East Asian Ornate Chorus Frog

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East Asian Ornate Chorus Frog (Microhyla fissipes)
Windsor Nature Park, 9th May 2017

East Asian Ornate Chorus Frog

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East Asian Ornate Chorus Frog (Microhyla fissipes)
Windsor Nature Park, 9th May 2017

  • 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
    body.
  • 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).

References:

  • 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.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2017: 71-72

Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus)
Island Club Road, 14th March 2017

This very young Clouded Monitor was seen near the entrance of Island Club Road. It had most likely been run over by a passing vehicle.

Whether the Clouded Monitor is a subspecies of the Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) or a distinct species is still a matter of some debate; some sources still lump the two of them together.

Fig. 1. Right side of the python’s head showing the extent of tick infestation.
Fig. 2. Left side of the python’s head showing the extent of tick infestation.
Fig. 3. Underside of the python’s head showing the extent of tick infestation.
Photographs by Law Ing Sind

A tick-infested Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus)

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, stream along Venus Trail; 14 August 2014, 1008 hrs.

Observation: A Reticulated Python of about 1.2 m total length was found dead in the stream with its head under water. The snake was emaciated and had a total of 14 ticks (F. Ixodidae) of various sizes (between 7 and 18 mm), many bloated with blood, on its head; mainly on the lower jaw. In addition, an unidentified worm-like organism of about 5 cm, probably a parasitic nematode, crawled out from the mouth of the python.

Remarks: The Reticulated Python is relatively common in Singapore (Baker & Lim, 2012: 91, as Broghammerus reticulatus), and most of these snakes have ticks on them. However, the present specimen had an unusually large number of ticks, concentrated largely along the lower jaw. The cause of death is unknown, but the emaciated condition of the snake suggests that it may have starved. The ticks could have contributed to their host’s demise by placing an intense amount of weight and obstruction on the lower jaw, thus making it difficult for the snake to feed. The python may even have succumbed to possible toxic salivary secretions injected into its bloodstream by the ticks (see Court & Wang, 2011). The nematode seems to suggest that the snake had a high parasitic load in its digestive tract, but this was not investigated.

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 Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
  • Court, D. J. & L. K. Wang, 2011. Ticks. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (eds.). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet and the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore. p. 483.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 253-254