Sri Lankan Flying Snake ( Chrysopelea taprobanica Smith, 1943 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Chrysopelea taprobanica (Smith, 1943)
Photographs: 
Sri Lankan Flying Snake (Chrysopelea taprobanica)
Distribution: 
Recorded from the Eastern Ghats ranges such as Seshachalam / Tirumala hills and Rishi Valley (Madanapalle hills) of Andhra Pradesh and Javvadhu / Jawadi hills of Tamil Nadu. More widespread and common in Sri Lanka. Historical records from near 'Madras' exists.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Can be identified by checking combination of following  characters: Arboreal habit, olive brown dorsal marked with black crossbands, head marked with yellow and black markings.
Taxonomically it can be differentiated from its closest species Ornate Flying Snake C. ornata by checking coloration (which is greenish-black in C. ornata) and last ventral which is not divided in C. taprobanica.

Description: 

Average length- 70cm.
Maximum length- 96cm.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 9; 4th to 6th in contact with eyes; loreal 1 or absent; preocular 1; postocular 2; anterior temporal 2+2.
Dorsal: 
Smooth or weakly keeled scales in 17: 19/17: 15/13 rows.
Ventral: 
198-214; more or less distinctly keeled; last ventral not divided.
Sub Caudal: 
106-123; paired.
Habitat: 
Dry and mixed deciduous forests and such thinly-wooded tracts in lower hill slopes and in the plains.
Natural History: 
Diurnal. Arboreal. Fast-moving snake. Alert and agile in habits.
Diet: 
Feeds mainly on lizards and nestling birds.
Bite symptoms: 

Mildly-venomous. Bite symptoms not known. Presumed to cause, mild pain and local swelling.

Threats: 
Habitat loss. Road kills recorded in India.
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