Tag Archives: thailand snake hunting

Thailand Snakes from December to March?

The dry months in Thailand are not usually productive times for herping, or snake expeditions of any sort. It’s just too hot and rain too scarce.

What snakes might you find in Thailand between the months of December through March? Not many, but there are still some snakes out there if you know where to look for them.

So far in December through February I’ve mostly seen rat snakes. Keeled rat snakes, Copperheaded racers (rat snakes), Red-tailed racers, and Indo-Chinese Rat Snakes. During the day these are some of the most common snakes that can be found in thailand. I have seen very little roadkill snakes – which means that there just aren’t the numbers roaming around, as there are during the wet months when frogs are abundant.

During the day I’ve also seen the Golden Tree Snake, and some Monocled Cobras. By the way, if you come across a cobra during this very hot time – do not mess with it. They tend to be so much more angry and fast when the weather is hot. They get aggravated quickly.

During the night I have found a couple of Puff-faced Water Snakes (Homalopsis buccata) as well as a nice 3-4 meter long python, some Mangrove Cat Snakes, and a Red-tailed Pipe Snake. Night time seems to be the right time, as it is cooler and many snakes go in search of water to rehydrate during this, the hottest time of the year (Feb-May).

I have not been able to find any of the Mangrove Pit Vipers lately in the usual spots. I wonder if they go somewhere else during the hot period, or if they maybe hide away higher up in the trees or in hollow logs to sort of hibernate a bit.

How about you, seen any snakes lately?

Thailand Snake Journal – Recent Herping Trip

Yesterday I met a lovely husband and wife herping team from Florida, in the USA, and we all went out to see what could be found at a park not too far away.

This is a Thailand national park – and aesthetically – quite beautiful. Day herping is always tough though.  We went for a total of 3 hours – and found many lizards, two scorpions, skinks, and a couple of frogs. One snake – a Rabdophis subminiatus, Red-Necked Keelback that was near the water. These are such beautiful snakes… since it was a national park we didn’t collect it for photos and videos but they did shoot some of it in the natural habitat.

This is my favorite time of year coming up for snakes and herping field trips. If you’re interested in comign to Thailand – or anywhere in southeast Asia – for herping – you must stop in Thailand and we’ll go see what we can find.

At the moment the snakes are hot during the day and there is more action at night.  Sometimes the snakes can be found near water during the day – but, you’re not likely to find snakes roaming around the open, dry forest for now – it’s just too hot.  If it rains you maybe can find snakes out – regardless what time of day or night. They’d be looking for frogs – but this is not frog season yet.

Frogs are probably the number 1 favorite food for snakes in Thailand. They are soft and fat – with some meat. Geckos too – are soft, but have little meat. Geckos are also VERY fast. Frogs are VERY slow. Easier to catch frogs for sure.

Anyway, if you are coming to Thailand and are interested in snakes, lizards, and other reptiles – a herping trip might be called for. Contact me through info@thailandsnakes.com.

Cheers!

Thailand Snake Note: Henning

I met this guy “Henning” through this site – he sent me an email requesting ID of a juvenile snake that we figured out after a couple days… a juvenile sunbeam snake. Now we’ve been writing back and forth many times and I’ve come to know him a little bit.

Henning is from Norway. He’s here in Thailand about 6 months out of the year.

Henning is an obsessed snake hunter – more than me. The guy puts more hours in snake hunting than anyone else in the country while he’s here. That is no exaggeration. The guy is phenomenal. He’s out in the field 12 hours per day sometimes!

He finds lots of snakes – he’s always sending me photos of what he found recently – even NOW when the weather is bad for snakes – he’s finding them. The guy has incredible luck – but, he’s tenacious. He keeps going until he gets the snake.

Early on – he got sprayed by a spitting cobra while hunting snakes in the jungle. He got a video of it too – one of the only videos on Youtube of such a thing. He ended up rinsing out his eye and getting to the hospital – they cleaned it – and he’s OK. Said it burned like hell though!

Henning’s spitting cobra got him in the eye video ->

While you’re at it – check out this slow motion video of this cobra spitting – DAMN.

Henning is in and around the Hua Hin area.

If you have a wicked craving to catch snakes in that area – hook up with him and go find some. I don’t think you’ll find someone that is more energetic and better at finding them than he is.

Now wait… that’s not all.

Henning is reckless as all hell. He was catching cobras before he knew what they were. Currently he’s trying to tame a Naja kouthia – monocled cobra – so he can hand hold it. I have warned him MANY times – and yet, the guy is not easily talked out of what he wants to do.

If you go with him on a snake hunt – don’t do like he does…! But do bring a video camera!

hahah!

He’s reading this I know – so I can joke about him and I think he’ll be OK with it.

If you want to go drunk snake hunting THAT is Henning’s specialty!

Seriously – the guy sounds like great fun – and if your passion is Thailand snakes and you live in or will be in that area of the country and want to go herping with him – let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him!

Thailand Snake Journal – Snake Hunting is Rough Lately

 

Mangrove snake in Thailand mangroves. Boiga (Cat snake). Boiga dendrophila melanota
We spent a few hours pulling these out of trees in the mangroves in southern Thailand. Great FUN! Mangrove Snake - Boiga dendrophila melanota - mildly venomous, rear fanged.

 

 

If you’re going to come herping in Thailand and you’re wondering what months not to come, I can tell you.

November – March.

By November the whole country starts cooling off. While the snakes don’t go into total hibernation for the most part, they do get awful sluggish and some don’t move for months.

If you’re paying for someone to take you herping in Thailand you are better off coming during the May – September timeframe. Even October is usually quite a bit better than November. Keep in mind that if the cool weather comes early (80’s F) the snakes will get harder to find – and sometimes impossible!

Usually I don’t go hunting for snakes in November to March – there is just no point in it. This year a number of people have been in contact with me to go herping with them, and we did spend hours in the field looking. Picture walking for hours and hours from 7pm to 10-12 midnight – prime time for snakes – and finding nothing. These spots were the most productive that I know during other months. During these months – we found scorpions, geckos, millipedes, spiders, monitors, and tree marsupials.

I’ll be doing little herping after December 10th – as that’s when the last batch of guys is coming to give it a shot. Hopefully I’ll have something to show you soon!

Cheers,

Vern

Thailand Snake Note – What is Field Herping for Snakes?

A lot of snake enthusiasts would like to go snake herping – or looking for snakes, but they’re not really sure what it’s all about. Here I’ll explain.

You book a number of days from someone offering herping trips (us). When you arrive we’ll meet you at your hotel and go from there for day 1. Day 1 might consist of a 30km ride out to a place we have found snakes in the past. A lot depends on the Thailand weather. Snakes love to come out during and after a rain. Reason is – the frogs and other wildlife are more abundant then. If it rains straight for 2-3 days, you won’t find many snakes out in that. But, if the weather turns sunny after a couple days of rain – bam, they’re out.

You can target certain snakes or snake family and we will create a custom itinerary for you based on the number of days you’re staying for.

Herping can be done in two primary ways:

  1. Walking through the forest, along streams, up mountains, etc.
  2. Driving around at night to find snakes crossing the road. It sounds almost ridiculous, but after a rain this is an especially productive technique if you’re in the right area.

Usually you’ll be walking and on your feet for a couple of hours at a time. There are always places we can stop and rest if you feel the need – the herping excursion goes according to what you need.

During the field herping you may be able to take photos right there where you find the snake, or, you might choose to bag it up and take it to another location for photos. The snake is then released in it’s natural environment. We don’t keep snakes. We cannot allow you to keep them either.

When you hire a guide to take you herping in Thailand, in our case anyway, we are not there to put on a show for you – you are the focus. The trip is focused on your experience. On occasion we might pick up a snake for you – but, it’s really all about you!  We can tell you where to look and tell you some things about the snakes you find, of course.

Herping, even in Thailand, is a little bit like fishing in Florida. There are many varieties of snake out there. They are in some hard to reach places. If you want to make the effort to find them – chances are you will find some. If not, if you don’t turn over every snakey rock or board, you may not find enough snakes to make you happy. On occasion the weather is wrong and we will only find a couple of snakes. Sometimes, for no reason we can understand – we don’t find many snakes.

We hope that isn’t the case, of course, and we try every time we go out herping in the field to find snakes!

If you have any questions about setting up a herping trip in Thailand while you’re here – zap us an email at: info@thailandsnakes.com.