Occurrence of the rare Checkerbelly snake, Siphlophis cervinus in the Nariva Swamp, Trinidad

R. Smith


The Checkerbelly, Siphlophis cervinus (Laurenti) is one of the rarest of the snakes of Trinidad. The last published record is of a specimen collected by Mole on Ortinola Estate, Maracas Valley in 1925 (Boos, 1975), although Professor Julien Kenny reports finding one near the Manzanilla Road about twentY years ago. Emsley (1977) comments that "Little is known of this secre· tive snake. Specimens have been taken from the top of a very tall coconut palm, and also from the ground. Hence it was with some excitement that we identified a specimen found on 12th May 1978 in the Nariva Swamp.

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