October 3, 2014
Afternoon Light in Cambodia
- as seen by -Matt Nuttall
I was out on patrol with the enforcement team in the Seima Protected Forest, which lies predominantly within Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Province. The forest contains a diverse mosaic of habitats, which allows a rich array of species to call it home. On this particular run, we came across this ruby-eyed green pitviper (Cryptelytrops rubeus), a recently described species.
Previously believed to be Cryptelytrops macrops, the Cryptelytrops rubeus can be distinguished through morphology, genetic analysis, and some differences in color. The species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to its small range and the fact that its population is believed to be decreasing.
The way the late afternoon light was shining perfectly along the pitviper’s perch made the different greens of the snake truly pop. Despite its size, the bright red eye was striking, and added something special to the scene.
Daniel Morawska, who is a Law Enforcement Technical Advisor for WCS Cambodia (and also very knowledgeable about snakes) spotted this animal. In fact, it’s not the first time. He has seen this species at least three times in the last year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For October, we at Wild View are getting in the spirit of Halloween. We’re celebrating nature that often elicits alarm. The animals that creep and crawl. The full moons that brighten night skies. The bats, the vultures, the snakes. Swallow your anxiety and join us. Fear not, it’s actually quite amazing.
Canon EOS 1000D