This photo comes from a reader that was writing postcards in her bungalow on the island of Koh Phi Phi, in Thailand’s Krabi province when she noticed a Mangrove Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus) near her foot!
This is not the snake you want near your foot, as they are heat-sensing, and some are known to be strike-happy.
Luckily she was able to move away in time. This snake is so beautiful. They come in yellow, brown, purple, and black colorations. Awesome to get a photo of this one. Thanks Céline Borel!
Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus (Mangrove Pit Viper, also known as mangrove viper, shore pit viper, purple-spotted pit viper, shore pitviper.
Thais Say: Ngoo pang ka
Length: Males grow to about 60cm and females to 90 cm on average.
Habitat: Usually near water and very wet areas. However, recently one was found on a sidewalk by a bungalow on the island of Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province, Thailand. They like stream banks with good cover – low lying plants that they can hide under. They like hilly habitat.
Behavior: These snakes are very easily agitated, and once they get going they are hard to calm down. Their strikes are very fast, but thankfully – short. These are known by snake handlers to have a “bad temper”.
These Thailand vipers are rather hard to identify – but they are usually like the photo above – greyish with a bit of purple in the coloring. Some are very purple. We’ve also seen a brownish toned mangrove pit viper with some yellow highlights. Now for our top photo we have a greenish toned viper. Obviously – color is highly variable in this species.
Venom toxicity: Venomous and very toxic to humans. Though people have died as a result of bites from this snake, this is not usually the case.
Species: T. purpureomaculatus
Classified as – Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus by Gray in year 1832.
Mangrove pit viper photo courtesy of, and full copyright by – Richard Richert.