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Sightings arranged by: Taxonomy Location Date Scientific Name
Dendrelaphis caudolineatus — Gray Bronzeback
Also known as:
Striped Bronzeback, Stripe-tailed Bronzeback, Striped Racer
This was the second species of Dendrelaphis that my guide Kurt "Orion" G found sleeping in vegetation on my first night in Malaysia.
My Travelogues and Trip Lists page includes a complete list of the herps I saw in the wild on this trip to Malaysia, as well as a travelogue of the trip.
I found a second one in Borneo later on the trip. I wasn't sure I'd be able to identify it from this angle, but the stripes and colors give it away.
After taking this photo of the snake perhaps eight feet off the ground, I tried to capture and pose it. You would be amazed at how quickly it went from sleeping to vanishing into the leaf litter. Well, you might not be amazed, but it certainly caught me off guard.
After a number of nighttime sightings of sleeping Dendrelaphis, I finally saw one active, during the day. It was slowly patrolling a log pile beside a medium-sized creek. I set up my 300mm lens on a tripod and tried my best not to disturb its hunt. I'm pretty sure it was aware of my presence, but I stayed far enough away that it didn't take flight immediately.
When I arrived at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, my room wasn't ready so I had an hour or so to kill before lunch. I grabbed my camera bag and headed out onto the nearest trail, leaving my tripod behind. Within ten minutes, I saw this baby Dendrolaphis caudolineatus balanced on some leaves at the edge of the trail. My big camera was still in its bag, and I was afraid I might spook the snake by futzing with the bag and the tripod, so I just pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and took a few photos with it, including this one. The snake was not easily spooked because it let me take this photo from a few inches away. I did then get out my big camera, but in the low light of the rainforest, without a tripod or flash setup, the iPhone photos came out significantly better.
After seeing that baby within 10 minutes of my arrival, I thought I would be seeing a lot of snakes in Danum Valley. But alas, I saw only a few in the next three nights, and none of this species. On my fourth and final night my guide Hendry and I found three of these adult bronzebacks in about twenty minutes.
- Dendrelaphis caudolineatus account on The Reptile Database
- Dendrelaphis caudolineatus account on Ecology Asia
- Dendrelaphis caudolineatus account on Amphibians & Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia
- Das, I. 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-east Asia
- Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-east Asia
- Manthey, U., Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens
- Stuebing, R. B., Inger, R. F., Lardner, B. 2014. A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo, Second Edition