by David Corrigan
HONOLULU, Hawaii – A juvenile ornate tree snake, described by state officials as mildly venomous, was found on a military base on Oahu Thursday afternoon.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture says it is not known how the snake got to the Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu. Military personnel captured the small snake in a maintenance bay near the airfield. State ag inspectors were called and took custody of the foot-long snake – which is related to the feared brown treesnake, which has devastated the ecosystem in Guam. A herpetologist at the Bishop Museum made the identification.
According to ag officials:
Ornate treesnakes (Chrysopelia ornateare) 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.
Air Force personnel are continuing surveys of the area.