Friday 20 October 2017

My Serpent Lifer - Xenochrophis trianguligerus

If it wasn't for my silly boy who glorified himself by smearing his cheek with the stinky mud left behind by the wild boar, I wouldn't have taken him to the nearest stream to clean him up. As I was tying the leash to a tree, I spotted this little colourful serpent resting in between a rock and a tree root beside the stream. Yay!
Without wasting any seconds, I quickly grabbed my camera out of my dry bag. 

It just had lunch
And thankfully on that day, I decided to carry my macro lens and so I managed to get some closeup shots.

Dorsal view of its head

The patterns
The scales

I only had about ten minutes with this fella until it decided to slither into the stream and swam across to the opposite side. Back at home, I flipped through my book on reptiles and finally concluded that this snake is a Red-sided Keelback Watersnake Xenochrophis trianguligerus. 

It is also known as Triangle Keelback which occurs around small streams, ponds and swamps in primary forest, the edges of wet fields and villages. This species of Keelback feeds on frogs, tadpoles and frogspawn. It is a common snake and yet my first time seeing such beautiful keelback. According to IUCN Red List, this species is not under threat and it is thriving! 

About a meter above this snake, an amphibian was sitting on the larger rock. The only resource I have on amphibian is the world wide web. I posted this photo on social media of a herp group.  Thank you to Vince Adam, Neoh Hor Kee, Parinya and Mohd Abdul Muin who have responded.This is a juvenile River Toad or Asian Giant Toad Phrynoidis aspera. 

Das, Indraneil. "A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia"; New Hollands, 2010, pp. 158.

IUCN. The IUCN Red List of Threaten Species, 18 Oct 2017,

Ahmad (Ph.d),Norhayati, Amphibians and Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, 19 Oct 2017,!