The Ryukyu odd-tooth snake (Dinodon semicarinatum) is a non-venomous snake found throughout the Ryukyu Islands. They are fairly common here on Okinawa and are usually found at night. The Akamata is a natural enemy of the venomous Habu snake. They are one of the few snakes capable of feeding on venomous pit vipers. More effort should be focused on conserving this native snake for this specific reason. This beautiful snake has been overlooked and needs to be protected. Sadly I see more dead on the road than alive.
- Scientific name: Dinodon semicarinatum
- Local name: Akamata – Ryukyu odd-tooth snake
- Distribution: Ryukyu Islands
- Habitat: Forests, drainage ditches and housing areas
- Diet: Snakes, lizards, frogs, snakes, birds, baby sea turtles and rodents.
- Average size: 100cm -180cm
- Color: Black, orange with a yellow belly.
They are often found crossing the road at night.
Ready to strike! An example of what the Akamata looks like when it is threatened.
Photographed on a white for the Meet Your Neighbours Project. (Connecting People Worldwide with the Wildlife in their Community)
Slow and low perspective -
A juvenile Akamata feeding on a common gecko tail first.
A large Akamata feeding on a Okinawa tree frog. Kume Island.
A juvenile Akamata feeding on an Okinawa tree lizard.
The Akamata is one of the few snakes that feed on sea turtle hatchlings in northern Okinawa.
This My first time seeing a juvenile Akamata pull back and puff out its head to resemble the diamond shape of a venomous pit viper. Is the Coincidence or mimicry. I know this is a common occurrence with other non-venomous snakes around the world. I believe this juvenile snake saw me as a threat.
Have a great day!