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).