SRI LANKA
2002


"Venom"

Ambanpola, North-Western Province
&
Tambuttegama, North-Central Province

Map of Nikaweratiya to Anuradhapura road
showing locations of Ambanpola & Tambuttegama
Mouse-over to view satellite map


Nikaweratiya is 110 km southwest of Anuradhapura. The drive to Anuradhapura took several hours driving slowly and road-cruising for snakes. We arrived well into the night after an eventful journey.

We found three road-killed Russell's vipers (Daboia russelii) and an injured specimen which died the same night.

At Ambanpola we caught a live Sri Lankan kukri snake (Oligodon taeniolatus ceylonicus) and another small snake I identified as a Scarce bridal snake (Dryocalamus gracilis). This was an important find, only the third specimen found in Sri Lanka, the first for 114 years and the southern-most record. We published a note in the Herpetological Review (download a copy here).

 

Snakes from Ambanpola
Sri Lankan kukri snake, Oligodon taeniolatus ceylonicus
Scarce bridal snake, Dryocalamus gracilis

At Tambuttegama, just inside North-Central Province, we found an adult Bengal monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis). Unfortunately it had been hit by a vehicle and was injured. I collected the lizard and nursed it for several days, eventually releasing it fully-recovered a few days later.

Lizard from Tambuttegama
Bengal monitor lizard, Varanus bengalensis