Common Vine Snake ( Ahaetulla nasuta Bonnaterre, 1790 )

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Scientific Name: 
Ahaetulla nasuta (Bonnaterre, 1790)
Regional Names: 
Green Vine Snake
Pesara paamu
ಹಸಿರು ಹಾವು, ಹಸಿರು ಬಳ್ಳಿ ಹಾವು
લીલવણ, માળણ
Typical green form. Nasik, Maharashtra.
Found in whole mainland including north-east states. Not found in Indian islands and Thar desert.
Venom Type: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Can be identified by checking following characters: 1) Very thin & long body & tail. 2) Green dorsal. 3) Leaf or arrow like head with very pointed snout. 4) It can be identified easily by checking very thin & long body & tail, green dorsal, leaf or arrow like head with very pointed snout. Horizontal pupil in eyes.


Dorsal body:
Thin, long and slender body. Scales smooth, long and obliquely arranged. Dorsal color parrot green or bluish-green; brown in variety isabellinus. Regular black interscale patterns present in oblique manner from neck to much of mid body.

Ventral body -
Belly entirely yellow-green without any pattern. Sometimes a white or yellow line separates dorsal and ventral surfaces. Subcaudal scales paired in a zigzag manner.

Head -
Head long, clearly broader than neck with extremely pointed snout. Upper lip color white or yellow. Oval shape eyes have horizontal pupils.

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

Supralabial 8; only one in contact with eyes; loreal absent; preocular 1; presubocular 1 or 2; postocular 2; temporal 1+2 or 2+2.
Smooth scales in 15: 5: 13 in oblique rows.
166-207; anal divided.
Sub Caudal: 
156-180 (Male), 135-152 (Female); paired.
Choose dense bushes and plantation to stay at a place without showing any movement. Hides in dense green vegetation of low height. Found both in hills and plains. Lives in variety of forests including mixed, dry and moist deciduous forests. Not found in deserts.
Natural History: 
Green Vine Snake is a diurnal and arboreal species which shows activity throughout the day at low to moderate heights. Rarely seen on ground. Locomotion fast in arboreal environment while slow on land. Behaviour shy and usually non-offensive. On threatening it throws half of fore body into loops or curvs, laterally inflates it and open its mouth as wide as possible to look fascinating and bigger. Can bite in chew manner. Also it has been observed that it sometimes try to target eyes or face of the person causing provocation. Due to its thin body and green color it can easily vanish in green bushes. It is assumed to be capable in mating for most of the year. Female directly gives birth to 23 (maximum) young in dense bushes from monsoon to most of winters.
Feeds on variety of prey including lizards, birds, frogs, other snakes including venomous ones, rodents etc.
Threats includes killing due to confusion & misidentification with venomous species and usually due to myths. More threats are loss of dense vegetation, low height plantation, road kills etc.
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