Category Archives: Non-venomous

Brown Kukri Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Kukri Snake in Thailand - non venomous, but biting snake found all over Thailand
Kukri Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Oligodon purpurascens (Brown Kukri Snake)

Thais say: Ngoo koot

Appearance: Typical kukri shape – not long, but thick snakes with a short tail and no real separation between neck and head. Very small head. Pattern on top of head indicative of most kukri species. Venter is creme or pink.

Length: Average just under 1 meter (about 37 inches)

Range: All over Thailand. Brown Kukri snakes were once thought to be native to only the southernmost Thailand provinces, however J. Bulian has found one in Pattaya and there have been others discovered farther in the northeast. Assume the Brown Kukri’s habitat is across most of Thailand.

Habitat: These snakes prefer life in the forest and can be found at great elevations – about 1 mile high (1,600 meters). I have received numerous requests to identify this snake from readers who found them close to or inside their homes as well. The habitat is wide and varied for this species. Regardless where they are found, they enjoy living under brush, wood, rocks, and thick flora.

Active Time? Nocturnal, active at night and in the early morning as the sun rises. I have also found them in the middle of the day, and toward evening before sunset.

Food: Frogs, lizards, geckos, skinks, and their eggs.

Defensive Behavior: If the brown kukris are bothered enough they will roll their body to the side and lift up their tail – perhaps to present it as a place to attack – leaving the mouth free to strike when the aggressor does go for the tail. Kukri snakes have specialized egg-slicing teeth in the back of the jaw which are enlarged and shaped like a kukri knife. When held by the head, this snake can expertly twist the jaw around to stick the handler with these teeth. Holding is not recommended.

Venom Toxicity: No venom.

Offspring: Lay 6-12 eggs. A reader reported his snake had 8 eggs the first time and 10 the next. Eggs hatched after 60 days, incubated at 29 degrees C. Hatching in Bangkok latitude around late April.

Notes: Though this snake is not venomous, it is keen to bite and can inflict deep wounds due to it’s large, curved teeth and strong bite. Michael Cota, researcher, says, “Appears that it might be an evolutionary link on the way to being venomous, since it is the only snake that I can think of that has “fangs” (enlarged pair of teeth), but no venom delivery system or ducts to the teeth. They are not dangerous, but will give you quite a bloody bite that takes a long time to heal. What makes them so difficult is that their head is not distinct; therefore, it is extremely difficult to grab behind the head and keep proper control of it.  It maneuvers it head around on your grip and then uses teeth to bite – slash.”

You’ll need a tetatus shot if you are bitten, as with all snakes as a precaution.

Kukris are common and you might see one in Thailand if you live here.

Brown Kukri Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Oligodon
Species: Oligodon purpurascens

Binomial name: Oligodon purpurascens
Classified by Schlegel in 1837.

Purple Kukri Snake - Harmless and common in Thailand.
Oligodon purpurascens, a very common kukri snake in our area. These have a fairly wide range in the south of Thailand. Brown or Purple kukri snake.

Indochinese Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros) hatchling snake from Krabi province, Thailand.
Extra beautiful after hatching – the Indo-Chinese rat snake juvenile doesn’t resemble most of the adults which turn dark brown, grey, or black as they mature.

[Last updated: 28 November 2019]

Ptyas korros (Indo-Chinese Rat Snake)

Thais say: (ngoo sing baan)

Length: Adults are just over 1 meter, but can reach near 2 meters.

Range: All over Thailand and most of Asia including: Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Western Malaysia, and Singapore.

Habitat: Anywhere rats and lizards exist in abundance. They aren’t found on hills or in mountains, usually just the low-lying areas and where people and garbage are.

Active Time? Diurnal – active during daylight hours.

Food: Rats and other rodents, frogs and lizards. Much prefer rats. These are primarily rodent eaters and they vary little from their diet because there are usually plenty of rats or other rodents available.

Defensive Behavior: Will flee very quickly if given the chance. If agitated, rat snakes bite quickly. Some of them will calm down enough that they can be free-handled without repetitive bites.

Venom Toxicity: No venom that is harmful to humans.

Offspring: Eggs which hatch in early to middle May in Krabi, Thailand.

Notes: These are very common snakes, and are seen a lot because they prefer to be active during the daylight hours. They have very large eyes, which would make one think they can see well at night as well. These snakes can be held without striking (see video below).

Ptyas korros can be silver, grey, or brown – orange looking in color. Scales on the posterior part of the body and on the tail often yellow and edged with black. Underbelly is light yellow. Juvenile Indochinese rat snakes have a transverse series of round whitish spots or narrow yellow transverse bars.

Ptyas korros Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. korros
Binomial name: Ptyas korros
(Classified by Schlegel in year 1837.)

Indochinese Rat Snake - grey, from Thailand - Ptyas korros
Ptyas korros – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

My Indochinese Rat Snake Photos:

Grey Indochinese rat snake in Thailand
Indochinese rat snakes eat predominantly rats and other rodents.

Another photo, showing same snake but darker exposure. It looks more brown toward the tail:

Indochinese rat snakes are silver, black, grey, brown, or orange in color.
Indochinese rat snakes are silver, black, grey, brown, or orange in color.

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Video:

Juvenile Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Video

Common Thailand Non-Venomous Snakes – Photos, Videos, Links

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Thailand’s Very Common Non-Venomous Snakes

[Last updated: 2 December 2019]

Thailand has around 185 snake species considered non-venomous, or mildly venomous and not a threat to human beings. Though these snakes are not known to be dangerous to humans, that doesn’t mean that they are not. The red-necked keelback, for instance, was a snake kept in aquariums across the world for years before the first deadly bites occurred. Turns out that they have a very strong venom that can be delivered with prolonged or multiple bites. Do be careful with all snakes.

Chrysopelea ornata. Golden Tree Snake

These snakes are very common and it is probably the most commonly seen snake among tourists and Thai locals. They are at home in the bushes and on the ground during the day. They are excellent climbers and prefer to eat the tokay geckos and other geckos. These snakes have a mild venom that can kill or disable birds and other small animals. It is not likely to affect your dog or cat, if bitten.

Info Sheet – Golden Tree Snake / Flying Snake (click)

Side view of Chrysopelea ornata, the flying snake, or the golden tree snake.
Golden Tree Snake

Golden tree snake (Chrysopelea ornata) close-up.
Golden Tree Snake – aka Flying Snake. Not dangerous. Quite fast in trees.

Chrysopelea paradisi, the paradise tree snake, or paradise flying tree snake from Southern Thailand.
A close relative of the golden tree snake, this is the ‘paradise tree snake’ – Chrysopelea paradisi. Very similar in appearance with the addition of some orange or red color to some of the scales on the top of the body and head.

Golden Tree Snake Video

Juvenile Chrysopelea ornata with Bright Colors:

Paradise Tree Snake Video – Catching Chrysopelea paradisi from a Tree in Southern Thailand:

Ahaetulla prasina. Oriental Whip Snake

Oriental Whip Snake, Ahaetulla prasina, from Thailand
Oriental Whip Snake – Venomous – Not Dangerous

The oriental whip snake is a really gorgeous snake with a very thin body – up to two meters in length. The color is usually bright green, but there are some which are grey, brown, or even yellow. This snake is harmless for people, but has a mild venom which affects lizards and birds they prey on. Easily recognized by it’s very long head in the shape of an arrow, and another feature, harder to see – the tongue stays out when annoyed.

Ptyas korros. Indo-Chinese Rat Snake

This rat snake is also very common no matter what type of weather or season. These are terrestrial (land-based) snakes with excellent climbing skills. They hunt lizards and other small animals on the ground during daylight hours. Rat snakes have no fangs, but their saliva is known to contain venom proteins. Nobody has been recorded in the literature as having been envenomated significantly by these snakes. Color varies from brown to grey or black.

Info Sheet – Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (click)

A brownish colored Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros) from Southern Thailand.

Grey Indochinese rat snake in Thailand
Indochinese rat snakes eat predominantly rats and other rodents.

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Video

A Juvenile Rat Snake – Brown with Light Banding Typical of Young Ptyas korros in Southern Thailand:

Coelognathus radiata. Copper-headed Racer / Radiated Rat Snake. 

These rat snakes are common around trash bins, and anywhere rats and other rodents can be found. Though they are primarily terrestrial, I have seen one 3-4 meters up a palm tree raiding a bird nest of its young or eggs. These are strong, very fast striking snakes with a lot of nervous energy. Like the other rat snakes, it has no fangs with which to deliver venom.

Info Sheet – Copper-headed Racer (click)

Radiated Rat Snake - Copperhead Racer

Double S position before this copper-headed racer strikes is typical. Coelognathus radiata.

These radiated rat snakes can be more yellow and brown. This one is quite orange colored. Coelognathus radiata.
While usually the radiated rat snake has more of a yellow tone to it, this one was quite orange / brown. They have an amazing pattern when defensive and flared up.

Copper-headed Racer Video

Juvenile Copper-headed Rat Snake (Radiated rat snake) Caught on the Road:

Adult Copper-headed Racer (Radiated rat snake) – Letting Go in Wild:

Kukri Snakes

Purple Kukri Snake - Harmless and common in Thailand.
Oligodon purpurascens, a very common kukri snake in our area. These have a fairly wide range in the south of Thailand.

Kukri snakes are found Thailand wide – and nearly all of them have the distinctive pattern on the top of the head as shown in the image above. Kukris are ground snakes which like cruising through and around the leaf litter. They eat eggs of all kinds, and small animals. While they are not venomous, they do have enlarged rear teeth which are shaped like kukri knives. They use these specialized teeth for cracking eggs so they can drink the inside yolk.

 

Did you get our FREE PDF file yet?
PHOTOS OF COMMON THAILAND SNAKES!
It’s HERE>

  • 83 pages
  • many snakes featured: Cobras, Kraits, Pit Vipers, Corals, Rat Snakes, etc.
  • facts and photos!

Reticulated Python (งูหลาม) – Non Venomous – Dangerous Bites

Reticulated python - Malayopython reticulatus. Very strong and large snakes which can be a danger to humans, pets, and just about any animal smaller than an elephant.
Reticulated Pythons – biggest Thailand snake. Constrictors, no venom.

[Page Updated: 5 May 2017]

(Python reticulatus) – Reticulated Python

Thais Say: Ngoo lam (งูหลาม)

Length: Reticulated pythons can approach 10 meters in length, though there is no hard proof that a member of the species ever reached that fantastic length. Still, stories persist. Pythons of 5-6 meters long are not very common, but they exist. Six meters was the biggest python I’ve ever seen. Typically they are in the 3-5 meter range. Once they reach 4 meters or so they start to eat farm animals and they are quickly found out. Pythons of this size are either killed, or dragged to the local snake show where they die in unclean cages or of stress.

Juvenile Reticulated Python has the potential to become the largest (longest) snake in the entire world.
This just hatched Reticulated Python was only 60 cm long at birth, and can grow to more than 8 meters long.

Appearance: Intricate design of yellow and black lines over tan background. Head is strongly separated from neck. Can get around 1 foot in thickness.

Range:  All over Thailand and some other Southeast Asia countries – Burma, Malaysia in many types of habitat.

Habitat:  I have found them high up in trees in the mangrove above the saltwater and in the ocean near a mangrove forest. I have also found them in quite dry areas nowhere near saltwater and in residential areas as well as in floating huts on a river in the northeast. Found often during rain, it is thought they eat frogs along streams when they cannot find a large meal. These pythons are rather common, and much more so than the other pythons.

An adult Reticulated Python around 3-4 meters long (over 12 feet) - it can continue to grow to more than 8-9 meters long.
Adult Reticulated Python – will it grow to 30 feet long?

Active Time: Primarily active nocturnally, but can be found during daylight if disturbed, or sleeping at ground level.

Food: Prefer animals related to their size. Chickens of all sizes seem to be preferred, though pigs, dogs, cats, goats, frogs and other animals are taken with regularity.

Defensive Behavior: Curl into an S for a long strike. Strike is not that fast when they are big, but they have great reach! Watch out for very high strike on the upper body.

The reticulated python is quite able to defend itself and it will not hesitate to strike anything that is aggravating it. Strikes can be 2 meters in distance and they can strike quite high – head high even. They have rows of teeth – 78 by one count, and they are very strong and curved. If you are bitten by a large python you can easily be killed as they wrap their very strong body around you and suffocate you or raise your blood pressure to such a degree that your heart can no longer beat. Your best chance is if you have a friend with you. That said, these snakes very rarely prey on man.

Venom Toxicity: Not known for dangerous venom, though all snakes are said to have venom (proteins) in their saliva. This snake kills by squeezing prey until the blood pressure is so high the heart cannot beat. Death is not due to suffocation as previously thought.

Offspring: About 50-70 cm long in large eggs. Only Blood Python eggs are known to be larger (of snakes). Hatch in June-July.

Notes: I have found a number of these pythons over the years. Many times they are swimming in water, or in trees above water – both fresh and saltwater. They have a habit of cruising up streams – where they eat large frogs and other prey. The largest I have ever seen in the wild was a 5-6 meter python in Krabi which was in a freshwater stream about midnight. A magnificent sight!

Reticulated Python Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Genus: Python
Species: P. reticulatus

Binomial name – Python reticulatus
(Classified by Schneider, 1801)

Big Reticulated Python Found at Night

Small Reticulated Python Swimming in Stream

#Python

Oriental Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

The oriental rat snake (Ptyas mucosus) can reach 3.7 meters in length and is non-venomous.
©2015 Bob Burgess. Used with permission.

Name: Ptyas mucosus (Oriental rat snake). Previously known as Ptyas mucosa.

Thai: (ngu sing hang lai)

Length: Up to 370 cm but usually under 3 meters.

Range: Throughout Thailand, and common in Hua Hin area.

Habitat: The Oriental Rat snake prefers open forests, and at times comes into residential areas. I have had a number of ID requests for these snakes found in gardens. It is terrestrial, and arboreal, but spending most time on the ground.

Active Time: These snakes are active during the day and at dawn. At night the snakes can be found sleeping in loose rolls on bushes and in the branches of trees.

Description: Long, thick snake somewhat resembling and possibly mistaken for a king cobra. There are distinctive black lines on the lower jaw which are distinctive. The snake is brown bodied, with light bands on the base of the neck and mid-body, turning to black bands toward the tail.

Food: An opportunistic feeder, P mucosa eats rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, and other small animals, The oriental rat snake has a triangle cross-section with a well-defined vertebral ridge which can indicate it may be a snake eater. While at the Queen Saovabha Snake Institute in Bangkok, Thailand I took a photo of this snake taking the head of Coelognathus radiata (radiated rat snake) into its mouth and then letting it go. If hungry, it is certainly big enough to eat a 2 meter long C radiata.

Large snakes of this species do not have venom, nor do they constrict prey. They simply crush them with their body weight. This snake often eats prey while it is still alive.

Defensive Behavior: This snake is not a big biter, despite its size and significant strength. Some bite, some don’t. Rat snakes have some flexibility in how they strike, and can do so from many different positions. They need not rear back to strike.

Danger: Danger of a strong bite which may get infected. No venom or delivery system.

Venom Toxicity: N/A

Offspring: Mating takes place between April and June typically. Approximately 60 days after successful mating females lay 6-18 eggs. In approximately 60 days the young hatch. Length of hatchlings is between 36-47 centimeters and the snakes are very light brown. (Info primarily from Siam-info.de)

Notes: Unfortunately we don’t get these in Krabi province. I’ve never seen one dead on the road, never seen one in the wild, and never fielded any ID request from someone locally who had shot a photo of one.

Scientific classification

Ptyas mucosus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. mucosus

Binomial name – Ptyas mucosus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Gongylosoma baliodeirus – Orange Bellied Snake

Orange Bellied Snake - Gongylosoma baliodeirus - found in Krabi Noi district of Krabi, Thailand

Gongylosoma baliodeirus

Rupert Lewis from the United Kingdom was out herping in Thailand a couple nights ago and came upon this little beauty. It’s Gongylosoma baliodeirus or possibly a subspecies. I say possibly because I can’t find any information about the snake online at all. A Google search on image and text of the name of the snake produces nothing but the name, classification and who first found it (Boie). I did find one report of this snake being found in Borneo at 2,000 feet elevation on Mt. Penrissen, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Rupert had an illustration he found in a book that identified it as Gongylosoma, but that’s about all we know from information found in books or online.

The snake was caught at night in Krabi Noi rainforest (Krabi province, Thailand) after midnight on a half-moon night. The elevation was roughly 100 meters above sea level.

This snake is about 40 cm in length and under 5 cm in girth at its thickest. It is smooth-scaled and Rupert counted 8 diagonal scales to the vertebral column.

The snake was cooperative and did not attempt to bite.

This is a new range for this snake, as previously they have not been found in Krabi province. They are rare in Thailand at all, and have only been found in some of the southernmost provinces.

The photos are copyright 2013 Vern Lovic, with thanks to Rupert for sharing this snake with me. First published May 22, 2013. Updated Aug 15, 2015.

Video of Gongylosoma baliodeirus:

Common Thailand Snakes | 2

[Last Updated: 15 August 2019]

More Common Thailand Snakes

When visiting Thailand on vacation or for a long-term stay there are certain snakes you are likely to see and others that you will probably never see, even if you’re looking very hard to find them. On this page is a selection of common (frequently found) snakes in Thailand. If you want a FREE EBOOK of COMMON THAILAND SNAKES in PDF format – CLICK HERE.

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Non-Venomous and Mildly Venomous and Harmless Snakes

Green Cat Snake - Boiga cyanea. Harmless. Southern Thailand
Green Cat Snake – Boiga cyanea. Harmless and somewhat common in some areas. Eat geckos, birds, bird eggs at night when they are active. Length to over 2 meters.

Green Cat Snake (Boiga cyanea)

This snake is almost 2 meters long when fully grown, and resembling the vipers – except it’s too long to be a viper. Be very careful with any green snake as there are many vipers with strong venom that are green and look very similar to this one. Green vipers typically have brown colored tails. This snake has a solid green tail. The Green Cat Snake shown in the photo is harmless, and didn’t even try to bite as I interacted with it on my porch in Southern Thailand around midnight.


Juvenile Indo-Chinese rat snake from Thailand - common and harmless.
Indo-Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) juvenile. Harmless. When adult these snakes are either brown, grey (silver), or black.

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros)

One rat snake, the Indo-Chinese Rat Snake, is especially common, but the adult does look very much like the monocled cobras to the untrained eye. Do be very cautious of any snake that is solid brown, grey, black, or that is mostly dark with some white spots – speckles or odd pattern. Cobras are quick to bite and one of the most deadly daylight snakes you’ll encounter. There is a photo of the monocled cobra below.

Venomous Snakebites and Near Misses from Southeast Asia.
A black mamba bite. Monocled and King cobra bites/deaths. Viper bites, coral bites, many VERY close calls. Should be in every herper’s bag.

Venomous Snakebites and Near Misses!

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Thailand Snake - Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum
Found often in southern Thailand – the Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum. Harmless, but of course they do bite.

Red-tailed Racer (Gonyosoma oxycephalum)

This is a fairly large rat snake reaching around 2.1 meters in length. It has no fangs to deliver venom, and can be considered harmless for humans. It does bite, of course, so stay out of reach. This is an incredibly beautiful snake with green hues, blue-green eyes, and black and blue tongue. Stunning!

If you haven’t yet read this book about Dr. Joe Slowinski – biologist bitten by a many-banded krait in Burma in 2001 – you really should. It’s an excellent read, and ALL SNAKE HOBBYISTS SHOULD READ IT.


Radiated Rat Snake - Copperhead Racer
Radiated Rat Snake – Coelognathus radiata. Harmless, but frequent biters when a person gets too close.

Radiated Rat Snake (Coelognathus radiata)

Copper-headed Racer  – These are very common and may even qualify as one of the most commonly seen snakes in Thailand. Non-venomous and not dangerous, except they are big biters. Many small teeth. A bite can hurt and get infected because the teeth easily break off inside the skin. Color hue ranges from yellow to brown, There is another rat snake that looks very similar – the “Malayan Racer” which is very dark brown with a slightly different pattern (Coelognathus flavolineatus).


Yellow Spotted Keelback from Southern Thailand
Keelback snake from the Xenochrophis genus.

Keelback Snakes (Oligodon / Rhabdophis / Xenochrophis genera)

Keelbacks are very common ground snakes and love water. You might see them in the water or on the ground moving around. Keelbacks are generally easily identified by distinct black (dark) lines from the eye area toward the jaw. Most keelbacks in Thailand are not very dangerous, but there are a couple in the “Rhabdophis” genus that are to be considered dangerous and potentially capable of a deadly bite. We have one featured in the venomous section below (Rhabdophis subminiatus).


Golden Tree Snake - Chrysopelea ornata. Southern Thailand
Golden Tree Snake – Chrysopelea ornata. Common, harmless, but mildly venomous, and can kill or stun geckos and lizards.

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Golden Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata)

A very common tree snake across Thailand, and their favorite food appears to be Tokay Geckos (Gekko gecko), so you may see one at your home. These snakes have a mild venom that doesn’t generally affect humans at all. These snakes do traverse across the ground but quickly find a tree when threatened. Masterful and very fast climbers! Common in homes, garages, and other structures.


Thailand Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis) Snake Strikes
Bronzeback snakes have a number of different patterns, but they are all long, thin, and generally brown and yellow until they flare the lateral sides and show other patterns and colors. Harmless for humans. Dendrelaphis genus.

Bronzeback Snakes (Dendrelaphis genus)

also incredibly adept and fast climbers, I first saw one as it came over my six-foot concrete wall in the back of the house in Surat Thani. Very thin snakes, not that afraid of humans. This snake bites quickly – as you might guess from the photo. To be honest, I’m holding the tail so I can get a good photo before it quickly disappears. Mildly venomous colubrids, and not dangerous to humans. There are many species of this snake, all look vaguely similar.


Oriental Whip Snake - Southern Thailand
Oriental Whip Snake; Green Whip Snake. Common mildly-venomous snake which cannot harm humans. Ultra thin and very long snakes to around 2 meters. Ahaetulla prasina.

Oriental Whip Snakes (Ahaetulla prasina and Ahaetulla mycterizans)

Very common snakes, and usually found in trees during the day (active) or night (sleeping), but I have found many whip snakes on the ground as they hunted lizards and frogs. The bright fluorescent green in this snake is awesome, isn’t it? These snakes have a mild venom, but again, no serious results of envenomation have occurred in humans. Other color variations: yellow, very light green with much more white (A. mycterizans), grey, brown. There is also a speckle-headed whip snake which isn’t found very often.


Common Venomous and Deadly Snakes

Malayan Pit Viper - Southern Thailand Venomous and Deadly Snake
Malayan Pit Viper. Very toxic venom destroys tissue of all kinds. Potentially fatal bites, but if you reach a hospital quickly – you will likely be fine. Calloselasma rhodostoma.

Malayan Pit Viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma)

A very dangerous pit viper with strong cytotoxic venom which is potentially deadly. This common brown pit viper is the cause of death for more people in Thailand than any other snake. It bites quickly and is lazy to get out of the way if you’re walking toward it, usually, it just lays still. Always found at ground level, and often on top of, or just under leaves. Maximum length – about 1 meter long.


Monocled Cobras (Naja kaouthia)

Monocled Cobra - adult. Potentially deadly bites, necrotoxic and neurotoxic venom makes this snake especially dangerous. One of Thailand's most dangerous snakes.
Monocled cobra – deadly and common across most of Thailand. These are black or brown colored snakes which flatten the neck into a hood. Their venom is very strong. Don’t try to catch or kill this cobra by yourself. Some cobras can spray venom 2-3 meters into your eyes.

Be especially careful of cobra snakes which can spit venom 2-3 meters away (farther with a strong wind!). They can temporarily blind you as they make their getaway, but the problem is your eyes will be burning until you can flush them with water for 10-20 minutes, and then visit the hospital to ensure they are properly cleaned. Photo above (click to enlarge) is of the Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia)


Red-necked Keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus)

Red Neck Keelback Snake - Rhabdophis subminiatus in Southern Thailand
Red-necked keelbacks prefer low vegetation around water. Though they are not big biters, and flee at every opportunity, they have a potentially deadly bite. Rhabdophis subminiatus.
Red necked keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus) is now classified as a deadly venomous snake.
Red Necked keelback – do not keep as a pet – bites can cause serious kidney damage, even death.

Brightly colored and very common snakes that become more brightly patterned when agitated. These brightly colored snakes are found in captivity across the globe. They were previously considered non-venomous and not dangerous until recently. Death has occurred as a direct result of envenomation from this species, though not in Thailand.

In Thailand, we have had a number of close calls. Renal failure after bites is one of the possible potentially deadly outcomes. This is one of the few snakes which is venomous and poisonous. There is a poison secreted in dorsal (top) side of the neck area near the head which can be dangerous to pets or people licking them. You know, in case you ever got the urge. In some cases, the Red-necked Keelback can spray the poison from the neck in a very fine mist.


Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus)

Malayan Krait - Bungarus candidus, from Southern Thailand. Common, dangerous, deadly, and size is usually about 1 meter long.
Adult Malayan (Blue) Krait from Thailand. These are common across much of the country, and have a very potent neurotoxic venom. Contact with this krait should be avoided. Bungarus candidus.

Malayan Krait. Kraits are all venomous and potentially deadly. They are active by night for the most part, though I have seen Red-Headed Kraits (Bungarus flaviceps) active during daylight twice. The Banded Krait and the Malayan or “Blue” krait are both deadly snakes – the former with yellow and black bands about the same thickness, and the latter with black and white bands, the black bands are thicker near the neck, and more evenly spaced farther down on the tail.


Small-spotted Coral (Calliophis maculiceps)

Small-spotted coral snake from Southern Thailand, Krabi province. (Calliophis maculiceps)
Dangerous and potentially deadly, this small snake looks harmless enough. The Small-spotted Coral Snake (Calliophis maculiceps). ©Copyright 2010 Vern Lovic.

Small-spotted Coral. There is one coral snake worth mentioning, not because it’s all that common, but because it tends to be around the gardens – even in potted plants. This is the “Small-spotted Coral Snake.” It is very small – around 35 cm as an adult, and it looks harmless enough. It should be considered dangerous – and capable of potentially deadly bites.

Venomous Snakebites and Near Misses from Southeast Asia.
Stories of close calls…

Venomous Snakebites and Near Misses!

More than 34 stories of venomous snakebite and very near misses from Southeast Asia’s most deadly snakes – King Cobra, Malayan Pit Viper, Monocled Cobra, Banded Krait, Malayan Krait, and more! Digital Book with over 100 pages by Vern Lovic.

Order at Amazon HEREJust $4.99 (eBook)


My Favorite Herping Gear

I Love these Headlamps for Herping

  • My fav. HEADLAMP (light, programmable, Bluetooth, tough)
  • another favorite, less expensive HEADLAMP (tough, crazy bright). Make sure to get the ‘cool white’ option.

My Favorite Knife

My Favorite Gear for High-rez Video

  • 4K Video capable (expensive – replaceable batteries)
  • 4K Video (inexpensive, stabilization not as good as above. I have this one.)

Incredible Macro Lenses

Mobile Phone with 4K Backup

Find ALL the Midwest / Tom’s Reptile Snake Gear online HERE >

White Bellied Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

White Bellied Rat Snake – Ptyas fusca

Thai: ngoo sing thai

Length: up to 290 cm

Description: Fusca comes from the latin, fuscus, meaning dark or dusky. In adults, the body and head are brown. The head is long and distinct. The head resembles Ptyas korros quite a bit, unless they are side-by-side, I don’t think I could tell them apart by head shape. Eyes are large and pupils are round. There is occasionally a red stripe down the vertebral column. Some light banding can be seen laterally in some snakes. The tail can be black. There is a black lateral stripe that stands in contrast to the whitish of the venter, unlike other rat snakes.

In juveniles of this species, the head, neck, and almost to mid-body can be a green tint. There can also be a noticeable pattern / banding that disappears with age.

Range: This rat snake has been found in Peninsular Thailand in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Trang, and Phang-Nga provinces. It is likely resident in many forests in Southern Thailand.

Habitat: Found in primary and secondary evergreen forest and rubber plantations.

Behavior:  This snake is terrestrial and diurnal, sleeping at night on tree branches. When disturbed it raised up vertically and holds position, almost like a cobra. I have also seen this snake do this on the sides of roads to look up over the grass to see if the coast is clear to cross.

Active Time? Diurnal.

Food: Primary prey is birds, rodents, and lizards..

Defensive Behavior: Quick strikes, not necessarily from a coiled position or S-shape. After some handling, some of these snakes will calm down and cease striking.

Venom Toxicity: No fangs to deliver venom.

Danger: No danger from venom, but these are biting snakes that may inflict some lacerations / puncture wounds.

Offspring: Oviparous.

Notes: I have not caught this snake in Southern Thailand yet, but I have seen them occasionally on the side of the road. I have also handled one in captivity. They are quite different looking from the other rat snakes of the area.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. fusca

Binomial name: Ptyas fusca
(Günther, 1858)

Malayan Bridle Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Close-up of Dryocalamus subannulatus, the Malayan bridle snake.

Malayan Bridle Snake - Dryocalamus subannulatus in Thailand primary rainforest in Krabi province on the Malaysian Peninsula.

[Last updated – 10 May 2017]

Malayan Bridle Snake – Dryocalamus subannulatus

Length: 70 cm

Description: This is a thin snake less than the thickness of a finger. It has a light yellow mask and comes in one of two color pattern variations. Shown here is the pattern with a brown background and longitudinal stripes running from neck to tail. There is one along the vertebral ridge and one on each side. The eyes of this snake are rather large compared to the very small head. The head is slightly smaller than the neck of the snake. There are two very small rear-fangs seen upon inspection of the mouth. The head of this snake is not elongated in a long triangle like the Lycodon family of snakes – which is one way to tell the difference.

Range: Thailand’s southern provinces. This snake was found in Krabi province at 450 meters elevation at 2200 hours two meters high on a thick tree covered with moss (see photo below). I have also found them at 200 meters elevation in evergreen forest and around 100 meters on a sloped rock face.

Habitat: Bushes, trees, and dwellings. This snake is not as common as the Laotian Wolf Snake, but likes the same kind of habitat – but is usually climbing on something. It searches trees and structures for geckos primarily. They are excellent climbers and love vines and light brush.

Active Time? Usually nocturnal.

Food: Small geckos and frogs primarily.

Defensive Behavior: I have yet to see this snake strike, even after handling a half-dozen of them. Usually they are very calm.

Venom Toxicity: Weak or none. Ineffective for humans if there is any venom. The fangs are quite small – less than the diameter of a regular stick pin.

Offspring: Nothing known about this area.

Notes: These are great snakes for first time snake hobbyists to handle for a short time in the wild. If they are striking initially, they quickly calm down when held for a short time. There is a very real danger of mistaking these harmless snakes with a Malayan, Many Banded, or Banded krait – all of which are deadly. Kraits can get bigger than 1 meter. This snake, and the other harmless black and white banded snakes – will not get over 70 cm generally.

Scientific classification: Dryocalamus subannulatus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Dryocalamus
Species: D. subannulatus

Photo taken in situ, Ngorn Nak Mountain, Tub Kaak Subdistrict of Krabi Province, Southern Thailand:

Dryocalamus subannulatus, in situ, Southern Thailand. Common name: Malayan bridle snake, striped color pattern.

Malayan Bridle Snake – second pattern (more common):

Malayan bridle snake - Dryocalamus subannulatus in banded pattern form from Southern Thailand's Krabi province.
White or yellow bands on brown or black body is the typical pattern for this snake.

Brahminy Blind Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snake is parthenogetic - can spawn young without males.
Brahminy Blind Snake – non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snakes are parthenogetic – can spawn young without males.

VERY COMMON non-venomous snakes which are in nearly every country across the world. It is a myth that these snakes are venomous and deadly. Here in Thailand it is a pervasive myth. There are many kinds of blind snakes in Thailand, and also some small legless skinks that resemble snakes.

These snakes resemble thin black worms in Thailand. They have a lot of energy when you pick one up. You will likely find them in soil in your potted plants or climbing up through your drain in your restroom.

Brahminy Blind Snakes are completely harmless.

(Page Updated: 1 August 2019)

Ramphotyphlops braminus (Brahminy Blind Snake)

Thai: (ngoo din ban)

Length: Up to about 6 inches (15cm)

Range: All over Thailand and much of the world, native to Southeast Asia. Transported across the world in potted plants.

Notes: These are ground dwelling and burrowing snakes. They are shy. They are easily eaten by many other predators like birds, monitors, and other snakes. The Red Tailed Pipe snake eats these snakes often. The blind snakes have very small eyes covered with a thin skin that protects them as they burrow through the dirt.

Many people have this tiny black snake come up through the pipes into their homes. We found dozens of them in our home, having come through the shower drain. They are completely harmless and yet there are rumors across the world that these are deadly snakes capable of killing humans with one bite. It is completely false. Do not kill these snakes, they are beneficial to the environment – they eat termite and ant eggs.

Active Time? Anytime. I have found them at night and daylight – under leaves or other litter on damp ground, and of course crawling up through our drains.

Food: Ant and termite eggs primarily.

Defensive Behavior: Flip around craziliy and will attempt to flee. The mouth is too small to inflict a bite on humans, and I have never seen one of these small snakes attempt to bite.

Venom Toxicity: No venom or means to inject it.

Offspring: An interesting twist here. Brahminy Blind snakes are all born female and need no males to continue the species (parthenogenic). They are parthenogenetic. When they reach sexual maturity they lay fertile eggs – and hence, are fully self-perpetuating the species. If there is one – soon there will be more! These snakes have populated much of the western world and can be found in Thailand, India, Hawaii, Louisianna, Boston, and other places in the USA and across the globe now.

My Brahminy Blind Snake Video:

Brahminy Blind Snake Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Typhlopidae
Genus: Ramphotyphlops
Species: R. braminus

Binomial classification:
Ramphotyphlops braminus


My Favorite Herping Gear

I Love these Headlamps for Herping

  • My fav. HEADLAMP (light, programmable, Bluetooth, tough)
  • another favorite, less expensive HEADLAMP (tough, crazy bright). Make sure to get the ‘cool white’ option.

My Favorite Knife

My Favorite Gear for High-rez Video

  • 4K Video capable (expensive – replaceable batteries)
  • 4K Video (inexpensive, stabilization not as good as above. I have this one.)

Incredible Macro Lenses

Mobile Phone with 4K Backup