Twin-barred Tree Snake (Chrysopelea pelias)
Upper Peirce, 22nd May 2015

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Twin-barred Tree Snake (Chrysopelea pelias)
Upper Peirce, 31st May 2016

This photograph of a roadkilled Twin-barred Tree Snake was shared by Sankar Ananthanarayanan.

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  • Fig. 1. Dorsal view of Typhlops muelleri.
  • Fig. 2. Ventral view of Typhlops muelleri.
  • Fig. 3. Flattened and dried carcass of Boiga jaspidea.
  • Fig. 4. Flattened and dried carcass of Dasia grisea.
  • Fig. 5. Head of Dasia grisea carcass.

Photographs by Law Ing Sind

Dead White-bellied Blind Snake (Typhlops muelleri), Jasper Cat Snake (Boiga jaspidea), Brown Tree Skink (Dasia grisea) at Upper Peirce

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, access road to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park, off Old Upper Thomson Road; 27 August 2016; evening.

Observation: A juvenile Typhlops muelleri of about 10 cm total length (Figs. 1 & 2) was found dead in water in a drain. It is believed to have drowned. A male example of Boiga jaspidea of about 1 m total length (Fig. 3), and an adult Dasia grisea (Figs. 4 & 5) are both flattened and dried roadkills found plastered on the surface of the road. They have probably been dead for more than a day.

Remarks: The three species of reptile herein recorded are recognised as rare in Singapore. Boiga jaspidea and Typhlops muelleri are classified as ‘critically endangered’ while Dasia grisea is regarded as ‘endangered’ (Lim, 2008: 264-265).

All three specimens have been deposited at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore, with Boiga jaspi
dea
catalogued as ZRC 2.7225, Typhlops muelleri as ZRC 2.7226 and Dasia grisea as ZRC 2.7227.

Reference:

  • Lim, K. K. P., 2008. Checklists of threatened species – fishes, amphibians and reptiles. In: Davison, G. W. H., P. K. L. Ng & H. C. Ho (eds.). The Singapore Red Data Book. Threatened Plants & Animals of Singapore. Second edition. Nature Society (Singapore). p. 263-266.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2016: 145-146

Photograph by Nick Baker

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.

Reference:

  • 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.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 137

Fig. 1-6. Asthenodipsas laevis specimen (ZRC 2.7079) from Old Upper Thomson Road.
Fig. 1. Dorsal view of entire snake.
Fig. 2. Side view of colour pattern and scalation at mid-body.
Fig. 3. Dorso-lateral view of posterior including tail.
Fig. 4. Close-up of the underside of the tail showing the paired subcaudal scales.
Fig. 5. Side view of crushed neck and head.
Fig. 6. Underside of head, showing asymmetrical chin shields and absence of median furrow typical of the Pareatidae.
Photographs by Nick Baker

Second record of the Smooth Slug Snake (Asthenodipsas laevis) in Singapore

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Old Upper Thomson Road, near gate to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park; 8 January 2014, 0950 hrs.

Observation: An example of 33.6 cm total length (Fig. 1-6) was found on the road. It had clearly been run over by a vehicle – the head, body and tail were all crushed to varying degrees, and had become dessicated under the sun, such that there was no smell of decay.

Scale characteristics observed of the specimen are: 1 loreal; 6 supralabials with 3, 4 and 5 in contact with the eye, and the 6th nearly equal in length to the others; no preocular; 15 dorsals; 161 ventrals; 52 pairs of subcaudals; anal not divided.

Remarks: The present example may have been run over by a vehicle the previous evening, or even a few days before due to its dessicated state. It may have ventured onto the tarmac for warmth, or attempted to cross the road from one patch of secondary forest to another. The specimen has been deposited in the Zoological Reference Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore as ZRC 2.7079. Scale counts taken from the specimen agree with the information provided by Tweedie (1983: 38, as Pareas laevis) and Manthey & Grossmann (1997: 308, as Pareas laevis).

This is the second specimen of Aesthenodipsas laevis known from Singapore. It has been mentioned by Tan (2014) but without detailed information and the specimen was not illustrated. Lim (2009) found the first Singapore specimen in 1978 in a drain within the compound of the Singapore Zoo. Unfortunately that specimen, although kept, was misplaced and subsequently lost. The location of this second specimen lies some 4.2 km south-east from the first.

The Smooth Slug Snake specializes in eating terrestrial molluscs and is known to attain a maximum size of about 60 cm. It is distributed in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java (Manthey & Grossmann, 1997: 308, as Pareas laevis). Based on its size, the present specimen appears to be a young individual. Given that the species is found in territories around Singapore, it is most likely to be native there. We propose that its status in Singapore be updated from ‘indeterminate’ (Baker & Lim, 2012: 171) to ‘extant indigenous’.

References:

  • References:
    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 Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 180 pp.
  • Lim, F. L. K., 2009. Asthenodipsas laevis (Reptilia: Squamata: Pareatidae), a snake record for Singapore that was almost forgotten. Nature in Singapore. 2: 463–465.
  • Manthey, U. & W. Grossmann, 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Sudostasiens. Natur und Tier – Verlag, Berlin. 512 pp.
  • Tan, A., 2014. Researchers find two snake species new to Singapore. The Straits Times. Tuesday, 23 December 2014: Home, B2.
  • Tweedie, M. W. F., 1983. The Snakes of Malaya. Third edition. Singapore National Printers (Pte) Ltd. 167 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 337-338

Photograph by Nick Baker

Olive Tree Skink (Dasia olivacea) roadkill at Old Upper Thomson Road

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Old Upper Thomson Road, near junction of access road to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park; 10 April 2014; 1415 hrs.

Observation: The observer was driving northwards along Old Upper Thomson Road, when a lizard was seen running across the road. It had exited the State Land on the eastern side and was attempting to enter the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on the western side. Unexpectedly, it ran straight under the front offside wheel of the vehicle and was immediately crushed to death. The victim, an adult of about 17 cm total length, was retrieved and later photographed, before being deposited as a voucher specimen in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore. Most of the scales on its dorsum were abraded during the accident (see accompanying picture).

Remarks: The largely arboreal Olive Tree Skink is rarely seen in Singapore, being known only from forest at the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves, as well as on Pulau Ubin. It is regarded as an ‘endangered’ species in Singapore (Lim et al., 2008: 168).

Reference:

  • Lim, K. K. P., N. Baker, R. Teo & T. M. Leong, 2008. Reptiles. In: Davison, G. W. H., P. K. L. Ng & H. C. Ho (eds.). The Singapore Red Data Book. Threatened Plants & Animals of Singapore. Second edition. The Nature Society (Singapore). pp. 160-176.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 297