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Whip Snake Spotting

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The Oriental whip snake (Ahaetulla prasina) is often seen sunning itself on the edges of tree canopies in both urban and kampung areas. Quite a common snake, it can grow up to 2m long, but it is very slender and the neck narrows even more before its sharp spear-shaped head. As it slithers through the trees, it hunts lizards and small birds in their nests, but it can also hunt frogs in the bush. While it is mildly venomous, it is harmless to humans and should not be killed.

Whip Snake SpottingIts colour can range from light brown to greenish-yellow to an almost luminescent bright green. There is often a thin yellow line along the lower half of the snake. Its eyes are smaller than another similar species; the Big-Eyed Green Whip Snake. 4 to 10 live baby snakes are born in every litter (it is pregnant for 6 months), but their colouration is brown with yellow and black flecks.

Whip Snake SpottingThese beautiful snakes are sometimes caught to be kept as pets but they cannot survive in captivity and will die within days. They glide smoothly over and under trees, leaves, branches and rocks as if they are sliding on ice. When a snake feels threatened, it will expand its neck and stick out its tongue in an attempt to make itself look bigger. These reptiles are great to observe as they wander through the trees or hunt their dinner, but then they should be left alone, wild and free.

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