[PW] identifying a snake

Kay Lancaster kay at hub.fern.com
Sun Nov 1 08:52:56 PST 2015

On Sunday 2015-11-01 01:09, Petter Naess wrote:

> Thank you Kay, I'm almost certain that is correct, I think the required
> grain of salt is really quite tiny! And am very grateful to know about the
> "reptile database," what a resource!
> Petter

I'm not sure why this took so long to post, because I wrote and 
sent it about 9 hours previously. Oh well.

Here's why I'm less than sure of that id:
1) Your specimen appears quite gracile, while the photographed 
specimens on the web appear fairly "stout" -- not gracile.
2) The reported maximum length is 75 cm; average specimen seems 
to be 30-60 cm
3) Color and banding in snakes can be variable.  Here, for 
instance, is the US Armed Forces photo: 
4) There is at least one other green snake in Sudan, Philothamnus 
angolensis, growing to a maximum of 1.2 m, averaging around 1.
The photos I've found of this species appear more gracile.
5) Photo identifications are always tricky.  In my own field of 
botany, there are many, many plants that I refuse to even try to 
id from a photo -- you just can't see what you need to see to 
give a firm id.


> On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 7:31 PM, Kay Lancaster <kay at hub.fern.com> wrote:
>> I tentatively suggest it might be Causus resimus, green night adder or
>> green night viper, based on a search of "snake" and "Sudan" in the online
>> reptile database here: http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz
>> Description here:
>> http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Causus&species=resimus&search_param=%28%28taxon%3D%27snake%27%29%28location%3D%27sudan%27%29%
>> Because the snake is out of context, and many of the identifying
>> characteristics like pupil shape are not in the photo, and because I'm
>> really a botanist and a confirmed non-herpetophile,
>> take this tentative id with a very large grain of salt.
>> The last entry in the synonomy list is for Laurent Chirio and Ivan Ineich
>> in 2006, so I'd probably try to track one of them down and ask them to take
>> a look at the photo.
>> Kay
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> Petter Næss
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