The Rhombic Night Adder (Causus rhombeatus), also known as the Demon Night Adder, Cape Night Adder, African Night Adder and Cape Viper, is a venomous viper species found in subsaharan Africa.
With an average length of 60cm (2ft), this is the largest member of the genus Causus. The longest individual ever recorded was a 93cm (3ft) male collected in eastern Zimbabwe.
This is an active species that can often move relatively quickly. They are usually found on the ground, but have no trouble climbing or swimming. They are largely nocturnal, but are often seen basking in the early morning or late afternoon. However, Harper (1963) reported collecting a dozen specimens that were all active during the heat of the day.
Most specimens are docile, seldom attempting to bite unless severely provoked. FitzSimons is quoted in Pitman (1938) as saying that that, in captivity, they “become so tame that you may allow them to creep, climb and slither round your neck and inside your garments.” Others, however, are more temperamental.
When seriously disturbed, they will put on a “ferocious” threat display that includes coiling up, inflating the body (making the dark markings stand out), hissing and puffing loudly, flattening the anterior portion of the body, and striking frantically. They may also flatten the neck and move forward with the tongue extended, much like a small cobra. Striking is done with such vigor that small specimens may lift themselves off the ground entirely.
Their diet consists mainly of toads, but it also includes frogs and small mammals.
reptilicon: Rhombic Night Adder (Causus rhombeatus) AKA ‘Common Night Adder’
(Credit to Quintin on SA Reptiles forums)
環紋赤蛇 - MacClelland’s Coral Snake (Sinomicrurus macclellandi), Taiwan
- a species of Elapid snake found in South, SE, and East Asia, nocturnal, usually in habitats with treees and leaf litter, considered generally docile, feeds on small lizards and snakes.
(photo: Skink Chen)
Black-banded Sea Krait (Laticauda semifasciata) Communal Hunt
from Planet Earth (BBC)
The unique and only recently discovered communal hunting behaviour of this population of sea kraits has never been filmed before and HD brings pristine clarity to the underwater footage. The snakes proved very inquisitive, wrapping themselves round the cameraman’s legs. As a result, it was extremely hard to film natural behaviour while being sure to avoid the snakes’ potentially lethal bite.
(* species first shown are Banded Sea Kraits, Laticauda colubrina)
(via: BBC Nature)
Banded Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina)
Banded sea kraits are highly venomous (neurotoxic) sea snakes, but are generally not aggressive and therefore don’t necessarily pose a danger to divers. Although they feed in the sea (on eels and other fish), they return to land to mate.
(via: BBC Nature)
Matilda’s horned viper, a new snake species, regards the camera with a steady stare.
The 2.1-foot-long (0.6-meter-long) reptile was discovered during 2010-2011 biodiversity surveys in a remote Tanzanian forest. The “beautiful, heavy-bodied bush viper” sports black and yellow zigzag markings and yellow, hornlike scales above its olive-colored eyes, Tim Davenport, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s country director for Tanzania, said in an email.
But few would be envious of this green-eyed creature’s rare status. Its forest habitat, already smaller than about 40 square miles (a hundred square kilometers), is declining due to human development and other factors, said Davenport, whose group made the joint discovery with the Science Museum of Trento, Italy. Considering this, Davenport suspects the snake—described December 6 in the journal Zootaxa—will be listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature…
(read more: National Geo)
(photos: Michele Menegon, Science Museum of Trento/WCS )
World’s Deadliest Scorpion?
The Indian Red Scorpion is considered the most lethal of all scorpions. But despite its reputation, it only stings as a last resort. Shunning human contact, it prefers to feast on insects, like roaches.
(via: National Geo)
This is yet another example of my “Animals that people are afraid of/hate when they shouldn’t be.” Should one have a healthy respect for scorpions? Yes! Should one not fuck with them? YES! But fear? No, one needn’t fear such a passive creature. Others in this group of critters are snakes, spiders, bats, sharks & crocodilians (specifically, caimans).
Blue Ring, Departing, Australia
The Blue Ring Octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.) is among the most venomous creatures in the world; its bite is usually lethal even to adult humans. Normally brown or another nondescript color to blend in with its surroundings, the blue ring turns photogenically bright yellow with blue rings only when disturbed.
Fortunately, this little creature is not at all aggressive: The warning color change is a prelude to flight, and even this tiny guy can easily escape all but the most determined lumbering human diver.
(photo/text: Rick Collier)