Night hike and a cobra!

On Friday evening, together with Paul Carter from the UK, we headed out to some inland forest to see what we could find. Species encountered included a juvenile of what I believe to be the endemic Phuket bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phuketensis), two Mock vipers (Psammodynastes pulverulentus) as well as the usual sleeping diurnal lizards. Some agricultural elephants were calling nearby and luckily we didn’t bump into them in the dark! On Sunday, while traveling across the island I saw several rat snakes (Ptyas korros) killed on the road. When I turned a corner on a coastal road I saw what I thought was another rat snake crossing the road. As I got out of the car and approached I soon realized it not a rat snake but a Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia). It really is not so easy to distinguish these snakes until you see them up close. Needless to say I was really pleased to photograph a cobra for the first time in the wild! While my wife Kat has been working in the forest this week, she came across some of the endemic Phuket spiny lizard (Acanthosaura phuketensis). Again this week, large numbers of snakes have been found dead on the roads including keelbacks, rat snakes, bronzebacks and sunbeam snakes.

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By Matt Wilson

One comment on “Night hike and a cobra!

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