Solo ser­pent

Animal Scene - - ANIMAL APPEAL -

A slith­er­ing form on a tree sapling caught our eyes and proved to be Ahaetulla prasina pre­oc­u­laris, a mildly ven­omous snake called ‘da­hong-palay’ in Ta­ga­log and widely feared due to the sup­posed tox­i­c­ity not only of its fangs, but also of its skin. There was even a leg­end amongst Batangueños that when Bathala pre­sented a jar of venom that snakes could drink and thus in­cor­po­rate in their arse­nal, the da­hong-palay came last due to its lazi­ness and only re­sorted to rub­bing its skin on the jar’s in­te­ri­ors to ob­tain what­ever what was left. In re­al­ity, da­hong­palay bites, al­though quite painful, are far from be­ing dan­ger­ous and were toxic only to its prey, which con­sisted of skinks and geckos. These snakes were a fa­vorite of pho­tog­ra­phers due to its very grace­ful and sinewy S-curves when ag­i­tated. The snake, though, made no at­tempt to even strike at us.

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