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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Mountain Many-tooth Snake
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2
 

Fig 3


Fig 4


 



 

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Sibynophis collaris
Maximum Size : 76 cm

Snakes of the genus Sibynophis, of which six species occur in Southeast Asia, are called 'collared snakes' or more precisely 'many-tooth snakes'.

These snakes have an unusually large number of teeth, which are closely packed together onto a separate structure not fixed to the jaw bone.

Sibynophis collaris, called here 'Mountain Many-tooth Snake', but also known as 'Collared Black-headed Snake', is largely a montane species, occurring at elevations of up to 3000 metres, though it may also occur in some lowland areas too.

This is a terrestrial, secretive species which remains largely hidden amongst forest floor debris, where it preys on other small reptiles, frogs and invertebrates.

Its body is relatively slender, and its head is slightly larger in width than the front part of the body. Its eyes are of moderate size, with rounded pupils.

It is medium brown in colour, with a dark vertebral stripe and a pale stripe on each flank. There is a dark band on the back of the neck, behind which are one or two rows of orange or yellow scales.  The top of the head is speckled, and the lips are white.

This species ranges from northern parts of the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh) and southern China (including Taiwan), through Burma, Thailand and Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) to Peninsular Malaysia. It has not been recorded from Singapore.


Fig 1 : Specimen from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia at an elevation of 1100 metres. It was found one morning at the edge of a mountain road passing through primary, lower montane forest.


References : H12, H14