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Loria Forest Snake
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2



 

 

Family : ELAPIDAE
Species : Toxicocalamus loriae
Maximum Size : 69 cm

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 elevation of 1760m : this is likely to be the highest recorded elevation 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.

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).


Fig 1 : 52 cm adult from the Kutubu area, Southern Highlands Province, PNG at an elevation of 1760 metres.

Fig 2 : Side view of the head showing the yellow supralabial and infralabial scales.


References : H6