This 52 cm adult was found at an altitude of
1760 metres in the Kutubu area, Southern Highlands Province, PNG.
is a second specimen from 1700 metres altitude, showing the typical
arrangement of yellow patches at the nape and towards the front of the
Species : Toxicocalamus loriae
Maximum Size : 69 cm
References : H6
Loria Forest Snake is a
secretive, ground-dwelling species of forests and adjacent grasslands.
Sightings are infrequent due to its secretive habits : the species lives
amongst the confusing tangle of leaf litter, moss growth and rotting logs of
Papua New Guinea's forest floor.
The specimen illustrated at left was discovered by day crossing a cleared
area close to primary forest at an altitude of 1760m : this is likely to be
highest recorded altitude of the species so far. It was inoffensive in
temperament and made no attempt to bite.
Forest Snakes are cylindrical in cross
section, and the head is of similar diameter, though somewhat flattened,
which allows for easy burrowing. Their diet comprises largely small
invertebrates such as worms, slugs or insect larvae.The eyes are small.
Side view of the head showing the yellow
supralabial and infralabial scales.
Loria Forest Snake is dark
brownish to dark grey or olive grey, the only patterning being yellow
patches on the head and neck, and at the supralabials and infralabials (i.e.
the scales above and below the mouth). The scales are iridescent under
strong sunlight or camera flash.
The species appears restricted to the island of New Guinea : it occurs in
many parts of PNG and its range extends to the western parts of Papua
(formerly Irian Jaya).