Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species: Chrysopelea paradisi
Maximum Size : 1.2 metres
The Paradise Tree Snake is
considered by some to be rare, however in
Singapore it is commonly encountered in a variety of habitats including
mangrove, secondary forest, and parks and gardens. This is a back-fanged
colubrid with weak venom sufficiently powerful to immobilise its small prey, which
comprises mainly tree-dwelling lizards. The species is active by day.
It is an adept climber,
and a favoured haunt is the crown of coconut palms. As with other members of
the Chrysopelea genus it has the remarkable ability to glide from
tree to tree : it achieves this by flattening the body so that the ventral
surface becomes concave, and then projecting itself into the air from a high
branch whilst making sinuous snake-like movements.
The body is slender, and
the tail long. Typical patterning is an attractive arrangement of dark-edged
yellow scales, however some specimens have red patterning along the dorsal
The species ranges from parts of Burma and Southern Thailand through
Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Indonesia (Borneo, Sumatra, Java,
Sulawesi) and parts of the Philippines.
Fig 1 : Medium-size specimen with red
patterning along the dorsal line.
Fig 2 : Full grown adult in typical posture
when negotiating from tree to tree.
Fig 3 : A 30 cm juvenile amongst palm leaves
near the forest floor.
Fig 4 : A tree-dwelling gecko makes for easy
References : H1, H2