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Old 26th January 2009, 18:10   #136
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I am truly confused now. Rat snake or poisonous ? Hmm.

@zahed, yes, it tried entering the house during the day and was killed.
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Old 27th January 2009, 00:23   #137
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I am truly confused now. Rat snake or poisonous ? Hmm.

@zahed, yes, it tried entering the house during the day and was killed.
Actually there is a reason for the confusion. It has the typical size and banding of a krait but judging by the pictures you posted,it looks brown in color whereas kraits are grey to bluish black. Also, the second reason is that kraits are nocturnal and are hardly ever seen during the day,leave alone trying to enter a house during the say time. Hence the confusion. Otherwise judging by size and underbelly color, I would say it is a krait. I had to take a good long time to decide whether it was a rat snake or a krait. It was these 2 points above which made me say it was a rat snake.
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Old 27th January 2009, 12:30   #138
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OK, I think both of you guys are right in a way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salikt
Thats a poisonous snake! We used to called it as 'Shangu Varayan' in Kerala bcoz of the white rings/spiral designs on the body.
Quote:
Originally Posted by princezahed
By the looks of it,it looks like a juvenile rat snake.
I googled for 'Shangu varayan' and came across a listing which says it is non-poisonous.

ScientificName ---- CommonName ------ VernacularName ---- Poisonous/Non-poisonous
Lycodon aulicus ---- Common Wolf snake---- Shangu varayan ---- Non-poisonous
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Old 27th January 2009, 13:51   #139
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I think that the dead snake in the picture is a banded Krait. It is quite common in Kerala. Kraits are notorious to crawl into houses and hide beneath clothes, vessels and other dark corners of the house. My wife had a very scary experience when she found a 2-feet long krait from under her pillow while she was at her grandparents old ancestral home (Tharavaadu). They are notorious for hiding inside shoes. It is relatively inactive during daytime but very dangerous during night. The picture clearly shows small band like rings throughout the body, typical of kraits. The size is normally finger thick and about 1-2 feet long.

I am pretty scared of snakes. Snakes are beautiful creations, but at times, we need to draw a line in order for us to live longer to enjoy our life. I had come across a lot of snakes and 90% of the time, I had moved away from it. There had been a funny instance many years ago, when a rat snake (confused with cobra) was hiding in our chicken coop, and my dad and uncle were trying to flush it out from that place. I was standing and watching from a very safe distance of about 15 meters, holding a 5-foot long stick, totally scared. The snake just bolted out from under the coop and came straight at me at lightning speed. (Rat snakes are damn fast, 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, I guess J ) .I don’t remember anything else other than closing my eyes, lifting the stick and hitting it with all my might, slammm!!!!.. hit right in the middle of the target and later the snake was cremated with full honors. It was one funny-scary experience I had with snakes.

About the picture of a man holding a King Cobra. It is a real picture, not PS work. As somebody had mentioned in earlier post, the longest King Cobra in captivity was shown in Discovery Channel few weeks prior, and it showed a king, 18-20 feet long. King cobra can raise about 75% of its body vertically, it means a 9 foot long king can stare you in your eyes straight, balancing itself on the tail end on the ground, scary thought but rarely happens unless you go in search for it.

Another common snake found in India, which accounts for more than 60% of snake bite fatalities is the Russell’s viper. It’s a slow moving sluggish snake, very hard to make out from the hiding places because of its excellent camouflage, and highly venomous. People get bitten by Russell’s because we never know before we step on one, and it is always found under bushes, or hidden under fallen dry leaves. Had an encounter with one of these 2 months back, where I “very courageously” lifted it at the end of a long stick and relocated it to a much safer place away from humans. Did not feel like killing it, as it was one beautiful specimen, almost fully grown, 5 foot long and veryyyy heavy, almost as thick as my forearm. Felt like it must be old enough to meet its end naturally so let nature take its toll.

Mostly snakes tend to escape from humans, unless provoked physically or if its nesting site is disturbed. They are far more scared of us than we are of them.
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Old 27th January 2009, 17:27   #140
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^^This is rat snake.

Kraits are more white and have dark black bands around them.

Please run a search in google and you would see them. I caught one while off-roading in corbett area. My friends were too scared when I lifted it up for them to see eye to eye :(

I also once while in Rajashthan caught a red sand boa, actually it was there in middle of road, had I not picked it up and placed on the corner of road a speeding car would have killed it.
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Old 28th January 2009, 00:26   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princezahed View Post
Is a modra vallan the malayalam name for krait?
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Originally Posted by Desperadoxx View Post
I think that the dead snake in the picture is a banded Krait. It is quite common in Kerala. Kraits are notorious to crawl into houses and hide beneath clothes, vessels and other dark corners of the house... It is relatively inactive during daytime but very dangerous during night. The picture clearly shows small band like rings throughout the body, typical of kraits. The size is normally finger thick and about 1-2 feet long.
Yup Branded or banded Krait is the the modra vallan I thought the rat snake was gonna be a bit more Yellowish... The Head is also an important aspect in ascertaining if poisonous or not, large or single scales is an indication.

PS. isn't this a 4x4 thread?? well snakes are an interesting part of off-roading huh? I guess coz we are goin onto their roads while we're off-roading and they are off-roading by dropping by our homes (couldn't help it)
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Old 28th January 2009, 01:33   #142
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I was once going to the gym in the evening in the lancer when suddenly people standing by the sides started shouting. I was for a minuted taken aback and braked hard.

Upon stopping I saw a snake on the road injured by a vehicle. I just reversed and passed from the side.

For a moment I was really out of my senses on why the people around are shouting so much. Not one had the guts to touch a wounded snake as it can be risky. I too decided to stay away.

Fortunately we have Sundarvan park nearby and they are quick and reactive to phone calls. Treat the reptiles and birds and keep them in the park.
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Old 28th January 2009, 10:41   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnda
I thought the rat snake was gonna be a bit more Yellowish...
yeah, the normal rat snake found around our place is yellowish in color - they can be real big in size & weight - 5feet and 4-5kgs is not uncommon. Infact, these snakes (chera in mallu-speak) roam around freely and no one hurts them. But this one is not yellow, which gives reason for doubting whether it is just a rat-snake.

There are a bunch of Tamil masons staying in our neighborhood and one of the guys rears pigeons as a hobby - he converted the bathroom into a kind of high-rise apartment for them with small boxy homes inside for each of them. Every once in a while they would find some eggs broken and chicks killed. Finally they identified it to a rat-snake that would drop in when it got bored of eating rats. They would normally not touch a rat-snake, but angered at the killing of their birds, they killed some 5 cheras that they found inside the bathroom.

BTW, post this thread, I am seeing snakes everywhere whenever I am at Kerala. Everytime I walk out to the yard, I am very cautious about where I step and keep 'hearing' snakes all around. Its crazy.

Came across a couple of water-snakes (polagan in Malayalam) last weekend. I was at the nearby river with my son and see this water-snake swimming by fast. As we trace where it went, we see a dead one floating on the water surface. I think I should stay away from this thread.
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Old 28th January 2009, 11:17   #144
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live and let live is my motto my friend.
in any case i live right next to a huge tract of land owned by the army and there are lots of snakes as well as other small wildlife hanging around there.
considering that humans are largely responsible for the dwindling nature reserves and by their depredations everywhere are eating into the natural habitat of other creatures, personally I am inclined to just allow all other creatures to remain peaceful.
Therefore I shall not be the one to have any of these animals and reptiles captured and taken to some zoo.
It might be a radical view and not endorsed by many others, but my own view is that "human beings" are rather like a Virus - causing disease, destruction and chaos wherever they go, whereas animals and other creatures do not do the same.
Some snakes are certainly venomous and can be dangerous if they feel threatened in any way, therefore it is better to keep a distance, make a noise and thump the ground (since they hear via feeling the vibrations on their undersides) so that they can slither off someplace where they feel safer.
Having lived in the hills amidst nature most of my life I have a certain respect and appreciation for mother nature thats all.




Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
@s.balan, while I can understand your love for animals (reptiles in this case), IMO your action was not really the correct thing to do ie. w.r.t. to the 2 cobras that you spotted near your home. While I agree that they should not be killed, I feel the better option would have been to have them caught by experts# and handed over to the zoo or something. A cobra is venomous and if it is moving around in a residential locality, it could be dangerous for human-beings. If it was a rat-snake, I can understand letting it roam around in the locality.

#I understand that there is some guy in Blore who moves around in an auto and helps rescue reptiles that land up in homes etc. All you need to do is call his mobile or something.
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Old 28th January 2009, 11:27   #145
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Yup Branded or banded Krait is the the modra vallan I thought the rat snake was gonna be a bit more Yellowish... The Head is also an important aspect in ascertaining if poisonous or not, large or single scales is an indication.

PS. isn't this a 4x4 thread?? well snakes are an interesting part of off-roading huh? I guess coz we are goin onto their roads while we're off-roading and they are off-roading by dropping by our homes (couldn't help it)
Initially even i felt it was a krait but the color of the dead snake differs from that normally found on kraits. I ca say that because we have lots of kraits in our estate and they are greyish blue to black in color. Also, the snake tried entering during the day time and kraits are nocturnal creatures. Otherwise I would have myself said it was a krait. Also, i saw a few pics of rat snakes with the same coloration as the dead one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post

BTW, post this thread, I am seeing snakes everywhere whenever I am at Kerala. Everytime I walk out to the yard, I am very cautious about where I step and keep 'hearing' snakes all around. Its crazy.

Came across a couple of water-snakes (polagan in Malayalam) last weekend. I was at the nearby river with my son and see this water-snake swimming by fast. As we trace where it went, we see a dead one floating on the water surface. I think I should stay away from this thread.
Lucky you. I think I should visit kerala just to see snakes in your backyard. I hardly get to see snakes at our estate nowadays. Just 2-3encounters in the recent past.

Water snakes can be deadly. They can give a nasty bite.
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Old 28th January 2009, 11:32   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princezahed View Post
Water snakes can be deadly. They can give a nasty bite.
They are also much more venomous than their land bound counterparts.
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Old 28th January 2009, 15:13   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princezahed
Lucky you. I think I should visit kerala just to see snakes in your backyard.
Lucky me ?? Man, I would rather these creepy creatures (venomous or not) stay away from me, my home and my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by princezahed
Water snakes can be deadly. They can give a nasty bite.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d
They are also much more venomous than their land bound counterparts.
I guess you guys are talking about sea-snakes. The normal water snake (polagan) seen in Kerala is harmless. Ofcourse the bite might pain, but I doubt they are deadly or even venomous.
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Old 28th January 2009, 16:05   #148
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Originally Posted by princezahed View Post

Water snakes can be deadly. They can give a nasty bite.
It is indeed sea snakes that are deadly. The good thing is that they very rarely bite, and unless you completely manhandle one, the chances of being bitten by one of these are practically nil. They also bite only in water, not on land (strange, but true)
It is very easy to tell one, as they have flat, paddle-like tails, to help them swim faster. These snakes eat fish, and as their prey can move really fast, they need extremely toxic venom to bring it down quickly.

The water snakes (Virole, in marathi) are non-venomous and they don't have a nasty bite either.
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Old 28th January 2009, 22:38   #149
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Lucky me ?? Man, I would rather these creepy creatures (venomous or not) stay away from me, my home and my family.

I guess you guys are talking about sea-snakes. The normal water snake (polagan) seen in Kerala is harmless. Ofcourse the bite might pain, but I doubt they are deadly or even venomous.
Ya talking about sea snakes. Fresh water snakes that we find are harmless, though they might give a painful bite.

Also,SB, regarding the dead snake that you posted, can you tell me how thick and how long it was. Also the time of day during which it tried sneaking into the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram18 View Post
It is very easy to tell one, as they have flat, paddle-like tails, to help them swim faster. These snakes eat fish, and as their prey can move really fast, they need extremely toxic venom to bring it down quickly.

The water snakes (Virole, in marathi) are non-venomous and they don't have a nasty bite either.
The one thing that freaks me out are sea snakes. Maybe its because of my fear of water. I dont mind our cute land snakes but sea snakes are a strict no-no for me.
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Old 29th January 2009, 00:55   #150
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Originally Posted by princezahed View Post
Initially even i felt it was a krait but the color of the dead snake differs from that normally found on kraits. I ca say that because we have lots of kraits in our estate and they are greyish blue to black in color
Looking around the web at pictures of common kraits discloses that there is a lot of variation in their appearance from individual to individual. This is also true of other venomous snakes. This does not make me a happy camper.
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