Common Bronzeback Tree Snake
Slender bodied snake having smooth scales. Head is distinctly broader than neck. Blunt snout and rounded. Large eye has round pupil. Tail long. Belly scales and under tail scales are keeled. Bronze-brown or purplish-brown coloration on back and have dark brown or black stripe on either side of the body. Indistinct black streak behind eyes. Underside is usually white gray or pale green. Young have a faint banded pattern that is lost in the first year. This species has dark blue tongue.
Length: 3.3ft to maximum 5.7 ft.
Scales in 15:15:11 or 9 oblique rows. Vertebral scales very slightly enlarged on neck. Ventrals 163-197, with sharp, notched lateral keel; anal divided; subcaudals 108-145, paired. Supralabials 9 (5th and 6thtouching eye); 1 pre-, 2 postoculars; temporals 2+2. Maxillary teeth 17-22, posterior usually smallest.
Habitat and Reproduction:
They are found in mudflats, estuaries and mangrove swamp habitats. Feeds on frogs, garden lizard, geckos and small birds. The species is oviparous and lay eggs in a clutch of 6- 8 around April in leaf piles, tree holes and rotting vegetation.
If cornered and threatened they will strike repeatedly and expand forebody to show light blue or white color at lower edge of each scale. They are non-venomous, so are not harmful to human.
This species is reported from peninsular India, Gujarat downwards and Northeastern India to Darjeeling. Not found above 2000m from sea level. Previously, absence was reported from Central India but recently first time common bronzeback tree snake is recorded from Chhattisgarh. Individuals of these species are recorded from Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve and Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary. Also distribution records are available from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Common Bronzeback Tree SnakeColubridae Dendrelaphis tristis