Thursday, April 12, 2007

Snake vs Frog Round II

As I was traipsing along a bush track the other day, a young Roth's Treefrog (Litoria rothii) suddenly leapt out from beside the track, with a Golden Tree-snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) in hot pursuit. They both noticed me in the same instant and the three of us froze - the frog halted its hopping, the snake slid to a stop just past the frog (which was superbly camoflagued against the sand), my hand reaching for the camera being my only movement.

The snake regained its composure, and began tongue-flicking and moving its head backwards, forwards and side-to-side, trying to pick up the scent of its quarry. The frog remained petrified, but to no avail. The snake closed in, spotted the frog, and quickly struck.

The consumption of this frog was much faster than the last one I witnessed, a mere mouthful to the snake. Interestingly, you can see from the photos that this snake has something wrong with its eye - it's dark and clouded and I suspect it could not see out of this eye very well, if at all. Indeed, as I moved around to the other side of the snake for a photo of its good eye, it suddenly realised I was there and made haste into the bush.

Both of these animals are largely tree-dwelling, and it's my guess that the snake, upon coming across the frog in a tree or pandanus, then had to pursue it after it jumped to the ground.

Something tells me it's not really a fair fight...

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