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Common Name : Green Vine Snake     -       Scientific Name : Ahaetulla nasuta       -       Other Name : Ehetulla, Esgulla (S), Green Whip Snake (E)
Downall Pitiya
12/31/2014
Downall Pitiya
12/31/2014

This is a very common species of snake found through out the country except for the highest hills. Other than in Sri Lanka it is found in India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (National Red List 2012).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

The Green vine Snakes are mildly poisonous. The venom they carry cannot cause any harm to humans. These snakes spend most of their time on trees where they hunt Lizards, Geckos, Small birds etc.

I have seen this species at many locations through out the country. It is common in all the wet zone forests and the dry zone forests. In the north I have seen it at Vidaththalthivu. It is still found in the outskirts of the city Colombo. I have seen it at Bellanwila Attidiya and in 2013 at Thalangama wet lands and Kotte Marshes.

In 2006 I observed a large specimen of this species of about 4-5 feet preying on an adult male Common Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor at Koslanda. The snake swiftly and skillfully pursued the lizard so that it had to move to the end of a branch that was over hanging a cliff. Having cornered its prey the snake started to move closer to its prey with front part of its body shaped in the form of an “S” preparing to strike. As the snake got closer the lizard moved to the tip of the branch and the snake lunged forward to catch its prey as the lizard jumped off the tree. It caught the luckless lizard in mid air. Having caught its prey the snake was hanging from tree with this large prey struggling in its mouth. It did not let go of its prey even when a person approached it almost touching distance.  After about 12 minutes the lizard was dead and the snake curled up back on to the tree where the prey was swallowed.

In Wilpattu I have seen this species at Eluwankulama, Maradanmaduwa and Downall Pitiya.