Thailand Snake Journal – Snake About 600 Feet Up Mountain

I climbed a mountain I often do – it’s very steep. There are steps up it – 1,237 steps. At about step 850 I saw a snake crawling between the limestone rock and the step. I thought I knew what it was, but it was a juvenile – and you know how that goes. Thailand snakes – when they are small, don’t always represent the same thing as when they are older – so I took my time, and ended up letting him get too far into a hole and lost him.

That sucked, but getting bitten by a venomous snake would have sucked worse.

It looked like an orange color… solid, muted – not bright. No pattern, no stripes, nothing to distinguish it. I have seen Indo Chinese Rat Snake adults that looked like this one, but in all I had about 6 seconds to identify it – and I decided it wasn’t worth the risk in case it was a coral snake. I’ve seen plenty of baby cobras – they all seem to be very dark, or even black as juveniles… still, I couldn’t risk it!

Oh well, there will be another snake, I’m sure.

So far on that mountain I’ve seen:

  • 4 meter King Cobra
  • Red Necked Keelback (far away from water, just way up the side of the hill – about 200 feet vertically maybe)
  • Painted Bronzeback at the top of the hill (850 feet vertical)
  • Brown Keelback on the steps – juvenile also
  • Oriental Whip Snake
  • A yellow snake I think must have been the Ridley’s Racer – it moved very fast into the hole in the limestone. I saw it for about 1 second.
  • At the bottom of the hill I saw and caught a mock viper.
  • The monks tell me they often see monocled cobras around the limestone where they live in their kutis.

Now, this might make that mountain seem like a great place to herp… but, this has been over the course of 4 years now and I’ve been up the thing nearly 800 times. Not such a good track record for seeing snakes then, is it?

About Vern Lovic

All posts by Vern Lovic. Amateur herpetologist roaming about Thailand on field herping trips to find cobras, kraits, coral snakes, and other snakes native to Thailand. Thailand has over 200 snake species with many of them venomous.

One thought on “Thailand Snake Journal – Snake About 600 Feet Up Mountain”

  1. I have a great picture of a snake outside my window this morning in Patong.
    I am trying to identify it as well as add it to your list.

    Thanks,

    J

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