Dendrelaphis punctulatus Green Tree Snake
Also known as:
Common Tree Snake, Golden Tree Snake
The species name has been spelled punctulatus and punctulata by different authors, and sometimes by the same authors at different times. I am sure there is some argument going on somewhere about whether or not Dendrelaphis counts as a masculine form that requires a masculine species name, but I haven't seen that actual discussion. The latest edition of Wilson & Swan's guide uses punctulatus, so I have chosen to use that here.
on grounds of Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Queensland, AustraliaFebruary 17, 2003
Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus)
This sleek and agile snake put in an appearance on a fence just along one of the walking paths through the Australia Zoo. A zoo gardener spotted it first, and asked us curious onlookers to maintain a respectful distance until he could fetch a reptile keeper to verify the gardener's tentative identification. The gardener had gotten it right, and since this is a harmless species, I was then allowed to sneak in a little closer for better photos of this wild snake.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Australia.

Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 12, 2009
Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus)
My sister spotted this snake as we drove slowly along Fogg Dam early in the morning. It was basking on a pylon for an observation deck overlooking the reservoir formed by the dam. I tried to sneak up on it to get a closeup photo, but it saw me coming from quite a distance and took a flying leap into the water about six feet below.

I’ve written up an account of this three-week trip to Australia here.

Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 17, 2009
Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus)
I saw this snake near the side of the road at night, along with another of similar size. The other snake was quite dead. It seems likely that a car had tragically interrupted some snake romance.

When it saw me approach with my camera, the snake raced along the edge of the road and I ran along side it, barely managing to keep up. It ended up in a tree but didn’t stop moving quickly even then.

Territory Wildlife Park, Northern Territory, AustraliaNovember 19, 2009
Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus)
We noticed this gorgeous snake first because it was being repeatedly dive-bombed by a small bird, and second because it was bright yellow on the otherwise-brown forest floor. I suspect the snake was getting too close to the bird’s nest for the bird’s comfort.
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