SABAH & BRUNEI (BORNEO) 2009

Victor Valley College Tropical Acclimatization

 

West Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
Pulau Ular


Map of West Sabah south of Kota Kinabalu
(click to enlarge)

Pulau Ular means "snake island" in Bahasa Malay. The island is located a foew kms northeast of Pulau Tiga and is a popular day trip for tourists who combine a visit with sunbathing on a local sand-bar.

Pulau Ular, Ular is Bahasa Malay for "snake".
Welcome and warning signs upon arrival at Pulau Ular.

The herpetologists in our group were keen to explore for sea kraits but not as part of the group of tourists from Pulau Tiga so I asked tfor us to move around the island separately. The tour group found one sea krait and left to go sun-bething. We found two specimens together under a rock and extricated them for photography purposes. The widespread Colubrine or Yellow-lipped se krait (Laticauda colubrina) has a specific association with the terrestrial Sea krait tick (Amblyomma nitidum). The only other herp sighted was the Mangrove skink (Emoia atrocostata), a widespread Indo-Pacific species that evaded capture.

SEA KRAITS on PULAU ULAR
click on an image to enlarge
Mark O'Shea extricating two sea kraits from under a rock on Pulau Ular.
Colubrine or Yellow-lipped sea krait, Laticauda colubrina

 

Mark O'Shea with sea kraits.

 

Sea kraits, whilst front-fanged and venomous, are completely inoffensive and rarely bite when handled.

 

The widespread Colubrine or Yellow-lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) has a specific association with the terrestrial Sea krait tick (Amblyomma nitidum). The only other herp sighted was the Mangrove skink (Emoia atrocostata), a widespread Indo-Pacific species that evaded capture.

 

 

 

 

Sea krait tick, Amblyomma nitidum, a terrestrial tick
specifically associated with amphibious sea kraits.