Field Frame Friday: Tread carefully to avoid becoming a snake snack.

When your fieldwork requires traipsing through the forest understory, you often need to keep your eyes open for elusive dangerous creatures you may encounter. Since I conduct my fieldwork in peninsular Malaysia, I need to look out for creatures such as the wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri). Also known as the “temple viper”, these snakes are highly venomous and can be found perched on low-hanging branches while digesting or waiting for prey. The female viper in this photo was found just off path at my field-site in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and stayed in that exact spot for nearly 3 days as she digested her most recent meal!

[Photo and caption by Josie Hubbard]

Das, I., Ahmed, N., & Liat, L. B. (2015). Venomous terrestrial snakes of Malaysia: Their identity and biology. Clinical Toxinology; Gopalakrishnakone, P., Faiz, SMA, Gnanathasan, AC, Habib, GA, Fernando, R., Yang, C.-C., Eds, 1-15.

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