Information on a green vine snake

Written by randa morris
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Information on a green vine snake
Not all green vine snakes are green. (Close-up snake leather texture to background image by Ragnarocks from Fotolia.com)

The green vine snake, also known as the Oriental whip snake, is native to South America, Asia and India. It is a semi-venomous snake, which can reach about 2 meters in length. While it is known as an avid hunter that kills its prey by injecting toxins with the rear fangs, it is usually not harmful to man.

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Geography

The green vine snake is found in Asia, India and in Amazon jungles. The highest population of green vines snakes is found in the country of Belize, in South America. This species of snake is arboreal, normally living in trees that hang over or are situated near rivers and streams. The snake prefers humid temperatures and areas where there is dense vegetation growth.

Information on a green vine snake
The green vine snake is an avid hunter. (Green Snake image by fotodewan from Fotolia.com)

identification

In spite of its name, the green vine snake can range in colour from bright green to rusty brown. It has a long, bright green coloured tongue, which is used as a feeler when hunting or when the animal senses danger. When disturbed, the snake will exhibit its black and white scale markings by expanding its body.

The adult green vine snake is approximately 2 centimetres around and can grow to a length of 2 meters. Its long slender tail is used for grasping the limbs and trunks of trees, while climbing or hunting. Its head is longer than that of most snakes, coming to a sharp point at the nose and mouth.

Information on a green vine snake
The green vine snake can range in colour from bright green to rusty brown. (weißlippen bambusotter image by Markus Götze from Fotolia.com)

Habits

The green vine snake makes it home in trees of the jungles of Asia and India. Since it is a slow-moving variety of snake, it relies mostly on camouflage for protection from predators. Frogs, lizards and small rodents make up the majority of its diet. It kills its prey by biting the head and injecting a toxic poison from the rear fangs into the animal's brain. It then swallows the animal whole.

Information on a green vine snake
Frogs, lizards and small mamals make up the majority of the green vine snake's diet. (frog image by Leonie Pratt from Fotolia.com)

Misconceptions

While the green vine snake is considered to be semi-venomous, there is little risk to most humans from its bite. The amount of poison injected by a single bite may be enough to kill a small animal, such as a frog, lizard or small bird. In humans, a bite from this snake would most likely cause a small skin irritation. It may be possible that a bite could cause a very young child to become ill, but there are no records of a human death ever having been caused by a bite from this snake.

Considerations

Green vine snakes are becoming more and more common in captivity. They may be purchased at pet stores and from online suppliers. While growing in popularity as household pets, these snakes do become aggressive when cornered or otherwise made to feel threatened. The snakes available on the market today are not domestically bred but are taken directly from the wild. They often have a difficult time adjusting to captivity. There is a high mortality rate for green vine snakes bought and sold as pets.

Information on a green vine snake
Green vine snakes can be caught easily in the wild. (rainforest image by Heng kong Chen from Fotolia.com)

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