Tag Archive | "malayan pit viper"

Malayan Pit Viper Venom – Acts Fast!

I showed a video at youtube (here) of a Malayan Pit Viper striking a mouse behind it – very fast. You can’t see how quickly the mouse dies, because the snake never let go of it. I saw it, being there up close, and I could have sworn it was dead in seconds.

I just found a new video uploaded at YT by a guy I’ve known online for a little while, showing an adult Malayan Pit Viper striking a mouse and paralyzing it immediately. It’s uncanny how fast the venom acted to paralyze this mouse!

I was out herping with a couple of friends the other night. We found a small (2m) Dog Toothed Cat Snake, as well as a juvenile Malayan Pit Viper. The Malayan was laying right across the path and didn’t move as my friends approached. Good thing they saw it – it was pitch black, and one of their flashlights (torches, brits say) was fading. I’m very glad they saw it.

Malayan Pit Vipers kill more people in Thailand than any other snake does. The kraits are a close second. Identification of kraits is a bit difficult, so sometimes the banded kraits are called “Malayan Kraits” or “Blue Kraits” and vice versa.

Many people, after a bite from a Malayan pit viper – will not seek medical treatment. This is a contributor to the high death rates resulting from bites from this snake.

If you are bitten by a snake and you don’t know what it is – get to the hospital and try to ID it from there. Many hospitals have books you can thumb through – with photos.

I’m in the middle of creating an ebook with Thailand’s snakes, that I’ll either give away – or charge 99 cents for, so it will make identification easier and less harmless snakes will be killed out of ignorance.

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Thailand Snake Photos – Malayan Pit Viper

Malayan Pit Viper in Thailand climbing blue fence.

Deadly, and cytotoxic venom which destroys all tissue - even bone.

This lovely 1 meter long Malayan Pit Viper was submitted by a reader of Thailand Snakes (.com), John Helm in Jomtien Beach, near Pattaya, Thailand. The photo was taken on 3/7/11.

John moved the snake from his patio over a wall separating his house from some heavy bush.

These snakes appear to be lazy, or not aggressive – and John said this as well. However, they are violent strikers and can hit you from further than you think. In addition to that, Malayan Pit Vipers can strike backwards VERY fast and VERY accurately. They need not strike out forward… In fact, I have a video of one striking a mouse I put in the cage on Youtube here. It struck backward.

The other day I was observing one and dangling some paper behind it – it struck VERY fast and nailed it.

These snakes are reported to cause more deaths in Thailand than any other snake. The reason I presume, is because they bite village people who either rely on natural medicines – leaves rubbed on the wound, for instance – instead of getting to a hospital they can’t afford.

These and the Russell’s Vipers are the most dangerous snakes in Thailand for bites… with the monocled cobras (Naja kaouthia) coming next I’m sure (no evidence, just guessing).

Thanks John!

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Malayan Pit Viper – Venomous – Very Dangerous

Malayan Pit Viper from southern Thailand

Calloselasma rhodostoma. Malayan Pit Viper. Usually under a meter, and thick. Very common. Very dangerous.

Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan Pit Viper, Malaysian Pit Viper)

Thais say: Ngoo gap pa

Length: Less than 1 meter. Female Malayan Pit Vipers are the larger and fatter snakes. Males of the species don’t make it to 1 meter long.

Range: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma, and China.

Notes: These vipers are distant cousins to North American “copperhead” snakes. These vipers prefer dry, flat areas. They are known as lazy snakes. There were 5500 bites in Malaysia in 2008. Malayan Pit Vipers don’t get out of the way when they sense someone coming. After they bite they’re often found in exactly the same spot. These snakes are so dangerous when handled because they are not consistent with their behavior. One day they will be calm. The next, or the next 10 minutes – they will violently strike lightening fast.Their preferred habitat is under dry leaves, wood, or rocks. They are active during the night mostly, especially while raining. Nickname: Finger rotters. If they get you in the finger – you’ll likely lose part of your finger without immediate care.

Habitat: Forests, rubber plantations, bamboo patches, farmland, grassland. Often lies in the short or long grass.

Active Time? Day and night

Food: Mice, frogs, lizards. Predominantly mice.

Defensive Behavior: Partially coiled with neck in an “S”. Their strike is very fast. Their fangs are long – and in the front of the mouth. Some strikes are short, others involve the whole body as it “jumps” at the same time it strikes. Don’t underestimate the distance this snake can reach when striking. After striking, or biting, they can often be found in the exact same spot you left it in hours later.

Venom Toxicity: Very toxic. Venom is hemotoxic – it destroys red blood cells and tissue. With a quick hospital visit after a bite you may just lose part of your finger, or some tissue where the bite occurred. Most people don’t die if they can make it to a hospital within 30 minutes.

Offspring: Lay eggs. Female guards them. Young are about 9 inches- fast and thin. Fully ready to bite and have full strength venom.

Malayan Pit Viper Eating Mouse Video – close up of large fangs, strike, etc.

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotilinae
Genus: Calloselasma
Species:
C. rhodostoma

Binomial Classification
Calloselasma rhodostoma

Malayan Pit Viper video:

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Welcome to Thailand Snakes…

Thailand has 200+ snake species with over 60 of them - venomous. I created this site as a way to educate Thais and visitors to Thailand about snakes. Many people kill the snakes they see in Thailand, while in many cases - they are non-venomous and completely harmless. With this site I hope to give people a better idea what is harmful and what isn't.

Browse the many snake photos and videos here so you can identify snakes you see on your porch, in your bed, or underfoot.

If you have been bitten by a snake - go to a hospital FIRST. Don't waste time looking it up on the internet. With some snakes you need to have medical help as fast as possible. With others you have some time. I know a Thai man whose brother died in less than 10 minutes from a snake bite.

There are venomous (some say 'poisonous' erroneously) snakes everywhere in Thailand. Friends have had cobras in their kitchen, and others had kraits in the garage. Vipers love bushes and trees near water and walkways.

Bookmark this site so you can quickly identify snakes you have seen. Notice the variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes in Thailand - and realize that they come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns.

Email - info@thailandsnakes.com

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