Category Archives: Non-venomous

Reticulated Python – Non Venomous – Dangerous Bites

Reticulated python - Malayopython reticulatus. Very strong and large snakes which can be a danger to humans, pets, and just about any animal smaller than an elephant.
Reticulated Pythons – biggest Thailand snake. Constrictors, no venom.

(Malayopython reticulatus) – Reticulated Python

Thais Say: (ngoo leuam)

Length: Reticulated pythons can approach 10 meters in length, though there is no hard proof that a member of the species ever reached that fantastic length. Still, stories persist. Pythons of 5-6 meters long are not very common, but they exist. Six meters was the biggest python I’ve ever seen. Typically they are in the 3-5 meter range. Once they reach 4 meters or so they start to eat farm animals and they are quickly found out.


Range:  All over Thailand and some other Southeast Asia countries – Burma, Malaysia in many types of habitat.


Habitat: Very common. I have found them high up in trees in the mangrove above the saltwater and in the ocean near a mangrove forest. I have also found them in quite dry areas nowhere near saltwater and in residential areas as well as in floating huts on a river in the northeast. They are quite common, much more so than the other pythons.

Active Time: Diurnal and nocturnal.

Food: Prefer animals related to their size. Chickens of all sizes seem to be preferred, though pigs, dogs, cats, goats, frogs and other animals are taken with regularity.

Defensive Behavior: Curl into an S for a long strike. Strike is not that fast when they are big, but they have great reach! Watch out for very high strike on the upper body.

The reticulated python is quite able to defend itself and it will not hesitate to strike anything that is aggravating it. Strikes can be 2 meters in distance and they can strike quite high – head high even. They have rows of teeth – 78 in all, and they are very strong and curved. If you are bitten by a large python you can easily be killed as they wrap their very strong body around you and suffocate you. Your best chance is if you have a friend with you. That said, these snakes very rarely prey on man.

Venom Toxicity: None




Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Genus: Python
Species: P. reticulatus

Binomial name – Python reticulatus
(Schneider, 1801)

Oriental Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

The oriental rat snake (Ptyas mucosus) can reach 3.7 meters in length and is non-venomous.
©2015 Bob Burgess. Used with permission.

Name: Ptyas mucosus (Oriental rat snake). Previously known as Ptyas mucosa.

Thai: (ngu sing hang lai)

Length: Up to 370 cm but usually under 3 meters.

Range: Throughout Thailand, and common in Hua Hin area.

Habitat: The Oriental Rat snake prefers open forests, and at times comes into residential areas. I have had a number of ID requests for these snakes found in gardens. It is terrestrial, and arboreal, but spending most time on the ground.

Active Time: These snakes are active during the day and at dawn. At night the snakes can be found sleeping in loose rolls on bushes and in the branches of trees.

Description: Long, thick snake somewhat resembling and possibly mistaken for a king cobra. There are distinctive black lines on the lower jaw which are distinctive. The snake is brown bodied, with light bands on the base of the neck and mid-body, turning to black bands toward the tail.

Food: An opportunistic feeder, P mucosa eats rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and other small animals, The oriental rat snake has a triangle cross-section with a well-defined vertebral ridge which can indicate it may be a snake eater. While at the Queen Saovabha Snake Institute in Bangkok, Thailand I took a photo of this snake taking the head of Coelognathus radiata (radiated rat snake) into its mouth and then letting it go. If hungry, it is certainly big enough to eat a 2 meter long C radiata.

Large snakes of this species do not have venom, nor do they constrict prey. They simply crush them with their body weight. This snake often eats prey while it is still alive.

Defensive Behavior: This snake is not a big biter, despite its size and significant strength. Some bite, some don’t. Rat snakes have some flexibility in how they strike, and can do so from many different positions. They need not rear back to strike.

Danger: Danger of a strong bite which may get infected. No venom or delivery system.

Venom Toxicity: N/A

Offspring: Mating takes place between April and June typically. Approximately 60 days after successful mating females lay 6-18 eggs. In approximately 60 days the young hatch. Length of hatchlings is between 36-47 centimeters and the snakes are very light brown. (Info primarily from

Notes: Unfortunately we don’t get these in Krabi province. I’ve never seen one dead on the road, never seen one in the wild, and never fielded any ID request from someone locally who had shot a photo of one.

Scientific classification

Ptyas mucosus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. mucosus

Binomial name – Ptyas mucosus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Gongylosoma baliodeirus – Orange Bellied Snake

Orange Bellied Snake - Gongylosoma baliodeirus - found in Krabi Noi district of Krabi, Thailand

Gongylosoma baliodeirus

Rupert Lewis from the United Kingdom was out herping in Thailand a couple nights ago and came upon this little beauty. It’s Gongylosoma baliodeirus or possibly a subspecies. I say possibly because I can’t find any information about the snake online at all. A Google search on image and text of the name of the snake produces nothing but the name, classification and who first found it (Boie). I did find one report of this snake being found in Borneo at 2,000 feet elevation on Mt. Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Rupert had an illustration he found in a book that identified it as Gongylosoma, but that’s about all we know from information found in books or online.

The snake was caught at night in Krabi Noi rainforest (Krabi province, Thailand) after midnight on a half-moon night. The elevation was roughly 100 meters above sea level.

This snake is about 40 cm in length and under 5 cm in girth at its thickest. It is smooth-scaled and Rupert counted 8 diagonal scales to the vertebral column.

The snake was cooperative and did not attempt to bite.

This is a new range for this snake, as previously they have not been found in Krabi province. They are rare in Thailand at all, and have only been found in some of the southernmost provinces.

The photos are copyright 2013 Vern Lovic, with many thanks to Rupert Lewis for sharing this snake with me. First published May 22, 2013. Updated Aug 15, 2015.

Video of Gongylosoma baliodeirus:

White Bellied Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

White Bellied Rat Snake – Ptyas fusca

Thai: ngoo sing thai

Length: up to 290 cm

Description: Fusca comes from the latin, fuscus, meaning dark or dusky. In adults, the body and head are brown. The head is long and distinct. The head resembles Ptyas korros quite a bit, unless they are side-by-side, I don’t think I could tell them apart by head shape. Eyes are large and pupils are round. There is occasionally a red stripe down the vertebral column. Some light banding can be seen laterally in some snakes. The tail can be black. There is a black lateral stripe that stands in contrast to the whitish of the venter, unlike other rat snakes.

In juveniles of this species, the head, neck, and almost to mid-body can be a green tint. There can also be a noticeable pattern / banding that disappears with age.

Range: This rat snake has been found in Peninsular Thailand in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Trang, and Phang-Nga provinces. It is likely resident in many forests in Southern Thailand.

Habitat: Found in primary and secondary evergreen forest and rubber plantations.

Behavior:  This snake is terrestrial and diurnal, sleeping at night on tree branches. When disturbed it raised up vertically and holds position, almost like a cobra. I have also seen this snake do this on the sides of roads to look up over the grass to see if the coast is clear to cross.

Active Time? Diurnal.

Food: Primary prey is birds, rodents, and lizards..

Defensive Behavior: Quick strikes, not necessarily from a coiled position or S-shape. After some handling, some of these snakes will calm down and cease striking.

Venom Toxicity: No fangs to deliver venom.

Danger: No danger from venom, but these are biting snakes that may inflict some lacerations / puncture wounds.

Offspring: Oviparous.

Notes: I have not caught this snake in Southern Thailand yet, but I have seen them occasionally on the side of the road. I have also handled one in captivity. They are quite different looking from the other rat snakes of the area.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. fusca

Binomial name: Ptyas fusca
(Günther, 1858)

Malayan Bridle Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Close-up of Dryocalamus subannulatus, the Malayan bridle snake.

Malayan Bridle Snake - Dryocalamus subannulatus in Thailand primary rainforest in Krabi province on the Malaysian Peninsula.

Malayan Bridle Snake – Dryocalamus subannulatus

Length: 70 cm

Description: This is a thin snake less than the thickness of a finger. It has a yellow mask and comes in one of two color pattern variations. Shown here is the pattern with a brown background and longitudinal stripes running from neck to tail. There is one along the vertebral ridge and one on each side. The eyes of this snake are rather large compared to the very small head. The head is slightly smaller than the neck of the snake. There are two very small rear-fangs seen upon inspection of the mouth. The head of this snake is not elongated in a long triangle like the Lycodon family of snakes – which is one way to tell the difference.

Range: Thailand’s southern provinces. This snake was found in Krabi province at 450 meters elevation at 2200 hours two meters high on a thick tree covered with moss (see photo below).

Habitat: Bushes, trees, and dwellings. This snake is not as common as the Laotian Wolf Snake, but likes the same kind of habitat. It searches trees and structures for geckos primarily. They are excellent climbers and love vines and light brush.

Active Time? Usually nocturnal.

Food: Small geckos and frogs primarily.

Defensive Behavior: I have yet to see this snake strike, even after handling a half-dozen of them. Usually they are very calm.

Venom Toxicity: Weak or none. Ineffective for humans if there is any venom. The fangs are quite small – less than the diameter of a regular stick pin.

Offspring: Nothing known about this area.

Notes: These are great snakes for first time snake hobbyists to handle for a short time in the wild. If they are striking initially, they quickly calm down when held for a short time. There is a very real danger of mistaking these harmless snakes with a Malayan, Many Banded, or Banded krait – all of which are deadly. Kraits can get bigger than 1 meter. This snake, and the other harmless black and white banded snakes – will not get over 70 cm generally.

Scientific classification: Dryocalamus subannulatus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Dryocalamus
Species: D. subannulatus

Photo taken in situ, Ngorn Nak Mountain, Tub Kaak Subdistrict of Krabi Province, Southern Thailand:

Dryocalamus subannulatus, in situ, Southern Thailand. Common name: Malayan bridle snake, striped color pattern.

Malayan Bridle Snake – second pattern (more common):

Malayan bridle snake - Dryocalamus subannulatus in banded pattern form from Southern Thailand's Krabi province.

Brahminy Blind Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snake is parthenogetic - can spawn young without males.
Brahminy Blind Snake – non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snakes are parthenogetic – can spawn young without males.

These snakes resemble black worms in Thailand. They have a lot of energy when you pick one up. You will likely find them in soil in your potted plants or climbing up through your drain in your restroom.

Brahminy Blind Snakes are completely harmless.

Ramphotyphlops braminus (Brahminy Blind Snake)

Thai: (ngoo din ban)

Length: Up to about 6 inches (15cm)

Range: All over Thailand and much of the world, native to Southeast Asia. Transported across the world in potted plants.

Notes: These are ground dwelling and burrowing snakes. They are shy. They are easily eaten by many other predators like birds, monitors, and other snakes. The Red Tailed Pipe snake eats these snakes often. The blind snakes have very small eyes covered with a thin skin that protects them as they burrow through the dirt.

Active Time? Anytime.

Food: Ant and termite eggs primarily.

Defensive Behavior: Trying to get away. The mouth is too small to inflict a bite on humans.

Venom Toxicity: No venom or means to inject it.

Offspring: An interesting twist here. Brahminy Blind snakes are all born female and need no males to continue the species. They are parthenogenetic. When they reach sexual maturity they lay fertile eggs – and hence, are fully self-perpetuating the species. If there is one – soon there will be more! These snakes have populated much of the western world and can be found in Hawaii, Louisianna, Boston, and other places in the USA now.

My Brahminy Blind Snake Videos:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Typhlopidae
Genus: Ramphotyphlops
Species: R. braminus

Binomial classification:
Ramphotyphlops braminus

Common Thailand Non-Venomous Snakes – Photos, Videos, Links

Thailand’s Very Common Non-Venomous Snakes

Thailand has around 200 snake species considered non-venomous, or mildly venomous and not a threat to human beings. Though these snakes are not known to be dangerous to humans, that doesn’t mean that they are not. The red-necked keelback, for instance, was a snake kept in aquariums across the world for years before the first deadly bites occurred. Turns out that they have a very strong venom that can be delivered with prolonged or multiple bites. Do be careful with all snakes.

Chrysopelea ornata. Golden Tree Snake. 

These snakes are very common and it is probably the most commonly seen snake among tourists and Thai locals. They are at home in the bushes and on the ground during the day. They are excellent climbers and prefer to eat the tokay geckos and other geckos. These snakes have a mild venom that can kill or disable birds and other small animals. It is not likely to affect your dog or cat, if bitten.

Info Sheet – Golden Tree Snake / Flying Snake (click)

Side view of Chrysopelea ornata, the flying snake, or the golden tree snake.
Golden Tree Snake
Golden tree snake (Chrysopelea ornata) close-up.
Golden Tree Snake – aka Flying Snake. Not dangerous. Quite fast in trees.
Chrysopelea paradisi, the paradise tree snake, or paradise flying tree snake from Southern Thailand.
A close relative of the golden tree snake, this is the ‘paradise tree snake’ – Chrysopelea paradisi. Very similar in appearance with the addition of some orange or red color to some of the scales on the top of the body and head.


Golden Tree Snake Video

Juvenile Chrysopelea ornata with Bright Colors:

Paradise Tree Snake Video – Catching Chrysopelea paradisi from a Tree in Southern Thailand:

Ptyas korros. Indo-Chinese Rat Snake. 

This rat snake is also very common no matter what type of weather or season. These are terrestrial (land-based) snakes with excellent climbing skills. They hunt lizards and other small animals on the ground during daylight hours. Rat snakes have no fangs, but their saliva is known to contain venom proteins. Nobody has been recorded in the literature as having been envenomated significantly by these snakes. Color varies from brown to grey or black.

Info Sheet – Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (click)

A brownish colored Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros) from Southern Thailand.

Grey Indochinese rat snake in Thailand
Indochinese rat snakes eat predominantly rats and other rodents.

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Video

A Juvenile Rat Snake – Brown with Light Banding Typical of Young Ptyas korros in Southern Thailand:

Coelognathus radiata. Copper-headed Racer / Radiated Rat Snake. 

These rat snakes are common around trash bins, and anywhere rats and other rodents can be found. Though they are primarily terrestrial, I have seen one 3-4 meters up a palm tree raiding a bird nest of its young or eggs. These are strong, very fast striking snakes with a lot of nervous energy. Like the other rat snakes, it has no fangs with which to deliver venom.

Info Sheet – Copper-headed Racer (click)

Radiated Rat Snake - Copperhead Racer

Double S position before this copper-headed racer strikes is typical. Coelognathus radiata.

These radiated rat snakes can be more yellow and brown. This one is quite orange colored. Coelognathus radiata.
While usually the radiated rat snake has more of a yellow tone to it, this one was quite orange / brown. They have an amazing pattern when defensive and flared up.

Copper-headed Racer Video

Juvenile Rat Snake Caught on the Road:

Adult Copper-headed Racer – Letting Go in Wild:

Red Tailed Pipe Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Red Tailed Pipe Snake from Thailand
Red Tailed Pipe Snake – non venomous – small. The white – black pattern of half stripes is the belly. The top is completely black.

The red-tailed pipe snake is a beautiful snake, though at first glance you might wonder if it is a snake at all! It has a very flat appearance for the tail region, and very black on the top. The head is so small you might think it’s a large fat worm. The eyes are very small. This snake spends a lot of time in the dirt looking for grubs, maggots, and very small larvae and things.

Cylindrophis ruffus ruffus (Red Tailed Pipe Snake)

Thais say: (ngoo kon kob)

Length: max about .9 meters (90 cm, 35.5 inches)

Range: All over Thailand on flat ground and at some elevation up to 1700 meters.

Notes: I had one of these red-tailed pipe snakes at my home to photograph and shoot video of for two days. They are beautiful snakes. Their top is black and has a radiance like a sunbeam snake – you know that rainbow appearance when the sunlight hits it? Beautiful. Then, on the underside the bands of black and white don’t line up – so it’s very different. The bands will turn red and black as the juvenile red tailed pipe snake ages. The head is very small and the eyes – almost impossible to see.

Habitat: The snake lives on the ground and in rat holes and termite mounds, under stumps or rocks and in other cool, damp places. I find them in a tangle of roots in the water sometimes.

Active Time? The snake is mostly nocturnal and is active at night.

Food: Brahminy blind snakes, insect larvae, small frogs and worms.

Defensive Behavior: This pipe snake hides the head under loops of it’s body and flips it’s red tail end up in the air – flattening it – as if like a cobra. Thais call this the 2-head snake because it wants you to think it has two. In an hour of handling this snake, it made no move to bite at all. That doesn’t mean it won’t, but they are not all that inclined to bite. Their mouth is VERY small and they’d have to catch you just right to bite you.

Venom Toxicity: None that affects humans.

Offspring: This snake has 5-10 young, born live, about 20 cm long (about 8 inches).

Red Tailed Pipe Snake’s Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Cylindrophiidae
Genus: Cylindrophis
Species: C. ruffus

Binomial name
Cylindrophis ruffus
Classified by Laurenti in year 1768

Belly and Tail of Red Tailed Pipe Snake native to Thailand
Belly side.
Top of Red Tailed Pipe Snake in Thailand
The top of this snake is completely black and patternless. The body is relatively flat shaped, and can be made very flat when it chooses.

Red Tailed Pipe Snake video:

Laotian Wolf Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Laotian Wolf Snake (Lycodon Laoensis) Native to Thailand
Laotian Wolf Snake. Less than a meter long, non-venomous, but quick to bite. These snakes are common all over Thailand.

When I say the “Laotian Wolf Snake” is “not dangerous” I mean, it’s not going to kill you or send you to the intensive care unit of a Thailand hospital. But, though this snake isn’t venomous it does have a biting problem. It bites very fast because it’s small and thin – and doesn’t give much warning when it strikes – unlike some other snakes – mangrove snakes, or monocled cobras.

Caution: There is another, highly venomous – and deadly, snake that looks similar to this harmless wolf snake. It is the yellow Banded Krait. It has thick yellow and black bands, and can grow to about 2 meters long. See this krait page >

There is another snake that you might think resembles this one. It’s called a mangrove snake. This is a type of cat snake, and it has some venom, and bites hard and deep. Here is video: Mangrove snake striking.

Lycodon laoensis (Laotian Wolf Snake)

Thai: (ngoo plong chanwan lao, or ngoo kan plong)

Length: Up to about .5 meters (50 cm, or 19 inches).

Range: All over Thailand (and Laos!).

Notes: These are ground dwelling snakes. They are rather shy and like to hide under things. They are easily eaten by predators because they have no strong defense (venom). Laotian Wolf Snakes prefer mountains and hilly regions but also can be found close to dwellings at times.

Active Time? Night & evenings cruising through leaf litter or just sitting on a porch curled up and waiting for a gecko to walk by.

Food: Small insects, frogs, small geckos.

Defensive Behavior: Pretty calm until they are scared or angry. They bite fast, and repeatedly. Their mouth is very small so you wouldn’t end up with much of a bite, but be cautious anyway.

Venom Toxicity: No venom that affects humans. But, as with any bite, if you’re bitten and it affects you – get to the hospital. You may be allergic to it.


Laotian Wolf Snake classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Lycodon
Species: L. laoensis

Binomial classification: Lycodon laoensis

Laotian Wolf Snake video:

If you were looking for snakes of Laos – try this report of snakes found during field-herping trips in Laos.

Copperheaded Racer Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

These snakes can be more yellow and brown. This one is quite orange colored.

The Copperheaded Racer snakes are so named because their head is copper colored. Though much of the body of this snake is also copper colored, there are also more yellow and brown color variations among this species. These snakes have no relation to the highly venomous “copperhead” snakes of America, and elsewhere. Thailand’s Copperheaded Racers are large rat snakes that feed heavily on large rodents and are frequently found near houses and markets where a rat population exists. These snakes will rarely bite you if you are walking by, but if you are pursuing a copperheaded racer – it will turn and move toward you with many folds in it’s neck, ready to strike. See the video below of the large 2 meter + racer I found crossing a Thai highway in southern Thailand.

There is another rat snake – the Common Malayan Racer that is a much darker color, but very much resembles the Copperheaded Racer. It generally will not bite even if handled.

Coelognathus radiatus, usually referred to as the Copperheaded Racer, Rat Snake, or Jumping Snake

Thai: Ngoo tang ma-prow ly keet

Appearance: A copper colored head with black lines on the top and neck, leading into some lateral lines that run down some of the length of the body. This snake often looks yellow as the dominant color. Because this snake is rather large it has a large mouth to match.

Length: Up to 230 cm (about 7 feet maximum). They can get as thick as an adult male’s wrist. Obviously thicker if they just ate.

Range: All over Thailand and many countries in Southeast Asia.

Habitat: Copperheaded racers are ground-dwelling snakes and prefer to live where rats are. Anywhere rats are. These snakes can be found at some altitude (1500m) as well as sea-level.

Notes: These snakes bite at the slightest provocation. They strike repeatedly, but eventually tire. The Cobra show in Ao Nang, Thailand uses these snakes in a demonstration because they are great strikers. I’ve only seen these racers on the ground – not climbing anything.

Active Time? Diurnal – daytime. Occasionally found active at night.

Food: Rats, mice, lizards, frogs, birds.

Natural Enemies: King cobras seem to prefer these and other rat snakes, probably because the teeth are not large and they cannot inflict any damage on the cobras.

Defensive Behavior: They will come at you if you’re bothering them, with a raised head – vertically inflated neck, and open mouth. See video of one crossing road and coming at me. They love to strike, and the big ones can reach over a meter when striking. If they can’t deter the aggressor they roll over and play dead with their tongue hanging out. If they can get away they are very fast snakes on the ground.

Venom Toxicity: Venom in the saliva, but no means to deliver it with fangs – no fangs at all.

Offspring: No info.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Coelognathus
Species: C. Radiatus
Binomial name: Coelognathus radiatus

Video: I Found a Baby Copperheaded Racer Crossing the Road:

Video: Large Copperheaded Racer Crossing the Road – Comes After Me!

Video: Copperheaded Racer Striking