« السابقةمتابعة »
minus may easily be mistaken for an earthworm, until its serpentine movements, the darting of the white furcated tongue, while the head and neck are raised, make it known. In confinement they refuse food and water. In all dissected, the stomach contained some earth ; in a few, remains of insects, (myriapoda, ants.) A young female had a string of six cylindrical soft eggs, of a yellowish white colour, each about of an inch in length, in diameter.
FAM. BOIDE, BONAPARTE.
Gen. CYLINDROPHIS, Wagler. Scales smooth, imbricate, hexagonal; those of the abdomen broader than the rest; nostrils subvertical, opening in the lower part of the anterior frontal shield ; neither nasals, frenals, nor præ-orbitals; a single post-orbital ; frontals large, reaching the minute eye, and the large 2nd and 3rd labials ; supra-orbitals, occipitals and vertical distinct; tail very short. CYLINDROPHIS RUFUS, (Laurenti.)
Cylindrophis rufa, Gray, apud Duméril and Bibron. Iridescent blackish brown above, beneath with alternate black and yellowish white transversal bands or interrupted bars. Iris black, pupil vertically contracted by the light; tongue whitish. Central series of abdominal scales 206 ; subcaudal 6.
Java, Tranquebar, Bengal. (?) A single individual, turned up with the earth in a garden at Singapore belonging to Dr. Montgomerie, differs from the description given by M. M. Duméril and Bibron in the following particulars. The head is uniformly black, without the two scarlet frontal spots; the apex of the tail whitish ; the posterior part of the body is more robust than the anterior ; the length of the head forms more than 3's of the entire length of the animal ; there are six pairs of labial shields on each jaw, and the scales of the trunk are disposed in 20 longitudinal series. It unites characters assigned by M. M. Duméril and Bibron as distinguishing Cylindrophis rufus from C. melanotus, Wagler, and it would therefore appear that Dr. Schlegel is justified in considering the latter from Celebes (Tortrix melanota, Boie, MS.) as a variety of rufa. In the present individual there is no external appearance of the very rudimentary anal hooks. It was slow in its movements, attempted to escape, but not to bite.
Length of the head,
0 feet 0.5 inch.
1 ft. 7 inch.
GEN. XENOPELTIS, Reinwardt.
Head rather narrower than the trunk, depressed, obsoletely angular ; eyes small, round; nostrils large, apical ; frenal shield very large ; præ-orbital none ;* post-orbitals three ;t interparietal very large, eqnalling the vertical; trunk thick, short with imbricate smooth hexagonal scales, disposed in longitudinal series, increasing in size towards the narrow abdominal scuta; tail thick, short, awl-shaped, beneath with scutella.
XENOPELTIS UNICOLOR, Reinwardt.
Xenopeltis leucocephala, Reinwardt (young.)
Adult.-Blackish or reddish brown above with strong metallic blue, purple, and green lustre ; lips and throat buff ; the lowest lateral series
* The single præ-orbital is very large, the frenal small, sub-rectangular; the nostrils open between the latter and the nasal shield. + Three individuals examined, presented two post-orbitals,
of scales, scuta and scutella pale reddish brown with broad whitish margins. Iris black ; pupil lanceolate with the apex downwards, vertically contracted by the light; tongue buff.
Young.--Head yellowish white with a brown spot on the crown and labial shields; the scales of the sides edged with white, producing longitudinal zig-zag lines ; the two lowest series of scales and scuta yellowish white ; scutella of the same colour with a brown transversal line.
Scuta 175 tu 179, Scutella 26 to 27.
Celebes, Java, Sumatra. Of three young individuals, one was found by Sir William Morris on the Great Hill at Pinang, a second by Dr. Montgomerie at Singapore, and a third was obtained in Province Wellesley, where also a single adult male was killed. As this serpent in general appearance bears a strong resemblance to Lycodon aulicus, (Linné) (Syn. L. hebe, apud Schlegel), so it also does in its fierce habits, and mode of attack. The scales are smooth, rhombic-hexagonal, disposed in 15 longitudinal series. Labial shields s. The stomach of a young individual examined, contained the remains of a rat. The adult attains to a much larger size than supposed : a male was of the following dimensions : Length of the head,..
0 feet. 14 inch. Ditto ditto trunk,
3 23 Ditto ditto tail,
74 inch. Circumfernce of the neck 2g, of the trunk 43, of the root of the tail 2 inch.
Gen. Python, Daudin. Entire shields under the abdomen and tail, the latter cylindrical, sometimes with scutella ; anus with scales and a hook on each side.
PYTHON RETICULATUS, (Schneider.)
Ular sawa, Wurml).
Boa amethystina, Schneider.
"Clar sawa” of the Malays. Ground-colour above light yellowish-brown, chestnut or olive-green, assuming a greyish hue on the sides, all the colours strongly iridescent, particularly reflecting metallic blue, or green. The head is divided from the muzzle to the pape of the neck by a black line, continued along the back to the point of the tail and describing a series of large lozenges, sometimes linked to each other by a small black ring, sometimes broken up into large irregular patches. A black oblique line proceeds from behind the eye towards the angle of the mouth, continuing on the sides as a series of more or less regular lozenges, which are joined to the lateral angles of those of the back by a large black triangular spot with a white arched mark in the centre. The scales nearest the black margins of the lozenges are of a lighter colour than the rest, sometimes whitish. Between and within the lateral lozenges appear numerous black spots, or interrupted lines. The lips (the lower in some present a black line), and abdominal scuta are gamboge, or pale yellow, as well as the lowest two or three series of scales, but the latter with irregular black spots. The caudal scutella, and scuta, when present, are yellow, marbled with black. The iris is silvery flesh-coloured or yellowish-brown, sometimes with a black bar ; the pupil vertically contracted by the light. The tongue is black above, bluish white beneath. In the young the colours are brighter than in the adult.
Scuta 297 to 330 ; Scutella 82 to 102. * Pytho javanicus, figured and described in thel's Varrative, &c., is Python molurus, (Linné.)
IIABIT.- Malayan Peninsula and Islands.
Chusan ?* Amboina, Java, Banka, Sumatra, Bengal? The two fossets of the rostral shield are pyriform with the apex diverging, and those of the nearest 3 or 4 upper labials are of similar shape. The inferior fossets are square, occupying the lower margin of the shield, varying from 7 to 9 on each side. The foremost of these is situated on the shield corresponding to that of the upper jaw, which borders the orbit.
This species is very numerous in the Malayan hills and valleys, feeding upon quadrupeds and birds. It often takes up its abode in outhouses, preying at night, and is thus useful in destroying vermin, although plunder is occasionally committed in poultry yards. Dr. Montgomerie has seen in George Town, Pinang, a young one which the inhabitants suffered to retain unmolested possession of the rice stores in order to secure them against the ravages of rats. Individuals of 16 ft. in length are of no rare occurrence.
In 1844 one was killed at the foot of Pinang, which a gentleman informed me measured more than 30ft. During the expedition to China in 1840 one was shot from the poop of one of H. M. Transports, then riding in Singapore roads,-between 3 and 4 miles from the shore. It was about 9ft. long, and had the upper part of the head infested with Ixodes ophio. philus, Müller. The Chinese attribute great medicinal qualities to the heart and the gall-bladder, and use the skin to cover the bodies of some of their musical instruments. Python molurus, (Linné,) Pedda Poda, Russell, I. Pl. 22, 23, 24, and Bora, Pl. 39, is said also to occur, but rarely, in the Malayan Peninsula, but I never had an opportunity of seeing it.
Skins are of frequent occurrence at Chusan, and the natives assert that the serpent is found there and on the neighbouring continent. Serpents from 14 to 16 feet in length,
Rock-snakes,” were observed by several officers during our occupation of the island.
FM.M. Duméril and Bibron state that this species has been sent from Bengal by M. A. Duvaucel. The natives are not acquainted with it, and the specimens in the Museum of the Asiatic Society are from Pinang. The living animal is occasionally brought from the Straits of Malacca to Calcutta, and such is probably the history of the specimen sent from Bengal by M. Duvancel. Python molurus, (Linné,) (Pedula Poda and Bora of Russell,) is very numerous in Bengal.