Dominik Wujastyk d.wujastyk at UCL.AC.UK
Mon Jul 12 18:20:12 UTC 2004

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, Richard MAHONEY wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 12, 2004 at 01:40:56AM +0100, Stephen Hodge wrote:
> [snip]
>> 4.  kukku.taahi = saw-scaled viper.  My identification is basd on
>> the following: as noted above the snake in question should do
>> something resembling the movement of a chicken etc in some way.
>> Apart from being coloured somewhat similarly to most chickens I have
>> seen, the saw-scaled viper is said to have one interesting
>> characteristic: when threatened, it coils back, delivers a fast
>> strike and then regains its raised position of defiance, which
>> sounds to me similar to a chicken bobbing up and down, pecking the
>> ground.

Saw-scaled viper:

"LOCAL NAMES: Pushtu Phissi; Sindhi Kuppur, Janndi; Hindi Afai; Marathi
Phoorsa; Kannada Kallu havu; Tamil Viriyan pamboo, Surutai viriyan;
Malayalam Churuta; Gujarati Tarachha, Zeri padkoo udaneyn.

The striking posture is characteristic, a double coil in the form of a
figure of 8 with its head in the centre.  The coils keep moving against
each other and the serrated keels on the flank scales produce a hissing
noise by friction, amplified by the inflated body acting as a resonator.
There is a report of a pot ull of these snakes hissing under excitement
sounding like a boiling kettle.

FOOD: Feeds largely on centipedes, scorpions, larger insects, mice,
skinks, geckos and frogs."

-- The book of Indian reptiles, J. C. Daniel (Bombay Natural History
Society, 1983).


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