« السابقةمتابعة »
toads. The neck is covered by 27, the trunk by 23 to 25 longitudinal series of ovate, imbricate keeled scales. The labials, and the gular scales are sharply keeled, but the keels of the former become obliterated with age. The tail is prehensile. Of nine examined the largest individual was of the following dimensions : Length of the head,..
0 ft. 2 inch. Ditto ditto trunk,
1 64 Ditto ditto tail,
2 ft. 25 inch Circumference of the neck, 29, of the trunk, 44, of the root of the tail, 14 inch.
TRIGONOCEPHALUS PUNICEUS, Reinwardt.
Klein: Tentam. Pg. 10. No 25.*
Trigonocephalus puniceus, Schlegel. Dull reddish-brown or olive tinged with purple; in some an indistinct black line from the eye to the sides of the neck; the scales dotted or finely marbled with black, their keels pale ochre; the posterior part of the trunk and tail with irregular dark brown spots; the interstitial skin reddish brown, lighter or darker than the scales ; lips, throat, the three or four lowest series of scales, and beneath pale greenish yellow; scuta and scutella with brown margins, the latter largely spotted with brown. Iris greenish golden marbled with black ; pupil ellipti vertically contracted by the light; tongue light brownish grey.
Scuta 162 to 171 ; Scutella 65 to 70. HABIT.- Pinang, Malayan Peninsula.
Singapore, Java. The malayan individuals differ slightly from the javanese in having very few dark spots and no reddish line above the black one on the
* As several serpents have by Klein been indicated under the name of acontias, the specific name of Reinwardt has been substituted.
sides of the head. The oval gular scales have a tubercular appearance.
O ft. 14 inch.
3 ft. 03 inch. Circumference of the neck, 2, of the trunk, 34, of the root of the tail,
In general sluggish, but when roused, ferocious habits, the preceding three species resemble the genus Bungarus ; their mode of attack is also similar : like Vipera russelli, (Shaw)* when it prepares to dart, they vibrate the prehensile tail, and utter a faint hissing sound. As the pupil is vertically contracted by the light, they frequently miss their aim, and like Bungarus, Naja, Vipera russelli and Hydrus, in the extreme of fury, they will fix the fangs in their own bodies. Although they are averse to motion, they are not of quite so stationary habits as represented by M. Schlegel, (Essay: Partie Descriptive, page 520.) In the jungle I have noticed them moving between the branches of trees or on the ground, either in search of prey, or after heavy rains have flooded their hiding places. In Bengal most terrestrial serpents keep the latter during the hot season, but the rains send them abroad in search of dry localities. Although the present genus has venomous organs, as highly developed as Crotalus or Vipera, the effects produced by wounds of two species at least, appear to be less dangerous, than might à priori be supposed. According to Russell's experiments with the venom of Trigonocephalus gramineus, chickens expired within 8 to 33 minutes, pigeons in 14 to 18 minutes. A pig recovered in 6 or
* Syn.-Russell, I. P1.7. Katuka Rekula Poda, II. Pl. 32.-Coluber russellii, Shaw.Vipera elegans, Daudin.
7 hours, a dog in 2 to 3 hours, after having been wounded, (Russell, I. page 60.)
Mr. Hodgson has seen a man who was wounded by this species, the only venomous known to inhabit Nepal, fearfully suffering from pain and swelling, but he never heard of a fatal case.—(Transactions Zoological Society. London. Vol. II, page 309.)
A male Trigonocephalus puniceus, successively wounded two fowls, one in the chest, the other in the left thigh. In both cases the fangs of both sides acted, but neither of the birds experienced any other effect except a slight pain, which lasted a few minutes after they had been wounded. It should, however, be observed, that the serpent at the time had gorged itself with food, in which state it was observed close to the General Hospital, in the valley of Pinang. Another individual was subsequently caused to wound a fowl on the iuside of the thigh. The bird immediately drew up the wounded leg, fell down and was purged 3 minutes after being wounded. In 3 minutes more, slight spasms
of the head and neck appeared at short intervals, but they ceased in 5 minutes, when the fowl made, at first some unsuccessful, attempts to rise. Twenty-one minutes after having been wounded, the bird rose, shook the wings, and had perfectly recovered. The same serpent subsequently was made to wound another fowl on the inside of the left thigh. The bird drew up the wounded leg, and was slightly purged, but showed no other inconvenience from the wound.
The following experiment is communicated by Dr. Montgomerie. An adult Trigonocephalus sumatranus, Var. was made to bite a fowl in the fleshy part of the thigh. The bird limped about for a short time, and a minute after it was wounded commenced purging At the end of two minutes it fell, breathing laboriously and was strongly convulsed. At the end of six minutes a few drops of water exuded from the
eyes ; in fifteen seconds more it was quite dead : six minutes and a quarter after it had been wounded. Both fangs had acted, the wound was livid, and similar lines were observed in the course of the absorbents. On another occasion, after some unsuccessful attempts to make another individual bite a fowl, a terrier accidentally was wounded in the fleshy part of the fore-arm. The serpent fixed the fangs for an instant in the flesh; the dog pitifully screaming, jumped and shook it off. A ligature was immediately applied above the elbow, and the dog secured in a cage. It continued for some time whining from pain,
probably aggravated by the tight ligature, which was removed at the
GEN. LATICAUDA, Laurenti. Tail compressed, with two surfaces, gradually increasing in height, and with three furrows (sutures) on each side.
LATICAUDA SCUTATA, Laurenti.
Laticauda imbricata, Laurenti? 1768.
Hydrophis colubrina, Schlegel, 1837. New born.-Ground colour gamboge, greenish above, with numerous distant broad rings of a blue reflecting black colour, encircling the body; the first and second black mark of the head and neck are beneath joined by a short longitudinal line, commencing on the lower labial shields; another shorter black line borders above the gamboge upper labials; the scales between the rings, the scuta and scutella with blackish margins.
Older.—Of paler colours, lead-grey on the back; the rings impure light blue on the sides and abdomen. The scales and scuta without blackish margins. Iris black, pupil circular ; tongue grey.
Scuta 227 to 246 ; Scutella 32 to 41.
Bay of Bengal (Ramree, Pondicherry, Nicobars), Sea of
Timor, Molucca and Liewkiew Islands, Celebes, New
This species is readily identified by the abdominal scuta, and the scutellated very broad tail. The anterior frontals are separated by a small elongated pentagonal, or rhombic, shield, bordered behind by the vertical, which is proportionally the largest shield, either equalling or exceeding each of the occipitals. The eyes are comparatively large and prominent, surrounded by two post-orbitals, one præ-orbital, and beneath, by the third and fourth of the seven large
The lower jaw is covered in front by the rostral and the two first labials, the succeeding seven are elongated linear and placed horizontally so as to be hid by the upper labials, when the mouth is closed. The chin is covered by two pairs of pentagonal shields, between which and the labials appear two or three series of elongated scales. The neck is covered by 25, the anterior part of the trunk by 23, increasing to 25 and again decreasing to 19 longitudinal series of large, smooth scales. The nostrils are small, opening laterally. The tail, though much compressed, presents a broad fat surface beneath, till near the apex, where it becomes two-edged. The largest individual examined was of the following dimensions : Length of the head,
O ft. 1 inch.
83 inch. Circumference of the neck, 13, greatest do of the trunk, 4 inch.
GEN. HYDRUS, Schneider. Body slender in front, gradually thickening, covered with scales ; tail compressed, two-edged,
HYDRUS STRIATUS, (Lacépède.)
Hydrophis striata, Temminck and Schlegel: Fauna Japon. Pl. 7.
* Doubtful SYNONYMY:- Russell, II. Pl. 9, Chittul, 1801, agrees with this species in the following characters: the eyes high, small, orbicular; the trunk round till near the anus, where it becomes compressed; the scales smooth, imbricate, orbicular on the sides ; the central abdominal series much larger than in any of the other species, (Russell.) The difference of colours is unimportant, as it is liable to variations, not only individually but according to age. Besides, all the species acquire a light bluish appearance about