Tropidolaemus wagleri Also called: Wagler’s Pit viper; temple viper; bamboo snake; speckled pit viper.
Thais say: ngoo keow took geh
Length: Average length of 60 cm. Male smaller than female. Female maximum length at 100 cm.
Range: Southern Thailand south of Khao Sok National Park, Suratthani province. Other countries: West Malaysia; Indonesia; Philippines. There is a concentration of them on the island of Phuket, Thailand.
Habitat: Behaviour/habitat: Elevations up to about 1,200 meters but most abundant at elevations up to about 600 meters in lowland primary forest, secondary forest and jungle – especially coastal mangrove. During the day these vipers rest in the trees 2-3 meters off the ground.
Active Time? Mainly nocturnal, but occasionally found during the day, especially during or after rain. Crepuscular in nature, they are more often active during dusk and dawn, or on an unusually dark day during heavy rain.
Food: Birds – especially baby birds in the nest; rodents; lizards; frogs.
Defensive Behavior: Coil back into s-shape and strike. Strike is typically less than .3 meters in distance. Mouth wide open exposing fangs and white tissue. Can strike in succession rather quickly. Their strike is not very fast in comparison with some of the other vipers. The heat-sensing pits between the eyes can sense temperature difference as little as 0.003 degrees Celsius.
Venom Toxicity: Potentially deadly. Strong venom that usually does not result in death to humans. Victims experience a strong burning sensation upon envenomation, and swelling, necrosis of tissue.
Notes: Though these snakes are said to be exclusively arboreal and nocturnal, I found one on a mountain recently during the middle of the day, on the ground, during a rain shower.
These snakes have a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Species: T. wagleri
Binomial name: Tropidolaemus wagleri
Classified by Boie, in the year 1827.
Top of head – very triangular, and thin neck:
Video 1 – Wagler’s Pit Viper – found on a mountain in Krabi province, Southern Thailand.