw the other night, the previous one I almost stepped on did use it's rattle. I was quite surprised when it didn't really sound like I thought it would (i.e. a rattle), but more like a big flying insect REALLY flapping it's wings.

Now don't you wish that you and 'mooner hadn't got me going on this?


No. I actually learned something useful. Like: if I ever get bitten by one of these creatures, I can't really count on it not injecting venom into me. That's great comfort.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  16:06:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Rattler's rattle is most effective at a certain length, usually somewhere between 12 and 16 segments. Shorter than that and there is not enough of it to make a lot of noise; much longer and inertia slows it down and thus makes it quieter.

Of course, the size of the snake is a factor as well.

The tail has a specialized muscle that has a huge blood supply, allowing the snake to buzz for hours if it has to.

The Santa Catalina Rattlesnake (Crotalus catalinensis) and a couple of other islanders have no rattle but a mere button at the tail tip.






"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2010 :  20:58:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The timber rattler used to occur here in Ontario, but it's been extirpated. I believe the last report was from the Niagara gorge sometime in the thirties.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  06:20:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I once heard that the most deadliest snake in the world is the "Ten Step Viper". It's so deadly if your bitten, your dead before you can take ten steps! The only possible way to survive is, as soon as your bitten, sit down right away and wait for help to carry you to the hospital. SS

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2010 :  11:29:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sailingsoul

I once heard that the most deadliest snake in the world is the "Ten Step Viper". It's so deadly if your bitten, your dead before you can take ten steps! The only possible way to survive is, as soon as your bitten, sit down right away and wait for help to carry you to the hospital. SS

Yes, I've heard that a number of times -- there was a three-stepper in Vietnam, species yet to be identified. And it has been said that the best antivenin for an African Puff Adder bite is an hatchet. Merely more of the snake myths that have been around since the dawn of sapience, although the Puffy cure has been done on more than one occasion. I like Puffs; they are just so ornery and beautiful.

I do not like to try and ID the "deadliest" snake simply because with any given situation there are so many variables. What is the human density within the species' range; has the snake fed recently; is the victim very young or old, in good or poor health, and so forth. The hottest venom belongs to the various Sea Snakes, whereas the aforementioned Puff Adder is by far more dangerous to humans than they. Indeed, by comparison, Sea Snakes are pretty innocuous.

I think that the most dangerous, hot snakes are the ambush predators, such as, once again, the Puff Adder. These guys often won't get out of the way and are too often stepped on with predictable results. The same holds with our more familiar Rattlesnakes. They store a lot of venom and it is pretty powerful.

Equally as interesting are the more-or-less aborial Bush Vipers, such as the lovely, Central American Eyelash Viper. Bites from these little guys are a serious business, as they are highly neurotoxic.



I'll tell you a story -- it's unconfirmed but it could well have happened.

Fella was walking on a path through the brush one evening, going home from work. The ancient urge to shake the dew off the lily came upon him and he stepped off the trail to relieve it. Guess where he got whacked.....

And to add hilarity to injury, the Eyelash is a pit viper and the bite is said to have been a feeding strike.

The world of venomous animals, especially serpents, is an amazing and wondrous place to be.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 10/05/2010 11:38:48
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