Monday, November 3, 2008

Snake Versus Frog


The amazing photo at top is one of the winners in the BBC's annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Photographer David Maitland sat for three hours watching a frog battle for its life against the snake that was trying to eat it. Unfortunately, we don't know how things ended because the frog and snake were still locked in this position when he bailed. Although my photo is an embarrassment relative to Maitland's, I captured a similar moment a few years back when I saw a Hispaniolan vine snake (Uromacer) trying to eat a tree frog (Osteopilus) in the Dominican Republic. In this battle the frog managed to escape, due in part to flipping his legs over the snakes head and shoving off from the palm leaf as the snake tried to pull it in the other direction.

5 comments:

Jeet Sukumaran said...

Great captures both!

On the two occassions that I've been fortunate enough to observe snake vs. frog predation in the wild, I have been surprised by how long the struggle lasted ... over hours instead of the quick bite-envenomate-grab pattern that I naively expected.

Bjørn Østman said...

I still think it was a major mistake for David Maitland to leave.

Susan Perkins said...

That's an awesome photo, Rich!

mfb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mfb said...

Awesome shot! While herping in Florida with hbs, gbp, and Abramyan I saw something similar: a ribbon snake trying to eat a green tree frog. After an hour, the snake had made no progress on the frog. Interestingly, there were other male tree frogs still calling within half a meter of the predation attempt.

Ribbon Snake eating tree frog