Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reptiles of Korea (at least the ones I saw on Jeju Island)


Ussuri Mamushi Pitviper Gloydius blomhoffi (June 2010)
Ussuri Mamushi Pitviper Gloydius blomhoffi (June 2010)
Ussuri Mamushi Pitviper Gloydius blomhoffi (June 2010)
Common Many-tooth Snake AKA Black-headed Snake AKA Collared Snake Sibynophis collaris (May 2011)
Common Many-tooth Snake AKA Black-headed Snake AKA Collared Snake Sibynophis collaris(May 2011)
Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione (May 2011)
Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione (May 2011)
Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione (a small snakelet - May 2011)
Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione (a small snakelet - May 2011)
Dione Ratsnake Elaphe dione (a small snakelet - May 2011)
Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus (dead after being beaten by a farmer - May 2010)
Tiger Keelback Rhabdophis tigrinus (June 2010)
Tsushima Smooth Skink Scincella vandenburghi (November 2009)
Tsushima Smooth Skink Scincella vandenburghi (November 2009)
Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans (introduced and thriving on Jeju - April 2011) 
  I came across some interesting snakes on Jeju while birding, but unfortunately I found most of them dead or dying on the road.  I'm eager to see what scaled critters are about on my new island!  I'm no reptile expert, so I've identified these reptiles based on whatever (sometimes sketchy) information I could glean from the internet.  Snakewatching!
  The Black-headed Snake is interesting in that it was only first discovered in Korea (on Jeju!) in 1981.  Too bad I found it right after it had been hit by a car.  I believe it bit itself as it was dying.  
  The Ussuri Mamushi Pitviper is a deadly little viper that I almost stepped on once or twice while birding!  Apparently the Japanese call it the 'Three-step Snake', due to its potent venom.  My Korean birding friend Young Ho told me that, in spite of this venom, it doesn't inflict many fatal wounds on people because its fangs are further back in its relatively small mouth.  A gorgeous animal.

2 comments:

  1. wow. matt!! when are you watching so many snakes?? in jeju...it's great

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  2. I secretly go snakewatching when I go birdwatching!

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