Common Bronzeback Tree Snake ( Dendrelaphis tristis Daudin, 1803 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Dendrelaphis tristis (Daudin, 1803)
Regional Names: 
Kannada: 
ಕಂಚುಬೆನ್ನಿನ ಹಾವು, ಮರದ ಹಾವು
Gujarati: 
Tamra pith, Reliyo
Malayalam: 
Villa pamb, Villoni pamb
Marathi: 
Ruka
Tamil: 
Komberi mukkan, Maram pamb
Telugu: 
Mann pamu, Goobra
Gujarati: 
તાંબાપીઠ
Photographs: 
Full Body Description. Buldana, Maharashtra
Distribution: 
All over the country excluding North-east states after Sikkim; also not found in Indian islands. Also found in Pakistan.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Very long and thin body usually looks white from lateral side; predominently brown dorsal body with blue scales on the edge of fore bodyside. A rounded whitish spot or dot present in between two parietal scales which is absent in other BronzebackIt can be easily identified by checking a rounded whitish spot on the top of head, very thin body which shows sky blue dots on dorsal surface and most of the side dorsal & belly of yellowish-white color. s.

Description: 

New born- 15cm.
Average length- 100cm.
Maximum length- 169cm.

Dorsal -
Body thin, long, covered with smooth scales. Scales arranged in oblique manner with top row along vertebra larger than adjacent dorsals. Color chocolate brown mixed with purple; having sky blue color on lower edge of fore and mid body scales which are best visible when snake is in alert or aggressive position.

Ventral -
Belly scales sharply folded upwards. Color yellowish-white or greenish-white which extends to first two dorsal rows also. Subcaudal scales with olive tint of yellow or brown color.

Head -
Head flattened, elongated and clearly broader than neck. Upper lip yellowish-white. A clear rounded whitish spot present on the middle of top which equally covers both parietal scales. This characterstic is found only in this species of Bronzeback and quite helpful to identify quickly. Large eyes with rounded pupils. Tongue color bluish-gray.

Tail -
Very long and thin tail of bronze, brown or blackish- brown color which ends with a pointed tip. Subcaudal scales paired in a zigzag manner.

Scalation
Head: 
9 supralabials, 5th & 6th in contact with eyes; 1 preocular; 1 loreal; 2 postocular; temporal 2+2.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15: 15: 11/9 rows; obliquely arranged.
Ventral: 
163-197; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
108-145; paired.
Habitat: 
Hides in tree holes, rock gaps at heights, dense bushes etc. Lives both in dense and open forests (mixed and dry deciduous forest), vegetation of moderate height, undisturbed gardens etc.
Natural History: 
Common Bronzeback is a diurnal and arboreal species which mainly shows activity from low to moderate heights during whole day. Locomotion very fast in both arboreal and terrestrial environment. Behavior alert, very quick and usually try to escape when threatened in its natural environment. Usually non-offensive but on threatening it laterally inflates much of fore body to show blue edge of most of the dorsal scales, sometimes open its mouth to look larger. Reproduction oviparous. Lays upto 8 eggs in heights mainly in tree holes, under dense leaf litters, cracks etc. New born usually seen from monsoon to starting of winters.
Diet: 
Feeds mainly on lizards and frogs. Also takes small rodents and bird chicks.
Threats: 
Major threats are habitat destruction because this species lives mainly in dense vegetation. Road kill mortality is another cause. As this species avoids direct contact with human beings, intentional killing and threatening are not much effective threats.
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