Russell’s Kukri Snake or Variegated Kukri Snake (Oligodon taeniolatus) is a slender snake with the stereotype build of the genus Oligodon. Its colour may vary considerably which has led to the naming and often subsequent revision of many subspecies. Sri Lankan specimens are often light brown with darker or buff coloured stripes and a pearly brown underbelly. Indian specimens could either have a darker or buff base colouring with black or yellowish markings.
Behaviour: It is a diurnal but may remain active by night. It prefers areas near water where frog spawn can be found and leaf litter. It may frequently venture close to human dwellings and reside in nearby flowerpots or vegetation. It is a very timid snake and flees with high speed when confronted. However if it is harmed or cornered in any way it will attack with utmost ferocity until it is bestowed a window of opportunity to escape. However once captured it quickly becomes tame returning to its savage state only once molested.
Food: Feeds mainly on the eggs of lizards, snakes and frogs. It may also feed on young lizards and possibly large insects.
Breeding: Very little is known about its reproductive habits. It is most likely to be oviparous. Very small specimens begin to appear in May which could indicate the period of hatching.
Growth: The smallest known specimens often assumed to be hatchlings measure c.120mm in length. Females are longer and heavier than the males but have shorter tails. The longest known specimens often exceed 50cm.
Venom: Non venomous
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/5 | Camera : Canon EOS 40D | Taken : 25 February, 2008 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.12844″ N 74° 59′ 44.3328″ E | Shutter speed : 1/100s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.