Category Archives: snake id reader submissions

Thailand Snake Photos – Striped Keelback

Striped Keelback Snake from Northern Thailand - Amphiesma stolatum.
Not dangerous to humans. Photo by Paul Donatus.

Here’s another submission from Paul Donatus, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

This is a striped keelback – nice looking snakes that we don’t see here in the south at all. I’ve seen none of them, so I think they are much more common in the northern parts of the country.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Genus: Amphiesma
Species: A. stolatum
Binomial name: Amphiesma stolatum
Classified by Linnaeus in 1758.

Thanks Paul!

Thailand Snake Photos – Malayan Blue Krait / Yellow Banded Krait

Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) from Borneo, Malaysia.
Adult Banded Krait (B. fasciatus) in Borneo, Malaysia. Click to see full-size image.

Though this photo was actually submitted by a guy in Borneo, Malaysia – thanks Ryzal Manan! – this Banded Krait looks exactly as one in Thailand might look so I wanted to share the image with you.

This snake is quite deadly – and should be avoided at all costs. Yellow Banded Kraits and Malayan Blue Kraits – and the other kraits in southeast Asia tend to bite people that are sleeping on the floor or ground – or in their beds. For some reason the kraits end up in bed with victims a lot.

The dangerous kraits can be identified rather well if they are adult, because they are thicker than the wolf snakes or bridle snakes in Thailand that they resemble. A mature krait is as thick as your wrist, or a thick shovel handle. If you look at the white and black bands – you can see – they are very thick in comparison to wolf or bridle snakes – an inch or more in thickness.

Though this isn’t always a good identifier in all cases because the many-banded krait can have thinner white bands, and more of them than the krait pictured above.

Be careful with any snake that looks anything like this snake!



Thanks again Ryzal Manan for the photo. Ryzal said this krait was seen at about 1:00 am.

Thanks too, to Tom Charlton who corrected my initial label of “Malayan Blue Krait” to “Yellow Banded Krait”. The fact that it’s white and black means little… it’s a yellow banded krait! See the high vertebral ridge? Just like the yellow banded kraits you’ll see on this site. Tom said Borneo doesn’t have the Malayan Blue Kraits. Cheers Tom!

Snakes are Mating in Thailand at the Moment

Some of them are killed as they do so. Got contacted by a guy in Nonthaburi – they had 2 big rat snakes mating in their garden. They called the security guys for the housing complex who insisted these rat snakes were closely related to the cobras – and called Coconut snakes. What the hell?

They killed them both. You see how BIG that one is? 3+ meters… a fine specimen!

Was anyway.

Snakes are mating during these months. Some of them are anyway. I think the king cobras and now I know the rat snakes are too. Probably whatever snakes aren’t hiding away from the cold. Today I had a look in a park in the northeast – all over the park – ponds everywhere, great little trees by the ponds – nothing. No snakes.

I’m giving up until I get back south. The northeast is just way too cold at the moment for snakes.

Big Rat Snake Killed in Nonthaburi
Big Rat Snake in Nonthaburi - 2nd specimen

Snake ID Reader Submission – Oriental Whip Snake

Boiga cyanea - green cat snake on beach in Thailand
Boiga cyanea - green cat snake or Oriental Whip Snake - Ahaetulla prasina - photo credit: Geoff Deady

Geoff Deady sent this great photo of a snake on the beach in Chumphon to have identified.

I couldn’t figure it out for a while.

He said it was about a meter long and 2-3 fingers thick with a reddish tail.

The coloring of the top – and light yellow of the belly make me think – green cat snake (Boiga cyanea). However, if you look at the head it looks like Oriental Whip Snake – Ahaetulla prasina – yes? The thin neck is also more whip snakish – but, the green cat snakes also have a very thin neck near the head.

Green cat snakes have almost viper-like heads when looked at from above, but from the side – more like this. But maybe thicker.

Anyone else want to guess it’s a different snake?

Send your Thailand snake photos in and I’ll attempt to identify them. If I can’t – I’ll leave it to you to figure out.