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Snakes!

Snakes!

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 13:11

The warm weather and rains of spring have arrived and the snakes are again out and about! Here's a thread to tell us about what you've seen, or to have questions asked and answered about Taiwan's magnificent variety of snakes!
onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 13:42

This was the first snake I saw this year: A cute little Sauter's Water Snake (Amphiesma sauteri) I came across over the Chinese New Year holiday on Tiger Head Mountain in Taoyuan. This past week I've come across a few habus and a Dinodon rufozonatum on my bike rides. With the warming temps, sightings should only increase. :discodance:

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onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby jesus80 » 01 Apr 2014, 13:59

this year I haven´t spot any yet, but so far I have see like three cobras, several small green snakes (the cute harmless one, not the viper motherfucker), and a carpet on the road. Oh, and some small brownish snake in the Caolin trek that could be poisonous (triangle shape head) and another longer snake, same trek same day.

I think that it´s a little bit soon for seeing snakes in the north, but lizards are already out :)
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby Nuit » 01 Apr 2014, 14:00

Saw 2 sluggish beasts last weekend up in Xizhi. Brown and unidentified. Looking forward to more on this thread :thumbsup:.
It's raining again here.

A wicked wind whips up the hill, a handful of hopeful words.
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 14:08

jesus80 wrote:this year I haven´t spot any yet, but so far I have see like three cobras, several small green snakes (the cute harmless one, not the viper motherfucker), and a carpet on the road. Oh, and some small brownish snake in the Caolin trek that could be poisonous (triangle shape head) and another longer snake, same trek same day.

I think that it´s a little bit soon for seeing snakes in the north, but lizards are already out :)


Once temps are over 18C, everything is in play, even here in the North. The Greater Green snakes should be out in force soon. Where did you see the cobras? And do you have a google map of this "Caolin trek"? That sounds like my kind of place!
onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 14:12

Nuit wrote:Saw 2 sluggish beasts last weekend up in Xizhi. Brown and unidentified. Looking forward to more on this thread :thumbsup:.


Nice! Get any photos of the snakes? I'll be up in Sanzhi on at least one of the Tomb Sweeping weekend days to do a bit of herping. Anyone interested in joining me, send me a PM, I have all the headlamps, flashlights, hooks, tongs, bags, etc...so you just need to bring a healthy interest in nature if you want to see some of Taiwan's hidden treasures. :)
onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby jesus80 » 01 Apr 2014, 14:33

onionsack wrote:
jesus80 wrote:this year I haven´t spot any yet, but so far I have see like three cobras, several small green snakes (the cute harmless one, not the viper motherfucker), and a carpet on the road. Oh, and some small brownish snake in the Caolin trek that could be poisonous (triangle shape head) and another longer snake, same trek same day.

I think that it´s a little bit soon for seeing snakes in the north, but lizards are already out :)


Once temps are over 18C, everything is in play, even here in the North. The Greater Green snakes should be out in force soon. Where did you see the cobras? And do you have a google map of this "Caolin trek"? That sounds like my kind of place!


The first time I spotted a cobra (or something that had a hood that pop out when threatened) was in Hualian, in a path near the beach. It was CNY, but the weather was awesome. I was riding my bike and the animal was overcome with some uncontrollable rage and tried to bite us xD

Then the second time it was in road number 7, that goes from Sanxia to Yilan, more or less. We were crossing the mountain, and there were woods everywhere. The animal seemed to be quite pacific, which is the behaviour I´d expect from a cobra, but when I approached it, it showed the hood, but it didn't even bother to confront me. Well, sorry, this was the first time.

The third time was in Yilan, in some road going uphill to some golf camp. My gf spotted it on the side of the road, and I could see it only partially. The animal was huge.

As for the caolin, gaolin, kaolin, whatever trail, it´s this one:

http://www.taiwanderful.net/guides/caol ... oric-trail

It´s located in the north east coast, and it goes from Fulong to Gongliao, more or less.

However, if you´re looking for snakes, I´d recommend you to go by night to YMS and check the sides of the road. I´m sure that there must be snakes there. I even saw some people "snake seeing" or something in Wanli by night. They were checking the sides of the road with flashlights. If you ever do that, I would like to join, specially if you are experienced with these animals. I used to love them, and now... I´m just scared of them :D


PS: here in Taiwan there's at least one more snake with hood besides the cobra. They look similar, not sure if they're easy to tell apart...
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 15:17

jesus80 wrote:
onionsack wrote:
jesus80 wrote:this year I haven´t spot any yet, but so far I have see like three cobras, several small green snakes (the cute harmless one, not the viper motherfucker), and a carpet on the road. Oh, and some small brownish snake in the Caolin trek that could be poisonous (triangle shape head) and another longer snake, same trek same day.

I think that it´s a little bit soon for seeing snakes in the north, but lizards are already out :)


Once temps are over 18C, everything is in play, even here in the North. The Greater Green snakes should be out in force soon. Where did you see the cobras? And do you have a google map of this "Caolin trek"? That sounds like my kind of place!


The first time I spotted a cobra (or something that had a hood that pop out when threatened) was in Hualian, in a path near the beach. It was CNY, but the weather was awesome. I was riding my bike and the animal was overcome with some uncontrollable rage and tried to bite us xD

Then the second time it was in road number 7, that goes from Sanxia to Yilan, more or less. We were crossing the mountain, and there were woods everywhere. The animal seemed to be quite pacific, which is the behaviour I´d expect from a cobra, but when I approached it, it showed the hood, but it didn't even bother to confront me. Well, sorry, this was the first time.

The third time was in Yilan, in some road going uphill to some golf camp. My gf spotted it on the side of the road, and I could see it only partially. The animal was huge.

As for the caolin, gaolin, kaolin, whatever trail, it´s this one:

http://www.taiwanderful.net/guides/caol ... oric-trail

It´s located in the north east coast, and it goes from Fulong to Gongliao, more or less.

However, if you´re looking for snakes, I´d recommend you to go by night to YMS and check the sides of the road. I´m sure that there must be snakes there. I even saw some people "snake seeing" or something in Wanli by night. They were checking the sides of the road with flashlights. If you ever do that, I would like to join, specially if you are experienced with these animals. I used to love them, and now... I´m just scared of them :D


PS: here in Taiwan there's at least one more snake with hood besides the cobra. They look similar, not sure if they're easy to tell apart...


Ah yes, I'm familiar with that hike. It's a good one! And you're right, YMS is always a good option for snakes. As for the #7 cross-island road that runs from Daxi to Yilan, that's like a second home to me, and I can often be found up in those mountains looking for snakes, particularly around the area of Baling and LaLaShan. Taiwan has only one species of cobra (Naja atra) and I think the other snake that hoods up that you are referring to is the Stejneger's Mountain Keelback ( Pseudoxenodon stejnegeri), although the hood isn't nearly as wide, and the snake itself is much smaller. It's a beautiful snake, and an encounter was one of my highlights from last year. :D Congrats on the sightings, no need to fear snakes - they generally aren't aggressive in the least and have no interest whatsoever in tangling with a human.
onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby jesus80 » 01 Apr 2014, 15:23

Well, while I expect a chill out behaviour from cobras, vipers are a whole different thing; they're rather aggressive and they are usually difficult to see, which makes a bad combination for human bipeds :D
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Re: Snakes 2014

Postby onionsack » 01 Apr 2014, 15:39

jesus80 wrote:Well, while I expect a chill out behaviour from cobras, vipers are a whole different thing; they're rather aggressive and they are usually difficult to see, which makes a bad combination for human bipeds :D


"aggressive" is too strong a term for even vipers. They ARE masters of camouflage, and will strike at something if it's in their grill and they feel threatened. But they won't actively chase anything that keeps a respectful distance. Bites are rare, and almost always DEFENSIVE - when the snake feels threatened, or someone inadvertently steps on one. The last thing they want to do is waste venom on something they can't swallow, or unnecessarily irritate something far larger than it that can kill it.
onionsack
Mastered ordering "beer" in Chinese (jīngtōng le yòng Guóyǔ shuō "píjiǔ")
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