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Cranky Chironius | by antonsrkn
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Cranky Chironius

Big Scaled Sipo (Chironius grandisquamis) - Buenaventura Reserve, Ecuador


This fast, active, and intelligent snake was certainly exciting to photograph. Once the snake realized I wasn't going to let it escape without getting some photos first it went on the offensive, this is an active hunter that relies on its vision to track down its prey and has keen eyesight which in turn let it see where my eyes were located which were the target of nearly all its strikes at me. After a few close calls and nearly getting tagged in the face I finally situated myself and took off the lens cap off my lens. Things instantly got easier for me as the snake seemed to view the lens as a giant eye which became the target of its subsequent attacks. He landed a couple of forceful strikes to the front of my lens, despite my attempts to evade the attacks but from my crouching hunched over position it was a little difficult to shift. A fantastic snake that as mentioned above was a lot of fun photographing. This species is generally uncommon but has a wide species range, in certain parts of their range they may be decreasing as their amphibian prey dies off.


Atleast some locals mistakenly believe this snake to be venomous, a local forestry worker approached me after the photoshoot and warned me about the dangers. In reality, while it does have a big attitude this snake is essentially harmless and a bite from one is no big deal.


I wanted to get some shots with my wide angle showing off the clouds rolling through the trees behind it.

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Taken on January 7, 2016