It certainly has been warm enough for snakes, and two days ago a friend of mine and I decided to try our luck with a first ride of the year across the Northern Cross-Island Road to see if anything was out and about. Murphy's Law quickly established itself, and my buddy's motorcycle broke down only a few kilometers into the hills. We decided to press on on one bike, and were quickly rewarded with a cute little green tree viper that was trying to cross the road. But the real good stuff was still to come in Baling: Along with 7 or 8 other vipers, we came across a mating pair of Dinodons, a GORGEOUS and very rare Mandarin Ratsnake, a King Ratsnake, a ferret badger and a DOR flying squirrel (you can check out photos of this in the Rarely Seen Animals thread). Just a crazy good start to the herping season, which ordinarily doesn't begin until at least Tomb Sweeping Day. Dig out your headlamps and flashlights, kids, herping season has arrived! :discodance:
*This was my first snake of the year: a tiny (4cm) Brahminy Blind Snake that I came across last week on our local hill in Taoyuan. Easily mistaken for a worm.
A glistening Green Tree Viper. These things are ubiquitous in Taiwan. We've come across a hundred of these in a single night at times..
This is a King Ratsnake (aka "Stinky Goddess). A large snake, and quite common along the Bei Heng.
The prize find of the night: a glorious Mandarin Ratsnake, albeit with some tail trauma evident from some past unpleasant incident. This is a "holy grail" snake in Taiwan, and if you've seen one of these live, you're the member of a very small, lucky and exclusive club indeed.
Makes for some fabulous headgear as well..