The Painted Bronzeback and the White Lip Frog

In January 2017, Jeremiah Loei came across a Painted Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis pictus) with a White Lip Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps) clamped firmly between its jaws. This was at Singapore’s Venus Drive.

PaintedBronzeback-WhiteLipFrog [JeremiahLoei] 1

The rear end of the snake was coiled around a branch of a tree with the rest of its body dangling in the air, weighed down by the heavy prey (above). The snake was trying hard to swallow the frog but under such a situation found it hard to do so.

PaintedBronzeback-WhiteLipFrog [JeremiahLoei] 2

“It succeeded in pulling the frog up onto a large leaf where it continued the slow process of forcing it into its mouth bit by bit (above).

PaintedBronzeback-WhiteLipFrog [JeremiahLoei] 3

“The prey slipped from the leaf (above) but by then the snake had a firm hold on the frog, having swallowed most of the body (below).

PaintedBronzeback-WhiteLipFrog [JeremiahLoei] 4

“The image below shows only the pair of hind limbs jutting from the snake’s mouth. Before long even these disappeared into the snake’s stomach.

PaintedBronzeback-WhiteLipFrog [JeremiahLoei] 5

“It took an hour plus for the Painted Bronzeback to swallow the whole White Lip Frog,” wrote Jeremiah Loei.

The video below shows in graphic details the slow process of the snake swallowing the frog…

According to Dr Leong Tzi Ming, the White Lip Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps) is also known as Copper-cheeked Frog and Forest Greenback, as in the references listed below. Tzi Ming was kind enough to also confirm the identifications of the reptile and the amphibian.

Jeremiah Loei
4th January 2017

Baker, N. & K. Lim (eds.). 2008. Wild animals of Singapore: A photographic guide to mammals, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes. Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
2. Lim, K.P. Kelvin & Francis L.K. Lim (1992). A guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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