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The head is elongated, ovate depressed, broader than the neck, the muzzle rounded, slightly projecting; the anterior frontals are orbicular pentagonal, much smaller than the frontals, which are bent over the sides, substituting the absent frenal, so as to meet the second upper labial; the nasal is small, rectangular, obliquely wedged in between the rostral, the two pairs of frontals, and the anterior upper labial; the nostril large, piercing the middle of the shield; the vertical is elongated pentagonal, broader in front, so as to render the posterior part of the moderate supræorbitals broader than the anterior ; the occipitals are the largest, elongated, on each side surrounded by 3 scales, somewhat longer than the rest covering the temples, and behind by two small post-occipitals. The eyes are proportionally large and prominent, surrounded by one præorbital and two smaller post-orbitals, the lower of which touches the narrow projecting fifth upper labial, which with the fourth, borders the lower part of the orbit; the jaws are covered by 8 pairs of upper, 9 of lower labials. The gape is moderate ; the particulars of the dentition noted in L. platurinus, exist in the present species. The two anterior of the three pairs of small elongated mental shields are bordered by the six anterior pairs of labials ; behind by a number of small scales. The trunk is slender, decreasing towards both extremities, with 17 longitudinal series of smooth, rhomboidal, slightly imbricate scales. The back is depressed, forming an angle with the compressed somewhat bulging sides. The latter are joined to the fat narrow abdomen under a right angle on the sides of the scuta, so that the vertical section of the body is quadangular. A single individual found by Sir Wm. Norris on the Great Hill of Pinang, was of the following dimensions :
Length of the head,
ì ft. 04 inch. Circumference of the neck g, of the trunk g, of the root of the tail
In fierceness the present species resembles its congeners, but unlike them, it raises vertically the anterior part of the body, and bites after
a few oscillating movements from side to side. Lycodon pluturinus, and aulicus, like many other harmless,--and some venomous serpents, the pupils of which are vertically closed by the light, prepare to attack horizontally coiled on the ground, with the head bent close to the body, and drawn as far backwards as possible, when, suddenly uncoiling the anterior part of the body, they dart obliquely upwards, but as they are blinded, not always in the direction apparently aimed at, and they frequently miss the aim.
GEN. COLUBER, Linné Abdomen with scuta ; scutella under the tail.
COLUBER FASCIOLATUS, Shaw. SYN.-Russel I. Pl. 21 Nooni Paragoodoo.
Coluber hebe, Daudin (Synon. apud Boie, Wagler, Schlegel). “ Cineritious grey with an obscure cast of reddish brown, particularly about the head and neck. The back variegated by black and white, or black and yellowish, narrow bands ; and on the sides are two or three rows of short, separate oblique lines, formed by the yellow or white edges of the lateral scales ; but in general these bands are not visible on the tail. The scuta (192) and scutella (62) are of a dusky pearl-colour.” (Russell I. Pg. 26.) Habit.—Malayan Peninsula.
Coromandel Coast. A young individual, killed in Province Wellesley corresponds to the description of Russell, copied by Shaw and Daudin. It has two small post-orbitals, one elongated præ-orbital, one minute irregularly hexagonal frenal, and on each side 8 upper, 9 lower labial shields. The trunk is covered by 21 longitudinal series of smooth imbricate scales, which are rhombic on the sides, rhomboidal above, all with rounded points. The teeth are of uniform size, and as Russell correctly describes them, very small, reflex, sharp, numerous. The dentition, therefore, sufficiently indicates that the species cannot be placed in the Gen. Lycodon, to which it has been referred by M. M. H. Boie, Wagler and Schlegel. The young one is of the following dimensions :
Length of the head,
Greatest circumference of the trunk, inch.
COLUBER RADIATUS, Schlegel.
Coluber quadrifasciatus, Cantor, (Var.) Head and back light yellowish bay, paler on the sides ; the hind head with a transversal black line, branching off along the exterior margins of the occipitals; a black oblique streak behind the eyes, and another beneath them dividing both jaws. On each side of the back a broad longitudinal black band, relieved at intervals by a short network, produced by 3 or 4 scales of each series being edged with pale brown, and the skin between them white. The bands, in some commencing at a distance from the head, are continued or interrupted, terminating on the posterior part of the back. Below them is on each side a parallel black line ; lips, throat and lower surface yellow. Iris bright gamboge with a concentric black ring. Tongue bluish black.
Young. Above of clearer colours ; beneath pearl-coloured.
Scuta 222 to 248 ; Scutella 82 to 94.
Java, Sumatra, Cochin China, Tenasserim, Assam. This species is numerous in marshes, and paddy-fields, and often becomes a tenant of out-houses, where during the day it remains concealed, till nightfall favours its pursuit after rats. It is however equally diurnal, preying upon smaller birds, lizards and frogs. Assam produces a local variety distinguished by 18 instead of 17 longitudiual series of scales, of which the 3 upper ones are all lineated, whereas normally such is the case on those of the posterior part of the body. It makes a vigorous defence, and in darting at an enemy is capable of raising nearly the anterior two thirds of the body from the ground. In a female were found 23 whitish, soft, cylindrical eggs, of which the largest measured 1 inch. in length. The largest individual observed was of the following dimensions : Length of the head,
O ft. 14 inch.
5 ft. 34 inch,
Greatest circumference, 39 inch.
Habits and general appearance link the present species to Col. dhumnades, Cantor,* and Col. mucosus, Linné (Col. blumenbachii, Merrem,) but the latter as well as its variety with uniformly smooth scales (Col dhumna, Cantor : Spicil.) utter when irritated a peculiar diminuendo sound, not unlike that produced by a gently struck tuningfork.
COLUBER KORROS, Reinwardt.
Brownish green above, the scales of the posterior part of the trunk and of the tail with black points and edges, producing a regular network; beneath yellowish white or pearl-coloured ; the lateral part of the scuta light bluish-grey. Iris bright yellow with a bluish grey or blackish concentric ring, tongue black.
Young.--Above with some indistinct transversal bands, produced by two lateral white spots on some of the scales; the posterior part of the trunk with dark longitudinal lines.
Scuta 162 to 190 ; Scutella 79 to 136.
Java, Sumatra, Arracan, Tenasserim.
O ft. 1 inch.
3 ft. 11; inch. Greatest circumference of the trunk 3 inches.
Its habits are similar to those of the last mentioned species, from which it is easily distinguished by its 15 longitudinal series of smooth rhomboidal scales with rounded points.
Coluber HEXAHONOTUS, N. S. Head and back dark brown, changing to pale brownish buff on the sides ; trunk with numerous, close, transversal black bands, each with
* Chusun. It is covered by 14 to 16 long it. series of rhomboidal scales, of which those of the two uppermost series commence at a short distance from the head, exhibiting the central raised line.
a few white spots on the lower parts, becoming indistinct towards the posterior extremity of the trunk, from whence the colour is uniformly dark brown ; labial shields yellow, edged with black; beneath yellowish white, scutella edged with brown. Iris gamboge with a black concen. tric ring; pupil round, tongue black; central series of dorsal scales hexagonal.
Scuta 191 ; Scutella 148.
The head is distinct, elongated, with the muzzle broad, truncated, covered above with the normal number of shields, in form resembling those of Col. korros. The eyes are large, prominent, with two præorbitals, of which the superior is the larger, the inferior is wedged in between the 3rd, 4th and 5th upper labials. In addition to two postorbitals, there is an elongated crescent-shaped infra-orbital, resting on the 6th and 7th upper labials. The latter are 8 on each side, of which the 5th, broad hexagonal, borders the orbit ; the following are elongated, gradually increasing in size. The lower labials, 9 on each side, lie on the chin in contact with two pairs of elongated shields. The nostrils are rather large, orbicular, opening near the margin of the anterior frontals. The frenal is small, obliquely situated between the surrounding shields. The temples are covered by two pairs of elongated shields. The gape is wide, the teeth minute, of equal length. The trunk is slender, much compressed with 17 longitudinal series of smooth, rhombic, sub-imbricate scales, of which the central series is hexagonal. The abdomen narrow, arched. The tail is very slender elongated, tapering to a sharp point.
A solitary individual, discovered by Sir William Norris on the Great Hill of Pinang, was of the following dimensions :
Circumference of the neck of the trunk 1 inch., of the root of the tail 3 In fierceness it resembled the preceding species.