The best way to ID a snake...head over to www.hongkongsnakeid.com (a blatant plug for our sister sit
The site www.hongkongsnakeid.com is co-authored by Adam Francis who works hard to take the great photos, and write up the descriptions. I also let him handle the big and dangerous snakes, just for fun.
Here for example are some pics and the write up for this lovely and large Taiwan Beauty Snake that Adam found near his house on midlevels the other day.
PREVALENCE: Not common
ACTIVE PERIOD: Most active during the day
KEY ID FEATURES: Bright yellow, with black blotches from neck to past mid section with black and yellow striped tail
BEHAVIOR: Large and readily willing to bite, but will almost always try to flee when encountered
SIZE: Large - 2m+
OTHER: Small localized population in one area
The Taiwan Beauty Snake will puff up their neck when threatened. The neck expands vertically making them look taller rather than displaying the notorious 'hood' seen on cobra species. A harmless defensive tactic but can be unsettling for the inexperienced. These snakes will almost always flee if they sense you approaching and despite a bite from a mature specimen being painful they pose almost no danger to humans and have no venom. As a diurnal species the Taiwan Beauty Snake is most active during the day spending most of its time on the ground hunting but is also capable of climbing trees where it can occasionally be found resting at night. Due to its size the Taiwan Beauty Snake is thought to predate on small mammals and possibly birds in Hong Kong when mature.
Be sure to head over to www.hongkondsnakeid.com for more great pics and information.