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Striped Kukri Snake
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2
 


Fig 3

 

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Oligodon octolineatus
Maximum Size : 68 cm

A strikingly handsome species, the Striped Kukri Snake is easily identified by the longitudinal stripes comprising a dorsal reddish or orange stripe, and a number of brown or greenish lateral stripes on a black background. Care should be taken, however, not to confuse the venomous Banded Malayan Coral Snake with this species : identification can be confirmed by closely observing the head pattern.

Growing to a maximum 68 cm, this small snake is found in a range of habitats including forest, farmland, and sometimes parks and gardens. It seems to be both nocturnal and diurnal.

Kukri snakes are so-called on account of the shape of the teeth at the back of the mouth, which resemble the Kukri knife used by Gurkha soldiers. Kukri snakes, however, are non-venomous and quite harmless, though thay may attempt to bite if provoked.

This species ranges from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Borneo and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Bangka, Java, Sulawesi and possibly the Philippines.


Figs 1 to 3 : Specimen from Singapore's central forests.


References : H2, H3