Asian Vine Snake, Ahaetulla prasina
The Asian Vine Snake or the Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) is a species of tree snake commonly found in South and Southeast Asia.
The Asian Vine Snake has an extremely slim body, although the adult will appear thicker in circumference. It can grow upwards of 6.5 feet. Adult coloration may appear as a bright fluorescent green, light brown, or a flat, dull yellow-brown. Most snakes will have a thin pale line running along both sides of the body. A main feature of the snake is its sharply triangular shaped head. Another identifying characteristic is its extremely long tail. Although similar in appearance and relation to the Big-eyed Green Whip Snake, it can be recognized for having much smaller eyes. The eyes are quite unique, having binocular vision along with keyhole-shaped pupils. This allows the snake more acute vision to account for more successful striking distance when feeding.
While sometimes found in urban gardens and coastal areas, The Asian Vine Snake primarily inhabits rainforests in the Philippines. It uses trees as a main form of hunting, striking the prey from low-hanging tree branches. It is considered a mildly venomous snake, and is “rear-fanged” (the teeth are located in the back of the upper jaw) with larger fangs intended to help with venom delivery. In contrast, snakes such as vipers and cobras have fangs located in the front, conjuring memories of what the layperson imagines when thinking of snake fangs.
The babies of this particular species of tree snake are born alive, not hatched from an egg. They are usually brown with yellow and black flecks. The mother usually gives birth in groups of four to 10.
Image Caption: Asian Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) at Cincinnati Zoo. Credit: Greg Hume (CC BY-SA 3.0)