List Headline Image
Updated by Andrew Pereira on Jun 23, 2016
Headline for Reptiles in Sri Lanka – Cold blood creatures that catch the eye
4 items   1 followers   0 votes   2 views

Reptiles in Sri Lanka – Cold blood creatures that catch the eye

Sri Lanka has an amazing diversity of reptilian species, from fearsome crocodiles and snakes to lizards of various sizes. Here are a few to keep an eye out for on your next trek through the jungles.


Land Monitor Lizard

The land monitor lizard is a common sight practically anywhere on the island, from urban cities to uninhabited jungle, the monitor lizard can adapt to most habitats. The lizard's adaptability is partly to do with its omnivorous nature; despite its generous size, it feeds on a mix of fruit, carrion, spiders, snails, crabs, and frogs. The monitor lizards are also excellent climbers. Large adults can ascend tree trunks vertically with ease, and they are even reported to be agile enough to stalk and kill roosting bats.


Mugger Crocodiles

Smaller than the saltwater crocodiles, the large "broad snouted" freshwater crocodile is usually found in the river deltas, reservoirs and marshes of Sri Lanka. The crocodile is carnivorous and can eat mammals as large as deer, but will also feed on smaller mammals such as birds, snakes, and turtles. These crocodiles were once common in and around Colombo in the past, but now, only a few sightings have occurred in low-lying suburban areas near marshlands. Several Sri Lanka Wildlife Tours like the Mahoora Tented Safari Camps for example, offer excursions that take you into national parks and wetland areas to view mugger crocodiles in their natural habitat. Mugger crocodiles are in general dangerous to humans if close contact occurs, however, they are considered less aggressive than their saltwater cousins.


Fan-throated Lizard

These little lizards are small but extremely fast runners and are known for the quirky way of running on their hind legs with their tail pointed skywards. The lizard has a thin flap of skin that stretches from its throat to it abdomen, which it can flap at will. Normally the flap is a cream or dull brown colour, but during the mating season, the males take on bright colourful hues of red, blue and black to attract females and ward off other males from their territory. The fan-throated lizard feeds mostly on a diet of insects and their larvae, but will also consume small shoots and leaves too.


Indian cobra

The Indian cobra is a poisonous snake that has a distinctive hooded head with a speckled pattern on it that looks like a second set of eyes. When threatened, snake will assume its famous characteristic posture. Raising the front its body and spreading it distinctive hood.The Indian cobra's venom is extremely potent and deadly to humans; it is one of the Big four snakes of South Asia which are responsible for the majority of deaths by snakebite. The cobra can be found anywhere from open plains, dense jungle, paddy fields, rocky terrain and even heavily populated urban areas. Despite being able to kill large mammals with its venom, the Indian cobra prefers a diet of smaller prey - mostly rodents, toads, birds, and other snakes. It strikes quickly, and then waits until its venom damages the nervous system, paralyzing its prey and then killing it.