Saturday, September 12, 2015

Taiwan Habu or Brown Spotted Pit Viper 龜殼花

Yesterday morning I almost stepped on a snake accidentally which was on the pavement in front of our house. It crawled away before I could run to get the tongs to capture it. I didn't have my glasses on, so didn't get a clear look. We figured it may have been a harmless cat snake  大頭蛇 although I clearly made out the triangular head shape.

The snake made its second public appearance this afternoon and was quickly captured by my in-laws. After closer inspection we know it to be a highly-venomous Brown-Spotted Pit Viper 龜殼花 ! (Pardon me for not removing it from the jar for a clearer picture):

You can read more about this fearless snake here and  here.

In trying to learn exactly how poisonous this "highly venomous" snake is, this abstract says it along with another snake "accounts for the majority of venomous snakebites in Taiwan." It is also "associated with a greater risk of severe clinical events, and monitoring for major clinical complications would be recommended."

Today they also captured this much longer Big-Eyed Rat snake 過山刀, which  is harmless:
Actually, this face shot almost makes it look cute!