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Paul T

Show us your snakes and crocs etc...

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johnweir

In July 2016 I captured the attached images of an African Puff Adder in Ruaha N.P. Over the years I have seen several specimens but never one with this striking ( no pun intended ) colouration. Usually the body blotches have been grey or brown, and generally the snakes have had a rather dull appearance. The images clearly show that this specimen has ruby red to almost purple blotches. The images are unaltered, as seen. I am also fairly sure the snake had recently sloughed. Am I right to assume this is a colour variation of the nominate species/subspecies B. a. arietens. Experts out there please help. Thank you in anticipation.

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Dan

Thanks @@Ben mosquito! I didn't actually hear back, but I think it is one of the green snakes, probably a Spotted Bush Snake, Philothamnus semivariegatus.

 

 

Hi @@johnweir, it would be the Bitis arietans arietans. The other subspecies, Bitis arietans somalica occurs further north (Northern Kenya, Eastern Ethiopia, Somalia) and can be identified by having keeled subcaudal scales (i.e. the scales beneath the tail).

 

Puff adders can vary a lot in colour, even from the same location. Male Puff Adder from Naivasha (captive):

post-48010-0-65730900-1478979941_thumb.jpg

 

Female Puff Adder from Naivasha (also captive):

post-48010-0-60785000-1478979938_thumb.jpg

 

I hope that the photos have uploaded okay, they're the first ones I've tried to post :D

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johnweir

Thanks Dan for taking the time to answer my query. Your images are great. Will assume my observed specimen is Bitis a. arietans. Still think it is a very unusual colour, looked at literally hundreds of images in books and on the net not seen one yet that vaguely approaches it in colour.. When we came across the snake it was as pictured (not dead) and remained that way for the entire observation period. Which meant I was able to get very close to take the images. As we left our guide noticed a bus in his rear view mirror (yes, bus in Ruaha) approaching its position on the track so he reversed and we were able to divert the bus around the snake. When we returned 15 minutes later it had gone. Thanks again J.W.

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Peter Connan

John, snakes in general are notorious for having large colour variations.

 

I believe they are best identified by general shape and head scale pattern.

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KaingU Lodge

Another colour variation on the puff adder.  Taken this morning while myself and the guides were checking camera traps.  JohnD being snake mad was right up close... I was happy to stay back with the camera!  

 

Puff-adder-1-of-1.jpg

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Tom Kellie

~ @KaingU Lodge

 

Having never knowingly been close to a puff adder, I'm uncertain about their appearance.

 

In the image you've posted, there's a pale yellowish cast.

 

Is that typical, or more of an artifact of the lighting at the time the photograph was made?

 

I like the clarity of the focus, which provides a vivid sense of what it might be like to encounter the snake.

 

Tom K.

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KaingU Lodge
3 hours ago, Tom Kellie said:

~ @KaingU Lodge

 

Having never knowingly been close to a puff adder, I'm uncertain about their appearance.

 

In the image you've posted, there's a pale yellowish cast.

 

Is that typical, or more of an artifact of the lighting at the time the photograph was made?

 

I like the clarity of the focus, which provides a vivid sense of what it might be like to encounter the snake.

 

Tom K.

 

Tom, the yellowish cast is how the snake's colours were - it was almost mid day.  As has been said there can be huge variation in colouring with snakes.  I don't know enough, but this one was in a grassy dambo and so blended into the dry grass amazingly...  Design or chance?  I suspect the former.  Most of my previous sightings of vipers were in rainforest where the colouring was much darker and tended to match the forest floor perfectly!  

 

 

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Geoff

@KaingU Lodge Excellent image of a nice looking puffy. You should have put a grey card next to it :)

 

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Geoff

Australian Mainland Tiger snake. 

 

Wilsons-Prom-Tiger-Snake_G8A9760.thumb.jpg.b4bb3e813d9110adb5e0b6dabc341360.jpg

 

Highland Copperhead sunning itself outside a cafe. My son noticed it slither past whilst we were having coffee. An iPhone snapshot

Dinner-Plain-Highland-Copperhead-2.thumb.jpg.efbd487970dd94d69cd786e271aa5048.jpg

 

Both species highly venomous.

Edited by Geoff

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Tom Kellie
3 hours ago, KaingU Lodge said:

Tom, the yellowish cast is how the snake's colours were - it was almost mid day.  As has been said there can be huge variation in colouring with snakes.  I don't know enough, but this one was in a grassy dambo and so blended into the dry grass amazingly...  Design or chance?  I suspect the former.  Most of my previous sightings of vipers were in rainforest where the colouring was much darker and tended to match the forest floor perfectly!  

 

~ @KaingU Lodge

 

Thank you for your follow-up explanation.

 

Having almost no direct experience with snakes, I wasn't aware of the wide coloration range.

 

That's useful to know. That the colors shift with the prevailing tones of the background environment is especially interesting.

 

It's the first time that I've ever encountered the term ‘dambo’.

 

As ever Safaritalk educates! 

 

Tom K.

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Caracal

 

That tiger snake looks like he means business and is checking you out @Geoff with a come on if you dare attitude - great shots.

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Geoff

@Caracal He was sunning himself on the road at Wilsons Prom on a very cold day (about 12 degrees max). I'd taken a few pics and stopped 2 cars from running him over. When he decided to move off the road he came in my direction, I took a few paces to my left and stopped, I suspect he saw the movement and became concerned hence the flattened neck. He then raised his head off the ground for a better look. 

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Peter Connan
On 6/23/2017 at 9:19 AM, Tom Kellie said:

 

~ @KaingU Lodge

 

Thank you for your follow-up explanation.

 

Having almost no direct experience with snakes, I wasn't aware of the wide coloration range.

 

That's useful to know. That the colors shift with the prevailing tones of the background environment is especially interesting.

 

It's the first time that I've ever encountered the term ‘dambo’.

 

As ever Safaritalk educates! 

 

Tom K.

I don't know whether this also holds true for other parts of the world, but here in Southern Africa snake experts say the colouration range of snakes is so wide that colour and even colour patterns should not be used for identification. Instead, identification should primarily be based on head shape and scale pattern, and the better field guides show scale pattern diagrams.

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Geoff

@Peter Connan Yep, the same in Australia, the best way to identify snakes is from scale patterns and number of scales.

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Paul T

South Luangwa NP - October 2016

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The_Norwegian

These were among the last shots on my memorycard from my trip in november, and was taken in the yard of the hostel we stayed in the last night in Windhoek before flying home the next day. I wanted to photograph agamas the whole trip, but didn`t see any, so i was glad when these two happily posed for some pictures on the very last day. I was probably a sight, laying flat on the ground with my camera photographing these two. 

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Soukous

A young crocodile in the Chobe River

crocodile-_-baby.jpg

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Tom Kellie

1748451445_FamilyReunion.JPG.bf799040f1e8c0de4dac9d40a266a233.JPG

 

 

Family Reunion

 

 
~ Photographed with a Canon EOS 1D X camera mounted with an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens, hand-held, Manual shooting mode.
 
In Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, on 29 April, 2014 at 5:32 pm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/800 sec.
 
 
*****************************************************
 
A heron, a crocodile and the Ewaso Nyiro River. That's Samburu in the late afternoon.
 

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Towlersonsafari

My first Northamptonshire Adder

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Zim Girl

Wow, great find @Towlersonsafari

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Towlersonsafari

thank you @Zim Girl  but although I knew they were present in this particular wood, I cannot take any credit! we saw them on a "Reptile ramble"  organised by the Back from the Brink project which aims to join up conservation groups and make an area better of a selection of wildlife-in Northamptonshire there is an ongoing re-location project that was on TV last year-re-introducing the chequered skipper butterfly as well as trying to see what habitat the adders in northamptonshire like. the link to the nationwide project is here

https://naturebftb.co.uk/

We also saw common lizards and slow worms so a splendid morning. We were also pleased that our adder searching technique was endorsed!

 

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Zim Girl

Interesting, thanks for the info @Towlersonsafari

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Big_Dog

My first rock python! From the south-west Kruger in June.

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IMG_5247 (2).JPG

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Peter Connan

Great sighting!

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