Blue Insularis

47304539651_fbb8b857d6_k

On Komodo island I spotted this young blue pit viper (Trimeresurus insularis) stealthily moving along the forest floor. Its movement was slow and steady, and the viper halted with its head raised. When I approached closely I realized my mistake — the viper’s head was directed straight towards a banded forest skink (Sphenomorphus melanopogon). The skink was resting on a fallen coconut a few meters away and facing the opposite direction. Initially I thought I hadn’t disturbed the scene, but after a few seconds the skink abruptly scampered away to a nearby tree. To witness the entire predation attempt would have been wonderful, but nevertheless I was thrilled to find this stunning snake. The viper was upset with my presence, recoiling and wrapping around a seedling to assume a defensive posture. It was interesting to spot this viper actively hunting on the ground and especially during the day. I’m more accustomed to arboreal vipers being mostly nocturnal, and I’ve rarely observed them moving around during daylight hours.

46398241155_6169149518_k.jpg
33437435788_5ca5f7ce3c_k.jpg

Following is a handful of my favorite photos of other individuals of the same species that we encountered in April of last year.

46588961734_4cf48f9452_k.jpg
33436595438_9e7d472f46_k.jpg
46588960104_d76e989053_k.jpg
46588957014_8462cb160f_k.jpg
33436595158_0190664e23_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]
46588957404_1477723917_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]
33436594078_c3e4b7a0ca_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]
46588958674_fef75ff454_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]
46588958834_c38f264389_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]
46588960554_27b26215cb_k.jpg
42398812605_a3b9e1269b_k.jpg
Photographed in situ [1]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star