THE GREAT INDIAN EGG EATER SNAKE……..
)THIS SNAKE CHANGED MY LIFE NOW I CANT LIVE WITHOUT THE HERPETOLOGY………..
: - Head elongate, broader than neck; eye with vertical elliptical pupil; body distinctly compressed laterally; scale smooth and glossy; anal1 (undivided); internasals almost as large prefrontal; nasal peet [dimple] present; preocular 2; lorel absent; postoculars 2; temporals 2+3; anterior large and elongate; supralabials 6 [3, 4 touching to eye]; ventral 216,sub coudal 62.
It is a small slim snake, glossy chocolate brownish to black colour. Bluish white flecks present on hind body, black checkered marking on forebody, a florescent or cream stripe present along the mid dorsal line from nake to tip of the tail. Dorsal line have a enlarged hexagonal scales, which are irregular shaped Head is brown in colour and dark black arrow mark present on it. Ventrals white however some brownish dots are present on them. Elachistodon westermanni is nocturnal snake but it is also observed during daytime. These snakes are not aggressive but some times they take [s-shaped] attack position like trinket snake.
These snakes are very slim and their body shape is flattent and triangular which provides flexibility for easy movement on trees. Due to very flexible body it can easily run on land as well as climb on trees.
The egg eaters are specific in food selection. which feed, on eggs of birds have their ancestors feeding on birds. This indicates that the ancestor of Indian egg eater snake used to feed on adult birds. It was also observed that the Indian egg eater snake prefers passerine eggs. The eggs of munias are much smaller than the eggs of sparrow and Doves. When the snake was given 10 eggs each of Munia, Sparrow and Doves on different days, it was observed that the egg eater feeds on 7 eggs of Munia at a time, 4 eggs of Sparrow at a time and only 2 eggs of Doves indicating their volume of diet. The size of eggs was also found to play a significant role in feeding mechanism. It is proposed that the egg size selection must be according to the morphological characters of jaws and skull bones of these snakes. The selection of eggs by Indian egg eater snake involves chemical cues as there are always predisposition of ancestral chemical molecules in descendants in the form of “ chemical signature ” The further studies in this respect are in progress. For more information please refer the the current issue of hamadryad, the journal of herpetology.
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