Tag Archives: herping in thailand

June – July – Best Herping Season in Thailand?

Thailand Snake - Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum
Found often in southern Thailand – the Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum.

I find June and July of each year to usually be the best months for finding snakes out and about.

We get more requests for ID during those months than any others. I usually find, catch, see more snakes during those months in Thailand than any other months – but occasionally I have a good month some other time during the year that eclipses those summer months.

Lately I’ve not been able to get out to look. I did do a run up a local mountain the other day and heard a couple of swish sounds like they were snakes, but I didn’t have time to stop and look. I saw some amazing lizards though – including the draco winged lizard on the size of a tree – a very decent size too, about as 6-7 inches long (body only), and 4 inches wide. This is before flying!

I have seen a couple of small snakes crossing the road as I flew by on the motorbike. Couple of Golden Tree Snakes… I always check them out to make sure they aren’t the Paradise Tree Snakes – which are pretty rare and make great photos.

We had a Malayan Pit Viper close to the house the other day. I caught a red-tailed racer a week or so back – very small, just crossing the road. Not sure if I posted any photos here, I’ve been using facebook for some of them.

Had a guy come from Australia – ex herpetologist/biologist, and we saw no snakes at all I don’t think. Can’t remember. We did find different geckos and lizards – including a long tailed lizard – the tail was 3 times the body length (or more).

Anyway – a mini-update on what we’ve seen here.

If you are planning on looking for snakes – nearly anytime of the year is good except the hot months. You can still find the usual snakes during the day during the hot months – like golden tree snakes and various rat snakes… sometimes the monocled cobras… but usually the hot months and extreme rainy months are not idea for herping in Thailand.

If you are planning to visit Thailand for a herping field trip, let me know – I might be able to go with you. I know a lot of the local snakes, though admittedly virtually nothing about the frogs, spiders, and lizards.

 

Night Herping in Southern Thailand – Video

Every few days when I either have some free time, or just reach a point in my snake herping addiction where I MUST GO, I romp around the forest in southern Thailand and try to find cool stuff.

This was a perfect Thailand night. The air was cool and there was even a breeze. The air was not thick and wet, and I wore a long-sleeved shirt and military issue cammies, socks, and running shoes – all things I NEVER wear in southern Thailand unless herping and trying not to be eaten by mosquitoes.

It was very dark on this night – and I think that was a reason for my success. It started out with a small snake slithering off the bank and into the water – very fast, and very small – maybe 8 inches long. In another 10 minutes i saw a 2 meter mangrove snake swimming across one of the small pools of water.

It was ALMOST within reach with my 40 inch tongs – but I just missed him twice. I grabbed slowly and didn’t want him to know I was grabbing at him. He didn’t pick up speed or alter his course – so I think he had no clue something was grabbing for him behind…

He went to the bank – covered with greenery, and just inched up in there and sat. I ran around the lake on the sidewalk and then very slowly crept down to spot he was. I just watched and waited for movement. Nothing. I waited 10 minutes. Nothing. I started pulling apart the vines and water plants that were hiding him. Very slowly. Nothing. I stayed for 10 minutes and pulled up everything around. Nothing. Apparently he slipped under the water and safely away. They are great underwater swimmers, and he must have known I was after him. Bummer. Still, it’s a great feeling to see a 2 m snake swimming in the pitch black night air.

I walked further… in 5 more minutes I saw another 2 meter mangrove snake climbing a wall and ready to ease itself into the water. I waited until his head went forward, just over the water, and grabbed with the tongs – GOT HIM.

Unfortunately I couldn’t film the snatch, and now I’m desperate for a goPRO video camera I can strap to my head. This DSLR stuff is for the birds while herping by myself. I asked two guys to come, and neither were interested. WTF! Irrational fears…

Anyway – you see a bit of the snake on video.

Later that night I saw about 4 nice leopard gecko type beasts – catching 2 to show friends. They freeze when the flashlight is right on them – probably totally blind – and they are easy to grab.

I saw a couple of small owls.

I heard a heavy movement on the hill next to the water. I stopped and listened… it was HEAVY, breaking big twigs loudly. WTF? It had to see me – and yet, it was moving to me, not away.

Initially I thought – big monitor. But I heard no footsteps.

Then I guessed – big reticulated python or Burmese python. Maybe it was looking at me as a meal, or maybe didn’t see me – just saw the flashlight.

There are bears in Thailand – but probably not right there where I was. There are some wild cats – but I don’t think it would be stalking me.

Ok then – enjoy the video.

Caught an Oriental Whip Snake Today

Screeched the car to a stop and jammed it into park as I saw this 1.6m Ahaetulla prasina crossing the road in front of me. He made it into the bush, but I grabbed onto his tail firmly and he was mine.

He was really beautiful and I bagged him and kept him for a while before realizing I had dropped my video camera / camera into the natural spring while herping yesterday. I let him go in a lush green area not too far away.

He did try to bite numerous times as I put him in the bag, but I was able to dodge his fangs. They have a slow and weak strike.

Wish I could share the photos or videos – but, there aren’t any. Wifey can vouch for me though – she was not happy at all at having to go into the trunk of the car and bring me the tongs and snake bag! Grandma and baby watched from the car.

Here’s my page about the oriental whip snakes with photos, videos and in-depth fact page:

Ahaetulla prasina – oriental whip snake - more information.

Then on the way back from Phang Nga this afternoon I saw the most beautiful 2 meter long Copperheaded Racer crossing the highway. I was doing 120 KPH and there was just no way to stop and grab him. I saw the truck behind me missed him too – so he made it. Must have JUST shed and was a brilliant copper color in the sun. Never saw one that color. Stunningly beautiful.

Thailand snake season is upon us man – and we’re seeing and catching the coolest snakes on the planet. Come and have a look with us!

Thailand Herping Trips 2011