Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Beautiful Serpent

One recent afternoon I went outside to shoo the Psycho Tanager off the front terrace (long story, but we have a Hepatic Tanager who attacks his own evil image in our windows, and we cannot persuade him to stop without completely covering the windows, but we're not willing to live in the dark, etc.) When I turned on my heel to come back inside, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that something was different about the foliage in front of the living room window. A black and yellow snake, approximately 4 to 4.5 feet in length, was draped about 4 feet off the ground, suspended between two bushes. Marco was out on an errand and had taken the little Flip camera with him. (I called him to confirm this when I was unable to find the camera.) He said the "real" camera (his video camera) was here, so I fumbled around with it and the tripod and got a bit of footage before Marco roared up in the truck. (Most of the footage in the video below is Marco's.)

We think it is a Yellow-bellied Racer (Liophis epinephelus.) It was a lot slower and calmer than the Salmon-bellied Racer we saw a few days before. This snake allowed me to place the tripod within 2 feet of it - it did not even flinch, let alone make any threatening moves toward me. Like the Salmon-bellied, this one went around the side of the house and raised up in an attempt to climb into the planter box. Unlike the other snake, this one seemed interested in going inside the house. First it raised up and looked intently through the living room window (behind the bushes where I initially found it.) It did this a couple of times. Then it continued onto the front terrace and toward the front door. I am certain it would have entered the house if I had not closed the door.

Until we saw the Salmon-bellied and this Yellow-bellied Racer, I did not think a lot about snakes. Marco says he maintains a level of alertness for them whenever he's working in the yard. I know we're in the tropics and they're around. But now, having these two appear so close to the casita, I have become more watchful. Even in the house I find myself looking in corners and checking beneath furniture. Life will never be the same, or at least not until a few weeks pass without seeing a serpent.

1 comment:

  1. Now we think this is the "Bird Snake", Pseustes poecilonotus.