The Couleuvre Loup

Lycodon aulicus

Lycodon aulicus, Couleuvre Loup is known in creole as couleuvr’miel. The first record of this snake dates from 1839, when Lycodon aulicus was mentioned in a narrative story of a traveler on La Réunion, M. Rousseau who found that this snake was common on Bourbon Island.

On La Réunion, this Lycodon cannot be confused with the second introduced snake, Ramphotyphlops braminus, which is of a burrowing and vermiform type, a tiny subterranean snake that looks more like a wormwood than a reptile.

Lycodon aulicus
has a dark brown to light brown background color. Its skin is always provided with several cross bars ranging from pure white to pale yellow. The females species possess a lighter background patch. The adults generally measure between 50 and 60 cm. They are rather slender with a long tapered tail. The female are oviparous from 2 to 8 eggs.

This non-venomous snake feeds on geckos, on young agames and for the biggest individuals, on mice. It hunts mostly at night.

It is not uncommon to find it near the residential buildings in search of its food, which is often arboreal. However, it also easily climbs along rough or covered walls of vegetation to hunt. The Lycodon is harmless although it seldom tries to bite when you have the intention of grabbing it.