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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

3. Dipsadidæ, or Nocturnal Tree-Snakes. — Dipsas. Auct. — Dipsas Fusca Gray; — The Brown Tree-Snake

3. Dipsadidæ, or Nocturnal Tree-Snakes.

Dipsas. Auct.

Dipsas Fusca Gray;

The Brown Tree-Snake.

Form slender, body and tail compressed, elongate head much depressed, triangular, broad behind, very distinct from neck; scales on the vertebral line much larger, regularly six-sided, vertical shield broad, occipitals obtuse behind, one loreal; eight upper labials, the third and fourth and sometimes the fifth touching the orbit; one anterior two posterior oculars; eye large, pupil elliptical; nostril moderate, between two shields; posterior maxillary teeth longest and grooved.

Above, light brown or reddish brown, with numerous black rather oblique, sometimes obsolete cross bands; belly uniform salmon coloured.

The present species has not been so much noticed in the neighbourhood of Sydney as the Green Tree-snake, but this may page 38 be owing to its nocturnal habits; it is found along the East Coast, and ranges as far as Port Essington; individuals observed in captivity appeared very gentle in disposition, and could be freely handled without showing any inclination to bite, they passed the day coiled up amongst the branches of trees, but became very active at night, noiselessly gliding through the foliage in search of their prey, which, as in the Green Tree snake, consists of birds, birds' eggs, insects, frogs, lizards, and the smaller mammalia.

I am unable to state whether the female is oviparous or not; the number of young produced annually does probably not exceed 20. Total length of adult about 6 feet.