The colorful Malabar pit viper, Trimeresurus malabaricus, is one of the most beautiful snakes one can come across in India. Most herpetologists would agree with this. because malabaricus is found in a stunning variety of color morphs including red, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, chocolatey, pink, and grey color forms. Usually malabaricus is found on trees as it is an arboreal pit viper, but some of them are also found on rocks. Most of those are grey in colour and they are called the rock Malabar pit viper.
An adult malabaricus is about 45cm to 105cm in size and usually found in southwestern and southern jungles of India. However, the usual locations where malabaricus is found varies according to the seasons. For example, in summers it’d found on higher branches of trees, whereas during monsoons it’s found on the lower branches a foot or two off the ground, as well as on rocks.
Last weekend I visited a friend in Amboli, a hill station in the Western Ghats, a mountain range that runs almost parallel to the western coast of India, and a paradise for herpetologists who are in search of malabaricus. It was a cold night and I had no intention of herping as I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t find anything, but the area looked so scenic and perfect for herping I couldn’t stop myself and went on a night field trip.
To my good luck I found a malabaricus within 20 minutes. It rekindled my spirit, as this the primary reason that I love snakes and feel a bond with them. It was about 50cm long and green in colour, and it was coiled up on small fallen branch of a tree.
These snakes are active at night and shy in nature, and are sometimes seen during day basking in the sunlight. They are very rare to find in winter, as it is assumed to go into hibernation at that time of year.
Encountering this Malabar pit viper added happiness to my weekend! …read more
Read more here: King Snake