Flora & Fauna
Volume 88 | May 2012
insidesumatera.com | tourism & lifestyle magazine -
Flora & Fauna
The Queen Awaiting the
Selasa, 3 Agustus 2010 | 10:13:07
The Queen Awaiting the Moon
by. Akhmad Junaedi Siregar
In Indonesia, the idiom "three-headed snake" (ular berkepala tiga) refers to someone complicated and unpredictable. But in the world of science, there is a snake with a "three- sided" i.e triangular head. This snake too is complicated enough and feared too. In general, the triangular head indicates a snake of the family
(Crotalidae), one of the two types of poisonous snakes in Sumatera.
Nature lovers, researchers and others who spend a lot of time in the jungle can usually recognise poisonous snakes in order to survive in the arms of the Sumateran rainforest. For those who wish to go to trekking should learn about the phenomena of the triangular headed snake. With the exception of the
and the other members of the cobra family, all poisonous snakes have triangular heads.
More than 147 different kinds of snake live on Sumatera and 9 of them have triangular heads. The
Viperidae have the most perfect teeth in the world of Ophidia
(snakes). The teeth which have a gland for the poison are known as
Apart from that, the teeth can fold perfectly when the mouth is closed. A number of over the top Hollywood movies describe the ferocity of the viper.
In fact, vipers are lazy animals.
are the most common type found in the Sumateran rainforest. During the day, these snakes usually sleep next to small paths or the outskirts of villages situated on the edges of the jungle. This snake is only aggressive when it feels threatened.
But first of all, let us talk about this snake in general. The German zoologist, Johann Georg Wagler, named the
at the age of 30 in 1830. In naming the snake he used his own surname, ”Wagler”. Since that time it has been known as
Wagler’s Pit Viper
. However, some other names have since developed, such as
Wagler's Palm Viper
Temple Pit Viper
. In Wagler's own country, Germany, this snake is known as
. The scientific name has been changed 20 times since Wagler first named it. The word "sumatera" has been included in a number of names, such as
. In 2000, the name was returned to the original one. Wagler himself died 2 years after naming this snake.
Unfortunately, Wagler, who was very well- acquainted with Sumatera's biodiversity, only lived a short life. Fortunately, he was not the only one, as despite not speaking English, the original inhabitants of Sumatra know the
very well. In Karo country, North Sumatera, they compare this snake to a queen. The queen is said to be waiting for the moon (hence the name- sinangin bulan). This queen is waited on by a prince. It is said that the prince is a bird which always faithfully feeds her. This story has been told over and over, long before Wagler named her. And may we suggest that even legends have their roots in the evolution of empirical observation.
Later, Indonesia followed suit and called the snake ”
ular mati ekor wagler
” (wagler's dead tailed snake), an adaptation of the scientific name. Indeed the viper's tail seems to have a dead tail, but it is actually uses to grab at branches. This snake is easily recognised. Its slanted eyes show that it is a nocturnal animal. It has a heat sensor between its eyes, making sure that its prey can't escape. The male ia much smaller than the female. The males are often confused with juvenile snakes. This weak appearance is contrary to its reputation as a killer. They can often be found stalking their prey near rivers. Its existance is a part of nature's equilibrium on Sumatera.
So if you wish to meet the
in Sumatera, remember to treat her as royality, who won't disturb you if you don't disturb her first. Basically, if wildlife exists in between human settlements, they always give way to humans. We are most active during the daytime, while they are active at night. We are concentrated in the cities, while they stay in the jungle. And when we convert their habitat into plantations, they quickly search for another place to live in the remaining rainforest. But don’t push too hard because their teeth are designed to kill!
Post your comment
* insert code.
Redaksi: Jalan Amaliun No. 37 Medan 20125
Sumatera Utara - Indonesia
Phone/fax: +62 61-7368213
IP Anda: 18.104.22.168
Copyright © 2005-2011 by