Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brown Kukri Snake (Oligodon purpurascens)

This dead but fresh specimen was encountered and photographed by Gloria Seow along Old Upper Thomson Road, near the Upper Peirce Reservoir, on 26 August 2007 at about 9.30 am. It was initially misidentified as the Barred Kukri Snake (Oligodon signatus) but was later recognised as a "red form" of the Brown Kukri Snake (Oligodon purpurascens) by Kelvin Lim. Unlike the Striped Kukri Snake, this rare species tends to be restricted to forests (Lim & Lim, 1992). This nocturnal snake is non-venomous and has a terrestrial-burrowing habit (Lim & Lim, 1992). It can attain a length of about 90 cm (Lim & Lee, 1989). Clutches of 8-13 eggs are known (Cox et al., 1998). It occurs in southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo and Indonesia east to Java (Cox et al., 1998).


Cox, M. J., van Dijk, P. P., Nabhitabhata, J. & Thirakhupt, K., 1998. A photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of Peninsula Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, p. 59.

Lim, F. L. K. & Lee, M. T. M., 1989. Fascinating Snakes of Southeast Asia – an Introduction. Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur, p. 46-47.

Lim, K. K. P. & Lim, F. L. K., 1992. A Guide To The Amphibians & Reptiles Of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre, p. 60.