Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus (Mangrove Pit Viper, also known as mangrove viper, shore pit viper, purple-spotted pit viper, shore pitviper.
Thais Say: Ngoo pang ka
Length: Males grow to about 60cm and females to 90 cm on average.
Habitat: Usually near water and very wet areas. However, recently one was found on a sidewalk by a bungalow on the island of Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province, Thailand. They like stream banks with good cover – low lying plants that they can hide under. They like hilly habitat.
Behavior: These snakes are very easily agitated, and once they get going they are hard to calm down. Their strikes are very fast, but thankfully – short. These are known by snake handlers to have a “bad temper”.
These Thailand vipers are rather hard to identify – but they are usually like the photo above – greyish with a bit of purple in the coloring. Some are very purple. We’ve also seen a brownish toned mangrove pit viper with some yellow highlights. Now for our top photo we have a greenish toned viper. Obviously – color is highly variable in this species.
Venom toxicity: Venomous and very toxic to humans. Though people have died as a result of bites from this snake, this is not usually the case.
Species: T. purpureomaculatus
Classified as – Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus by Gray in year 1832.
Mangrove pit viper photo courtesy of, and full copyright by – Richard Richert.