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
Striped Keelback (Xenochrophis vittatus) eating Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus)
Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Jalan Bahtera in compound of Sarimbun Scout Camp; 9 December 2014; around 1600 hrs.
Observation: A Striped Keelback of about 70 cm total length was found freshly dead and in the middle of swallowing an Asian Toad. The accompanying picture shows the anterior part of the dead snake with the hind limbs of the toad sticking out of its mouth.
Remarks: The Striped Keelback is an introduced species in Singapore where it inhabits rural and suburban areas. It is known to feed on frogs and small fishes (Baker & Lim, 2012: 114). The present observation confirms that it also eats toads. The cause of the snake’s death is unknown.
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 & Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore).
Striped Keelback (Xenochrophis vittatus)
Sungei Buloh, 23rd April 2014
This dying Striped Keelback was found on the road at the entrance to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve by Mohamed Bari. It’s likely that it was mortally wounded after getting run over by a passing motor vehicle.
It has been found that the genus Xenochrophis is not monophyletic, as the Striped Keelback is more closely related to other keelbacks of the genus Rhabdophis than it is to other Xenochrophis keelback species.