Brown Vine Snake ( Ahaetulla pulverulenta Duméril & Bibron, 1854 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Ahaetulla pulverulenta (Duméril & Bibron, 1854)
Regional Names: 
Kannada: 
ಕಂದು ಬಳ್ಳಿ ಹಾವು
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in Western Ghats up to Gujarat; whole of Eastern Ghats; also found in West Bengal. Also found in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Venom Type: 
N/A
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Can be easily identified by checking following characters: 

Very long & thin body & tail.

Brown dorsal body patched with dark brown or blackish spots.

Very thin snouted head of arrow or leaf like appearance.

Horizontal pupil in eyes.Can be easily identified by checking very long & thin body & tail, brown dorsal patched with dark brown or blackish spots and very thin snouted head of arrow or leaf like appearance.

Description: 

Average length- 100cm.
Maximum length- 173cm.

Dorsal -
Thin, long and slender body. Scales smooth, long and obliquely arranged. Dorsal color grayish with dark brown or blackish spots or obliquely arranged markings in much of dorsal body.

Ventral -
Belly dark gray-brown powdered with black. Subcaudal scales paired in a zigzag manner.

Head -
Head long, clearly broader than neck with extremely pointed snout. A long rhomboidal mark of dark brown color present on the top; one thick, dark brown stripe pass through eyes. Oval shape eyes have horizontal pupils.

Tail -
Very long, thin and slender; ends with pointed tip.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 8; only one in broad contact with eyes; loreal absent; preocular 1; presubocular 1 or 2; postocular 2; temporal 1+2.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15: 5: 13 in oblique rows.
Ventral: 
182-203 (India); anal divided or rarely entire
Sub Caudal: 
169-208 (India); paired.
Habitat: 
Found in moderate and high elevations of peninsular Indian hills. Lives in mixed and dry deciduous forests.
Natural History: 
Brown Vine Snake is a diurnal and arboreal species which shows activity throughout the day at low to moderate heights. Rarely seen on ground. Choose dense bushes and plantation to stay at a place without showing any movement. Hides in dense vegetation of low height. Locomotion fast in arboreal environment while slow on land. Behaviour shy, elusive and usually non-ofensive. On threatening it throws half of fore body into loops or curvs, laterally inflates it and open its mouth to look fascinating and bigger. Can bite in chew manner. Reproduction ovoviviparous.
Diet: 
Feeds on lizards, frogs, other snakes, rodents, birds etc.
Threats: 
Threats including killing due to confusion & misidentification with venomous species and usually due to myths. More threats are loss of dense vegetation, road kills etc.
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