Unfortunately, this snake was not at all interested in posing for my camera afterwards. I managed to get the one head-and-forebody shot above that looks a little bit natural, until you see how my sister was holding the snake at the time to enable my photo. When released a few minutes later, it disappeared quickly under the leaf litter outside of the bungalow.
This snake has some wonderful legends associated with it. It seems that the local people fear it due to its unusual coloration. The front of the body is yellowish, and the rear and tail are burgundy/red. This somehow has led people to believe that it hangs from trees tail-first, then falls to impale humans on its tail. Before doing so, though, it chooses to warn its victims by dropping a particular number of leaves — some say three, some say seven — before making the plunge.
Here is a list of all the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Madagascar.
- Glaw, F., Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, Second Edition
- Glaw, F., Vences, M. 2007. A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, Third Edition
- Henkel, F., Schmidt, W. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar and the Mascarene, Seychelles, and Comoro Islands