Photo 21247126, (c) mayuresh kulkarni, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

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What

Trinket Snake Coelognathus helena

Date

March 19, 2018 01:21 AM IST

Description

Coelognathus helena monticollaris is a non-venomous constrictor subspecies of colubridsnake native to south Central Asia.
A narrow headed slender snake with a beautiful colouration. Its light brown body is often adorned with white and dark brown spots (E.h.helena) or with black and white transverse stripes (E.h.monticollaris). Its head is greenish brown with black markings. However the true purpose of this colouration is camoufladge.
Prefers forests but may frequently venture towards human habitation and occasionally enter human dwellings.
Diurnal and highly active. Has a very nasty temper and will strike repeatedly if molested. Never appreciates captivity and will resist capture with utmost tenacity until helplessly overpowered. Its bites are often very damaging due to its inward pointing teeth.
Feeds mainly on small mammals. It uses its camouflage to stalk its prey and initially disorients its victim with a blitz strike. It then surrounds its prey with its coils and weakens it by biting repeatedly. The victim is finally killed by constriction and swallowed at leisure. It may also prey upon birds, frogs, lizards and other snakes as well but shows a high preference towards small mammals. It is notorious for its voracious appetite. Captive specimens prefer mice and tend to lose interest in lizards especially if they remain motionless.
Very little known about its reproductive habits.
Probably viviparous. Brood size unknown.
The smallest known specimens measure around 350mm. The average adult length is around 100 cm and 150 cm the maximum. Females are longer than the males while males have proportionately longer tails.

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