Rare Bibroni’s Coral Snake found

Rare Bibroni’s Coral Snake found

A serpent eagle feeds on the rare coral snake at Bandipur forest, Chamarajanagar district.

For the first time, a rare snake – Bibroni’s Coral Snake – was spotted in Bandipur National Park in the district recently.

A photograph, by wildlife photographer and conservationist Ramachandra Urs from Bengaluru on October 10, showed a serpent eagle feeding on the snake.

N Harish Gowda, also a wildlife photographer, shared the images for confirmation of the specimen, which was identified as Bibroni Coral Snake. The scientific name is Calliophis Bibroni. It belongs to family Elapidae and venom Neurotoxic.

The snake, found in Bandipur National Park, has created curiosity as the climatic features of the Western Ghats and Bandipur forests are different. The snake might have extended its habitation from the Nilgiri’s long back and would have adjusted to survive in this climate, say experts.

Bibroni’s Coral Snake is a venomous reptile, named after French Biologist Gabriel Bibron. A native of India, this snake is found in Western Ghats, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The snake is slender, with subequal smooth scales, and the colour pattern ranges from cherry red to dark purplish brown. It has bands on its body. The average length is 50 cm and maximum 80 cm.

Bibron’s Coral is a nocturnal species and is rarely seen during daytime. It spends most of its life under soil and comes occasionally on the ground for foraging and mating. It feeds on other snakes, including venomous ones. Naturally, it checks the population of venomous and non-venomous snakes, by feeding on them, and plays a vital role in managing the ecological balance.