INDIA
2001


"The Cobra's Revenge"

Agumbe, Karnataka State

Agumbe is a village in Karnataka state that has risen to prominance through its association with king cobras, Rom Whitaker and his Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, the latter established as a conservation area in 2005, four years after our visit, and now considered a Biodiversity Hotspot. Rom calls Agumbe the "capital of king cobra ".

Agumbe: Capital of King Cobra The Agumbe rainforest & waterfalls

At Agumbe we explored the forest and went with guides to where they said there was a old king cobra nest, but they were unable to locate it.

We found two amphibians in the forest: Golden frog (Hylarana aurantiaca), and Short-legged leaping frog (Indirana brachytarsus).

Amphibians from Agumbe
Short-legged leaping frog,
Indirana brachytarsus
Golden frog,
Hylarana aurantiaca

And we found a number of interesting reptiles: Northern keeled skink (Eutropis carinata carinata), Günther's cat skink (Ristella guentheri), and Roux's forest lizard (Calotes rouxii), two Dharman ratsnakes (Ptyas mucosa), Trinket snake (Coelognathus helena - not photographed), Beddome's keelback (Amphiesma beddomei), Humpnose pitviper (Hypnale hypnale) and Malabar pitviper (Trimeresurus malabaricus).

Reptiles from Agumbe
Günther's cat skink,
Ristella guentheri
Northern keeled skink,
Eutropis carinata carinata
Roux's forest lizard,
Calotes rouxii
Beddome's keelback,
Amphiesma beddomei
Humpnose pitviper,
Hypnale hypnale
Malabar pitviper,
Trimeresurus malabaricus

We did not find any king cobras!

Mark with the
Malabar pitviper, Trimeresurus malabaricus

 

We also encountered reptiles on the road between Agumbe and Seethanadi: a live and a DOR (dead on road) Dharman ratsnake, an Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga trijuga) and another Humpnose pitviper crawling on the gravel in the middle of a side-road.

More Reptiles from Agumbe
Indian black turtle,
Melanochelys trijuga trijuga
Dharman ratsnake,
Ptyas mucosa
Humpnose pitviper,
Hypnale hypnale