Mildly venomous foot-long snake found at Hickam AFB

Ornate tree snake releated to brown tree snake

 UPDATED 3:49 PM HST May 24, 2013
HONOLULU -

Military personnel at Hickam Air Force Base captured a small snake Thursday afternoon in a maintenance bay near the airfield, according to state agriculture officials.

Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture were called and took custody of the foot-long snake. 

The snake was later identified as a juvenile ornate tree snake (Chrysopelia ornate) by a herpetologist at the Bishop Museum.  Ornate tree snakes are mildly venomous and are related to the brown tree snake, which has devastated the ecosystem in Guam.

Ornate tree snakes are native to South East Asia and their diet consists of lizards, mice, bats and birds.  They are also known as ornate flying tree snakes for their ability to spring from tree to tree.

It is not known at this time how the snake got to Hawaii; however, Air Force personnel are continuing surveys of the area.

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