Snake vs Frog – who is your money on?

Snake vs Frog – who is your money on?


After a throughly enjoyable yet unproductive day on the slopes of Mount Merapi in search of the Javan Hawk eagle, Panji, my Indonesian guide decided to show me a small park in Yogyakarta that is a hotspot for kingfishers. Situated near the university, we found a small lake surrounded by some trees of substantial age. Despite its proximity to a football stadium we recorded 6 species, however light  conditions and uncooperative subjects resulted in poor photos not suitable for sharing.

  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Blue-eared Kingfisher
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Common Iora
  • Barred Buttonquail


We had just decided to do one more circuit of the lake when we heard an animal call.Panji has a gifted ear for local bird calls and declared that this was a new call to him. He thought it was a cat, but I was unsure – it just didn’t seem mammalian to me. So a quick hunt resulted in us discovering a Common Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax) locked in the jaws of a Painted Bronzeback snake (Dendralaphis pinctus).


The frog was quite large and he was giving quite a fight by grabbing on to anything that he could to prevent the snake from pulling him away into the tree. Unfortunately, the snake was proving too worthy a competitor and the frog was clearly loosing.


It is difficult observing this type of behaviour, it’s instinctive to want to help the prey, who’s piercing alarm call was still being repeated. But the rule of not interfering is a well placed one, who am I to judge that the frogs survival is more important than the snake?

Tiny URL for this post:

1 Comment

  1. Your photographs are fantastic… I feel as if the snake could bite me next! I appreciate your comment about wanting to help the frog escape the jaws of the snake! I always think that while watching Discovery Channel Wildlife Documentaries, “Why can’t that photographer go and help that poor gazelle?” Darwinism


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *