A member of the public who was walking along a trail by Sun Moon Lake’s Cien Tower recently found a strange snake that looked like a Chinese sharp-nosed viper or a brown pit viper. The person was afraid that it was poisonous and took a photo as a record. When a snake expert was asked to look at it, however, it turned out to be a false viper.
The Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou County’s Jiji Township says that although this kind of snake has characteristics of both the brown pit viper and the Chinese sharp-nosed viper, the eyes of the false viper have round pupils, unlike those of the brown pit viper’s eyes, which, like cats’s eyes, can vary in shape and appear oval in daylight conditions. In addition, the surface of a brown pit viper’s head is composed of small, fine scales, whereas on the false viper the scales are bigger. These features make it possible to distinguish between the two. It is normal for this kind of snake to be found at the Sun Moon Lake, which lies at a low-to-medium altitude, and it is a docile and non-venomous species of snake.
The Endemic Species Research Institute also says that if members of the public come across snakes in the wild, they should not frighten or tease them, but just walk slowly around them and leave. If people follow this advice, they will not be attacked by snakes.
(Liberty Times, translated by Clare Lear)
Photo provided by a member of the public
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