CHIN'S NATURE CORNER ~ PHOTO GALLERY ~ LIZARDS AND SNAKES
Lizards and snakes
FROM MY FEW encounters with lizards, I have learnt that these creatures are more afraid of humans
than we are of them. Despite their fearsome looks, they will
flee at the approach of humans. But like most people, I am really, really scared of snakes.
The sight of one slithering by sends shivers down my spine. Fortunately for me, snakes are mostly
nocturnal in habit and I don't often encounter them on my day-time jaunts into
the jungle. So there are only a few snakes that I have captured on film. I have included two
snakes in this section, one of which I saw eating a lizard.
Gonocephalus species (Family Agamidae)
Agamids are tree lizards which feed mainly on insects, and they can often be seen
clinging onto tree trunks. Many species look fearsome because of the row of
sharp spines along their back. They are in fact quite timid and will scamper up the tree
at the sight or sound of a human approaching it. These lizards were photographed
in a secondary forest not far from Kuala Lumpur.
The Green Crested Lizard (Calotes cristatellus) ~
This lizard species is commonly found in secondary growth, at the forest fringe and
also in agricultural areas, especially if they are situated near a forest. They
can be seen quite frequently in rural or suburban gardens, perched on a fence or
a post like the specimen at far right. When frightened, it can change
its colour to brown or dark grey. However, it is not a chameleon which is
not found east of India.
The Oriental Whip Snake
(Ahaetulla prasina) ~
This is a common snake that is native to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. I found
this specimen, which was about one metre (yard) long, "strung over" a cactus beside
a rural path, perhaps warming itself in the late afternoon sunshine. The species can
grow up to two metres, and feeds mainly on small birds and lizards.
The location was an agricultural area in Beruas, in the state of Perak, and the cactus, a non-native
species, had probably been planted as an ornamental.
Snake Captures Flying Lizard ~ Some movement caught my attention as I was
trekking through a secondary forest, armed with a camera. I walked closer and
caught sight of this snake trying to eat a lizard as its victim was
struggling and repeatedly jerking its body. The victim was a flying lizard
(Draco species), a species quite common in that forest not far from Kuala Lumpur.
In this picture, the flaps of skin, or patagia, which aid the species
in gliding, can be seen partly extended from the lizard's body. I took
several pictures and left the snake to continue with its meal. Several days
later I passed by the spot and found the carcass of a lizard, possibly the same
specimen. So perhaps the snake (possibly a Painted Bronzeback, Dendrelaphis pictus)
had not manage to swallow what it had caught.