Tag Archive | "thailand viper"

Indo-Malayan Mountain Pit Viper – Venomous – Dangerous

Short and thick, this is probably a male of the species.

[Photo credit and 2011 Copyright - Stewart King, used with permission.]

Name: Indo-Malayan Mountain Pit Viper, Mountain Pit Viper, Blotched Pit Viper, Mountain Iron-head Snake, Chinese Mountain Pit Viper

Sci Name: Ovophis monticola convictus

Length: Males are about 1/2 meter and females are typically just over 1 meter.

Description: Short stubby snakes with large (in comparison to body and neck) triangular heads.

Range: Thailand, on the far west coast from far north to the very far south along the peninsula. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Vietnam, Tibet.

Habitat: The mountain pit viper pictured above was found at the base of a waterfall on damp ground covered with small round rocks. These snakes can also be found up over 2,000 meters in altitude. They seem to prefer tea plantations and other areas with a lot of vegetation. They have also been found in homes.

The exact location of the snake here was Ton Pariwat Waterfall in Phang Nga, Thailand.

Active Time: The literature says nocturnal, but this snake was found in bright sunshine in the middle of the day.

Food: Mice and other rodents and small mammals, lizards, insectivores. One guy that keeps these snakes posted in a forum that his mountain viper bites the prey and constricts it too and wonders why the overkill when most vipers will bite and hold, or bite and follow until the prey dies. I think this probably has something to do with the mountain viper not being all that mobile. I couldn’t imagine it going fast through brush to chase something down that wasn’t dead yet. Especially the males of the species – they look like slugs – short and fat.

Defensive Behavior: These snakes hiss loudly and strike quickly. We don’t have information about fang-length, but the head resembles the Malayan Pit Viper which has very long fangs. As usual with venomous snakes, great care should be taken when in close proximity.

Venom Toxicity: The venom has been known to cause fatalities. The rating by Toxinology.com was mid-scale, meaning moderate to seriously toxic.

Offspring:  Eggs.

Bite Treatment: Bite victims of the Malayan mountain pit viper will be painful, swell, have blistering and minimal or no necrosis, bleeding and shock may result.

Antivenom: There is no antivenom

Notes: The snake shown here was found by a 6 year old boy who was kicking it. He thought it was a stick that was bouncing back at him when he kicked it. Turns out the snake was striking repeatedly. The boy was not bitten, his mother saw him and stopped him. These are slow moving snakes, terrestrial and primarily nocturnal the literature reads – but this snake was found in the sunshine in the heat of the day.

Scientific classification: 

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Ovophis
Species: O. m. convictus

Binomial name – Ovophis monticola convictus, classified by Günther in the year 1864.

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Wagler’s Pit Viper (Temple Viper)

Thailand Pit Viper (Temple Viper)

Dangerous - probably not deadly. Waglers Pit Viper - Tropidolaemus wagleri by Emilios Kattides

Sent in from Emilios Kattides, this lovely Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) was seen on the island of Phuket, Thailand on a rope within the grounds of a temple.

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Thailand Snake Photos – Green Pit Viper

White Lipped Green Pit Viper in Thailand

White Lipped Green Pit Viper in Thailand - I think.

A reader, Jeremy Gatten, sent this photo (used with permission) of a green pit viper he found one night while looking for owls near Wat Tham Pha Plong near Chiang Dao in Thailand’s north. I was thinking it was. He had squatted down to rest and heard a little rustle in the brush – and found this amazing specimen of… well, pit viper. I don’t know which one it is – but, I’m guessing it’s the White Lipped Pit Viper.

Jeremy himself narrowed it down to one of two – either Trimeresurus macrops or Trimeresurus albolabris (White Lipped Pit Viper).

What do you think?

Note – do be very careful not to be bitten by any of the green pit vipers, their venom – while not usually deadly – is quite strong and can cause havoc in the human body. Vipers are typically identified (in general) by their small size (< 1 meter) and the triangle shaped head.

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Mock Viper – Venomous – Not Dangerous

Mock Viper – Venomous – Not Dangerous

Mock Viper - Non Venomous - Not Dangerous, native to Thailand

Mock Viper - Non Venomous - Not Dangerous

Psammodynastes pulverulentus (Mock Viper, Dusky Mock Viper, Common Mock Viper)

Thais say: (ngoo mok)

Length: average about 75 cm (28 inches)

Range: All over Thailand and southeast Asia including Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam – even getting over to Nepal and the other way, Taiwan.

Habitat: Typically the mock vipers enjoy hilly regions. I found one at a local Buddhist temple (the mock viper you see in the images on this page) at the bottom of a limestone mountain, with a skink it had just killed in southern Thailand. Mock vipers can also be found under leaves and brush. Apparently they like a variety of habitat.

Active Time? Nocturnal primarily, but as I mentioned I found mine during the morning about 10:30am. These Thailand snakes are terrestrial – preferring the ground to trees.

Food: Skinks and other lizards, and of course, frogs – like nearly every other snake in Thailand! This mock viper also, occasionally eats other small snakes.

Defensive Behavior: Slow to bite, they coil up as most snakes and strike. I handled mine repeatedly and didn’t get struck at but a couple of times.

Venom Toxicity: Not strong enough to hurt humans. Don’t let it bite down on you for more than a couple of seconds though.

Offspring: This species is ovoviparous, embryos develop inside eggs which remain inside the mother where they hatch. Mating has been observed occurring for over one hour in a tank for m/f mocks in captivity.

Notes: These are really beautiful snakes. Mock vipers have a thick, strong body. They are not really vipers, but they do possess a weak venom that doesn’t affect humans much. They are rear fanged. Female mock vipers are larger than the males on average at adulthood.

READ THIS: There is a chance you will confuse it with the highly toxic venomous snake, the Malayan Pit Viper. I did. It has markings that are very similar, though it doesn’t have the giant triangular head of the Malayan pit viper – it is pretty close. I thought I had a mutant mock!

Mock Viper top and head, Thailand venomous snake

Very distinct markings, not similar to a Malayan Pit Viper when looked at closely

Mock Viper with Dead Skink Meal

He regurgitated that skink as some tourists poked him with a stick before I arrived.

Mock Viper Video – One I caught in southern Thailand:

Common Mock Viper Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Psammodynastes
Species: P. pulverulentus
Binomial name: Psammodynastes pulverulentus
(classified by H. Boie, in year 1827)

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Brown-Spotted Green Pit Viper – Venomous – Mildly Dangerous

Brown Spotted Green Viper in southern Thailand. Cryptelytrops venustus.

Cryptelytrops venustus. Brown-Spotted Green Viper. Small – 70 cm. Venomous. Mildly Dangerous. Found in southern Thailand.

Cryptelytrops venustus previously Trimeresurus venustus – (Brown-spotted Green Pit Viper, Beautiful Pit Viper)

Length: average 40-70 cm

Range: Chumpon to Krabi Province in Thailand. I have found them in Krabi and Surat Thani provinces.

Notes: I found this one in the picture on a small hill at a Buddhist temple on a hill next to some steps. These venomous snakes are usually on the ground, but this one was laying in a bush about 1.3 meters high, right next to the path. It was non-aggressive and didn’t protest when I moved it away from the path with my long stick.

Habitat: The snake lives almost only on the ground where it hunts frogs and lizards. They also enjoy jungle, limestone mountains, and rubber plantations. I currently have one residing in my aquarium where it spends most time suspended from a branch just a few inches off the bottom of the tank.

Active Time? The snake is mainly nocturnal. Active during the day only after heavy rainfall. I have found all of mine during daylight hours.

Food: Mice, frogs, lizards. Predominantly mice. I have a good sized house gecko in the tank with this Cryptelytrops venustus, but so far she has shown no interest in it. I’ll go get some small mice here shortly. The pit vipers sense the heat of the animal and strike. The geckos are cold blooded so they are no hotter than their surroundings.

Defensive Behavior: The snake is very slow during the day and only bites if seriously aggravated. I ran into a reptile poacher in a Thailand forest and he was hand carrying one of these brown spotted green pit vipers in his left hand and had a large box turtle in his other hand. I told him – PIT! Venomous… He insisted “no, it wasn’t” and held it up to his face where the snake immediately bit him on the cheek near the lips. It let go after 1-2 seconds. He said – See?? I promptly bought the snake from him, to keep him from further harm. Not sure what hospital he was at that night!

Venom Toxicity: Mildly toxic. Bites are painful usually without significant effects. Probably this viper would need to bite down for a number of seconds to transfer enough volume of venom that it would be seriously detrimental. Bites are to be considered potentially deadly.

Offspring: The beautiful pit viper I have now is likely gravid, which contradicts some other info I’ve seen about them having offspring in the June/July time-frame. This is December. She is not overly gravid and looks to be in the beginning stages, but still – I think only a couple of months are required for gestation… she’ll have an early birth – April maybe? These snakes birth live offspring in a gelly-like bubble that breaks after coming out of the female snake. Typical numbers are 20-30 young that are colored as the adults.

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotilinae
Species: Cryptelytrops venustus

I could find little information about this snake beyond my own experience. Joachim Bullian at siam-info.de had some useful information which I’ve added to this article. As I said, I currently have one of these lovely snakes for a couple of days and will be adding info here to this fact sheet as I do updates.

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Calloselasma rhodostema, Malayan Pit Viper. Deadly venomous snake from Thailand.

Malayan Pit Viper – Venomous – Very Dangerous

Malayan Pit Viper from southern Thailand

Calloselasma rhodostoma. Malayan Pit Viper. Usually under a meter, and thick. Very common. Very dangerous.

Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan Pit Viper, Malaysian Pit Viper)

Thais say: Ngoo gap pa

Length: Less than 1 meter. Female Malayan Pit Vipers are the larger and fatter snakes. Males of the species don’t make it to 1 meter long.

Range: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma, and China.

Notes: These vipers are distant cousins to North American “copperhead” snakes. These vipers prefer dry, flat areas. They are known as lazy snakes. There were 5500 bites in Malaysia in 2008. Malayan Pit Vipers don’t get out of the way when they sense someone coming. After they bite they’re often found in exactly the same spot. These snakes are so dangerous when handled because they are not consistent with their behavior. One day they will be calm. The next, or the next 10 minutes – they will violently strike lightening fast.Their preferred habitat is under dry leaves, wood, or rocks. They are active during the night mostly, especially while raining. Nickname: Finger rotters. If they get you in the finger – you’ll likely lose part of your finger without immediate care.

Habitat: Forests, rubber plantations, bamboo patches, farmland, grassland. Often lies in the short or long grass.

Active Time? Day and night

Food: Mice, frogs, lizards. Predominantly mice.

Defensive Behavior: Partially coiled with neck in an “S”. Their strike is very fast. Their fangs are long – and in the front of the mouth. Some strikes are short, others involve the whole body as it “jumps” at the same time it strikes. Don’t underestimate the distance this snake can reach when striking. Also, this snake is VERY good at striking behind its head. Watch the video. After striking, or biting, they can often be found in the exact same spot you left it in hours later.

Venom Toxicity: Very toxic. Venom is hemotoxic – it destroys red blood cells and tissue. With a quick hospital visit after a bite you may just lose part of your finger, or some tissue where the bite occurred. Most people don’t die if they can make it to a hospital within 30 minutes.

Offspring: Lay eggs. Female guards them. Young are about 9 inches- fast and thin. Fully ready to bite and have full strength venom.

Malayan Pit Viper Eating Mouse Video – close up of large fangs, strike, etc.

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotilinae
Genus: Calloselasma
Species:
C. rhodostoma

Binomial Classification:
Calloselasma rhodostoma

Malayan Pit Viper video:

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Thailand Snakes

 

Cobras in the HOUSE!

Welcome to Thailand Snakes…

Thailand has 200+ snake species with over 60 of them - venomous. I created this site as a way to educate Thais and visitors to Thailand about snakes. Many people kill the snakes they see in Thailand, while in many cases - they are non-venomous and completely harmless. With this site I hope to give people a better idea what is harmful and what isn't.

Browse the many snake photos and videos here so you can identify snakes you see on your porch, in your bed, or underfoot.

If you have been bitten by a snake - go to a hospital FIRST. Don't waste time looking it up on the internet. With some snakes you need to have medical help as fast as possible. With others you have some time. I know a Thai man whose brother died in less than 10 minutes from a snake bite.

There are venomous (some say 'poisonous' erroneously) snakes everywhere in Thailand. Friends have had cobras in their kitchen, and others had kraits in the garage. Vipers love bushes and trees near water and walkways.

Bookmark this site so you can quickly identify snakes you have seen. Notice the variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes in Thailand - and realize that they come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns.

Email - info@thailandsnakes.com

Thailand’s Deadly Snakes