Tag Archives: thailand flying snake

Golden Tree Snake – One of Thailand’s Most Common

Golden Tree Snake - non-venomous snake in Thailand on a lunch table.

A reader wrote in to have a snake identified – and he sent an awesome photo that I wanted to share. The snake is a very common tree snake, called a Golden Tree Snake. They are excellent climbers and you’ll see them on palm trees, and in the ceilings of houses and bungalows – often. They have a strange skill. When they jump from a high tree – they can glide horizontally through the air – and land unharmed. They are sometimes called a “Flying Snake”.

These snakes are common, but, uncommonly fast. They are super-fast, whether on the ground in brush, or climbing something. They are excellent climbers and you won’t believe how fast they can climb.

Anyway – here is some information about this snake submitted by the copyright owner of this image – Kim Briers.

Dear,

Hope you can help me identify next snake…It looks a bit like a green tree snake but I didn t wanna take any risks handling it…shame as i wanted to make a picture with some green background…

1. Location in Thailand – city, area the snake was seen

KOH YAO YAI

2. Environment found? Near water? In a Tree? On the ground? Under wood or something? On a wall? On the roof?

It was hiding inside a lantern of the hotel resort. We lifted the lantern and it came out really very fast and move up the table.

3. Estimate snake length and girth (thickness) of snake – was it thick as your finger? Arm? Calf? Thigh?

About 1 meter in length – girth, about 4cm

4. Found during night or daylight? What time?

Around 9.30 am at breakfast

5. If no photo is sent by email please describe the colors of the snake, patterns, anything you can remember.

6. Did the snake attempt to strike at you?

Not really but it was in strike position and could jump pretty well and was really fast. I was hoping it would move in a tree or so to make a nice natural shot but it was so so fast and disappeared under some stones…

Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) – Mildly Venomous – Not Dangerous

Paradise Tree Snake - Chrysopelea paradisi - from Krabi, Thailand and also called, flying snake
Paradise Tree Snake – Not Dangerous – Just Beautiful

These are great snakes for a couple of reasons. Number 1 – their colors. This snake looks like Christmas – right? Amazing oranges, greens, and blacks assault your senses.

Number 2? They fly. They glide very far when they jump from a high vantage point. They can glide dozens of meters – and probably more, these snakes are limited only by how high they are when they jump. Typically they use their gliding ability to travel from tree to tree in search of prey, or to elude capture by a predator.

I don’t know how long the link will be here – but, here is a page full of snakes in this family – jumping and gliding. Amazing videos…

Tree snakes flying videos

Name: Chrysopelea paradisi. Paradise Tree Snake. Also called “flying snake” and “ornate flying snake”.

Length: As long as 1.2 meters (almost 4 feet)

Range: Thailand-wide. This one was found in Krabi province at sea-level in a handbag shop at the beach. We’ve found them in rainforest near a Thailand resort as well.

Habitat: Bushes, ground, trees, roofs. They are often found in palm tree fronds. I have found them there as well as small trees with big leaves and a lot of open area so they can see – presumably. I have found them as high as 500 meters vertically up a mountain in Thailand, and at sea level. Recently we found one 7 meters up a large tree on a hot sunny day.

Active Time? Diurnal – active during the day.

Food: House geckos, Tokay geckos, bats, and frogs.

Defensive Behavior: They bite very quickly, but have small mouths and teeth. There has been no medically significant case of envenomation mentioned in the literature. They are considered harmless for humans and probably pets over the size of a cat.

Venom Toxicity: Weak for humans. Effective for geckos, frogs and bats. These are rear-fanged colobrids and a prolonged bite could cause swelling and pain at the bite site.

Offspring: They produce eggs which hatch during May/June in Thailand.

Notes: Paradisi is distinguished from ornata ornatissima by the orange/red coloration at the top of the body, sometimes at the head, sometimes more of the body is colored, and sometimes the entire head and body are covered in the red flower like scale patterns.

Full body of Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) from Krabi, Thailand
This one tried to bite many times and calmed after 10 minutes.
Singapore Paradise Tree Snake eating Gecko
This paradise tree snake was caught grabbing gecko lunch in Singapore by David Joseph.  Copyright 2011 – David Joseph. Used with permission.

Chrysopelea paradisi - the Flying Snake

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Chrysopelea
Species: C. paradisi
Binomial name – Chrysopelea paradisi
Classified by Boie, in the year 1827

Video of C. paradisi found 5/23/13: