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 Post subject: Can You Identify A Brown Whip Snake?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:03 pm 
I would like someone to help me identify this snake.

The snake was discovered around midday along a mostly shaded concrete path, at the Badladz Resort, in Puerto Galera, Or. Mindoro, Philippines, on 19th February, 2012. I believe it is a Brown Whip Snake (Dryophiops rubescens) but, except for the overall color, the head markings are dissimilar to the Brown Whip Snake photographs on the Internet . . . that is why I am asking for help to identify this snake.
Attachment:
File comment: the body as thin as a pencil maybe two-foot long
brown-whip-snake-NV-0654e.jpg
brown-whip-snake-NV-0654e.jpg [ 57.36 KiB | Viewed 12382 times ]

To describe the snake: the snake's body was perhaps two feet long and was generally as thin as pencil, overall dull gray-brown scales about 1/16th inch in size, with occasional and mostly irregularly dispersed darker flecks along its length; the snake's head was no more that half and inch wide and about one inch long, with distinct darker and lighter markings, it had a darker brown “mustache” that extended from one eye, around the upper jaw to the other eye, light gray-brown under the jaw; most notable was the tongue, which was approximately ¾ inch long and bright orange in color, the forked tip was slightly darker orange . . . almost brown.
Attachment:
File comment: the body is gray-brown with darker flecks
brown-whip-snake-NV-0657d.jpg
brown-whip-snake-NV-0657d.jpg [ 67.31 KiB | Viewed 12382 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: is this the head of a brown whip snake?
brown-whip-snake-NV-0665b.jpg
brown-whip-snake-NV-0665b.jpg [ 33.96 KiB | Viewed 12382 times ]

The snake was apparently perturbed by the proximity of my camera - keeping eye contact with the lens most of the time - and I made no attempt to pick it up as I had no knowledge whether it was venomous or not.

In the immediate vicinity are small shrubs with leaf litter, a mangrove tree and a number of other small trees of unidentified species. The Badladz Resort is close to the edge of Puerto Galera Bay. The only potential food source I could think of would be small geckos, which are attracted to the lights of the resort in the evenings and hang-out in the nipa roof coverings by day.

If this is a brown whip snake then it is apparently non-venomous to humans and had I had this information at the time then perhaps I would have been bold enough to have picked it up and put it in the nearby leaf litter, to protect it from less environmentally-friendly passers by. It did not look harmful by virtue of its size and non-aggressive behavior, but one can never be sure. I let it be and informed the resort owner.

Can anyone help with the confirmation of the identification or offer an alternative probability?

thanks in advance


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