It is indeed a ʀᴜᴛʜʟᴇss ᴋɪʟʟɪɴɢ. A ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍous snake ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏᴢᴇᴅ and sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ a lizard in Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve in Vietnam. It happened within only a few minutes, and nature photographer Dao Tan Phat captured the whole process.
Nature photographer Dao Tan Phat, 28 years old, was observing snakes at Dong Nai Cultural Nature Reserve, Vietnam when he spotted a snake ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ the lizard. The poor lizard was ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏᴢᴇᴅ by the snake’s ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ and then it was sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ whole.
In the space of just a few minutes, the ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ was over and there was no trace of the lizard left. It is rare to get so cᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ to a snake to witness the entire ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ ritual, and photographer Dao Tan Phat said he felt ‘so lucky’ to capture it. Due to the transparency of the snake, it is possible to see the head and body of the lizard inside it on the way to its stomach.
The 28-year-old photographer said: “I was quite amazed but took advantage of an opportunity to photograph them. After seeing the snake bite the lizard, I tried to get as near as possible to take pictures. I didn’t want to ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ the moment. I think I’m so lucky to have witnessed this.”
The snake in the photos is Boiga Cyanea, a Colubrid snake species found in South Asia, China and South-east Asia. Medium to large in length, slightly compressed, medium bodied snake with a moderately long tail. Head distinct from narrow neck with a rounded snout. Eyes large in size with vertically elliptical pupils. Dorsal scales smooth with single or double apical pits. Ventrals with a feeble lateral keels. Dorsal scale count usually 21 – 21 ( 23 ) – 15. Its long prehensile tail makes it purely arboreal.
Dorsal color uniform green or green mixed with grayish or bluish. Belly color greenish or yellowish white. Top of the head usually similar to dorsal color or sometimes of brownish tint. Upper lip color yellowish; most of head scaled margined with black. Eyes golden brown. Hatchlings are reddish brown with a green head. The color of the hatchlings starts to change after 8–9 months of age.
The main food of the Boiga Cyanea is lizards, also takes frogs, birds, rodents and also other snakes. This rear fanged & mildly ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍous snake can ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏᴢᴇ small ᴘʀᴇʏ. If ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ, it will become ʜᴏsᴛɪʟᴇ and posture with a wide open mouth. They usually be counted as harmless to humans as they are not very ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇ.