Lizard and snake engage in a lil' tongue action at Pasir Ris park, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Lizard and snake engage in a lil' tongue action at Pasir Ris park

This article is more than 12 months old

What do you call a large reptile that shows up out of nowhere to start a fight?

An insta-gator!

That might have just been the kind of un-funny joke that started a stare-down between a monitor lizard and an equatorial spitting cobra at Pasir Ris Park last month.

Or not. 

Either way, the meeting between two of nature’s most intriguing reptiles was not lost on photographer William Khaw, who captured the scene and shared it on Facebook group Singapore Wildlife Sightings on Dec 22, 2021.

Mr Khaw even photographed the moment the two almost touched their forked tongues.


Reptiles such as monitor lizards and snakes use their tongues to smell their surroundings by picking up scent particles.

While the monitor lizard's long blue tongue reached the snake's face, the much-smaller cobra stayed erect and kept his gaze on the lizard, flaring its hood as part of its defense.

According to Mr Khaw, both ended up standing on ceremony as the lizard backed off after a while. 

A wise move perhaps. The equatorial spitting cobra is a venomous native species here, and apart from its fatal bite, has the ability to spray venom into the eyes of an aggressor.

Still, as with all things in life, the money’s in the rematch. So stay tuned.

natureWILDLIFEPasir Ris