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The Mock Viper

Here is a little juvenile Mock Viper 紫沙蛇 ...next to an acorn cup for size! Other Name: Psammodynastes pulverulentus papenfussi. Other Chinese Name(s): 荼斑大頭蛇

Jack found this little fella in the middle of the path on our walk....He is tiny, as you can see by the size of the acorn "cup" next to him. They have an amazing way of playing dead, all broken and bent with their tongue sticking out...very realistic, and this has made us jump a couple of times. Not dangerous at all, and bites do not hurt. Seen mainly during the day, and can sleep in trees at nighttime, where Sophie Ferguson has found them (not that she was sleeping in a tree, you understand). They have many different morphs (colours) and i have seen them range from quite red, to brown, and even grey.

I often used to find this snake in TaiPoKau nature park, but not so much in recent years. It looks "angry" but is relatively calm, although has been known to strike when provoked - but mainly uses a bluff technique, and can be considered harmless to humans... The mock viper has rear fangs, so rubs the light venom from his glands in over a matter of time to his hapless prey who cannot escape his grasp.

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