Equatorial Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana)
Bedok Reservoir, 3rd May 2016
This large Equatorial Spitting Cobra was found dead in the drain that runs along the stretch of Tampines Park Connector along Bedok Reservoir Road. The obvious head and spinal injuries suggest that it had been killed by someone, possibly struck repeatedly by a blunt object.
Fig. 2. View of original position of the snake in the phytotelma upon discovery.
Fig. 3. View of snake rearranged to feature head and severed part of the
Fig. 4. View of the dorsum of the snake rearranged within the phytotelma.
Fig. 5. View of the dorsum of the snake, with its head at the lowest point.
Photographs by Connor Butler
Carcass of Banded Malayan Coral Snake (Calliophis intestinalis) in a phytotelma
Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Windsor Nature Park, Venus Loop; 20 April 2017; 1000 hrs.
Observation: The anterior two-thirds of a dead Banded Malayan Coral Snake was found partially submerged in the phytotelma (Fig. 2). The posterior section of the snake’s body appeared to have been bluntly removed (Fig. 3). The remaining portion was 25 cm in length (Fig. 4 & 5).
Remarks: The incomplete carcass of the snake suggests that it had been partially eaten. As the Banded Malayan Coral Snake has semi-fossorial habits (see Baker & Lim, 2012: 116), its presence in the elevated phytotelma suggests that it was carried there. Possible predators include raptorial birds such as owls (see Chan, 2013), and
squirrels (see Ogilvie, 1958; Baker, 2017).
Baker, N., 2017. Slender Squirrel preying on gecko. Singapore Biodiversity Records. 2017: 54.
Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
Chan K. W., 2013. Pink-headed Reed Snake captured by Buffy Fish Owl. Singapore Biodiversity Records. 2013: 89.
Ogilvie, C. S., 1958. The Arrow-tailed Flying Squirrel Hylopetes sagitta (Linne). The Malayan Nature Journal. 12 (4): 149-152.
We were alerted to the cases of snake sightings (shown in the photos), and to our shock both were dead on arrival. Similarly the cobra (on the right) from another case at a different location was also dead on arrival. Even though we did not rule out the possibility of grass cutting machinery injuring the snakes, we often come across such situations where the snakes are dead either through trauma or other methods like hot water. Unfortunately, the individuals who called us were also not aware of what had happened to these animals.
We often face such situations, where concerned individuals call us to help, but there might be others at the scene who are not aware and hurt these animals purely out of fear. Please remember that these wild animals do not attack or bite unless provoked or handled in a wrong manner. They continue to adapt in urban environment and the best option is to leave them alone when sighted in green spaces, drains and canals.
Please help us share and spread the word about our native wildlife to prevent such incidents.
Please remember to call our 24hr wildlife rescue hotline 9783 7782 for assistance if you see any wild animal in distress.
Recent amphibians and reptiles observed at
Panti Forest Reserve, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia
Location: Bunker Trail, Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Kota Tinggi District, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia
Habitat: Lowland secondary dipterocarp forest and freshwater swamp-forest with shallow streams.
Date and time: 27 June 2016, 07:30-12:00hrs & 17:30-21:00 hrs.
Identity of subjects and descriptions of records: Malayan Krait, Bungarus candidus (Reptilia: Squamata: Elapidae), one roadkill adult found near the entrance of Bunker Trail in the early morning, Fig. 13.
Remarks: The records presented here summarize a recent rapid herpetofaunal survey (8 hours) of Panti Forest. Among the fourteen recorded species two reptiles, Aphaniotis fusca and Bungarus candidus, were not recorded during an overnight survey undertaken in 2002 (Lim & Leong, 2016), or by more extensive surveys conducted in
2006 and 2008 (Chan et al. 2010).
Chan K. O., Grismer, L.L., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K., Wood Jr., P.L., Grismer, J.L., Belabut, D. & Norhayati, A. (2010). Herpetofauna of Gunung Panti Forest Reserve, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Tropical Life Sciences Research. 21 (1): 71-82.
Lim, K. K. P. & Leong, T. M. (2016). Herpetofauna observed at Panti Forest Reserve, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Southeast Asia Vertebrate Records. 2016: 4-7.
King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) roadkill at Upper Peirce
Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, access road to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park from Old Upper Thomson Road; 2 July 2015; around 1310 hrs.
Observation: A juvenile example of about 65 cm total length was found dead and thoroughly flattened on the road.
Remarks: The present example, apparently a recent hatchling, was presumably run over by a vehicle while crossing the road from one patch of forest to another. It is not known if King Cobras in Singapore breed at specific times of the year, but from records collated by Lim et al. (2011), juveniles of around 60 cm were reported between March and August.
Lim, K. K. P., T. M. Leong & F. L. K. Lim, 2011. The King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Cantor) in Singapore (Reptilia: Squamata: Elapidae). Nature in Singapore. 4: 143-156.
Today (16th July) is World Snake Day! Here’s a selection of dead snakes I’ve encountered over the years here in Singapore. Most of these were roadkills, while a few were found on the Rail Corridor, back when the tracks were still in place and the trains were in operation along that stretch