Category Archives: front-fanged

Fastest King Cobra on the Planet?

King Cobra juvenile found herping Krabi, Thailand.
Just a little king cobra saying hello.

It’s a sensational headline, but I thought it was important that you read this if you handle venomous snakes at all – and even if you don’t. (King cobra video below)

I got a call from my friend this morning. He told me they caught a 2+ meter king cobra at a palm plantation the night before. He said it was super fast.

King Cobras are fast when young…

Well, my first thought was – when they’re young and smaller like that – under 3-4 meters – yeah, they are quite quick. The juveniles up until about 2 meters are usually fast. I have yet to work personally with a king cobra less than 2.5 meters. I want to – but, will respect their speed a lot more.

The juvenile king cobras are like a completely different snake than the big ones. They move differently – darting their heads around constantly, and very fast and short motions. The bigger kings are more deliberate in their movements and are much slower, even when straight from the wild. Not to call them slow – but, you can work with them to some degree without dying.

I took the motorbike over to see the snake after lunch. My friend was sleeping on a bench. I woke him up with a clamp down on his foot – as if a snake bit him. He didn’t jump or anything, so I was disappointed my trick didn’t work. No matter – he woke right up and showed me the beast.

He told me it had eaten two red-tailed racers that morning, both of which were about 2 meters in length – but thin. I figured the king would be a bit slow and conserving energy as it digested all that food. I was so wrong.

This king cobra was black with light bands – very light, I wouldn’t call the bands yellow- they were more like a yellow/green. It was under 2.5 meters and over 2.0. It had a very long hood – and was really gorgeous to look at. My friend always goes the extra mile… when he opened up the gate and showed him his face we got a big surprise from this snake.

See the video of this super-fast Ophiophagus hannah below:

This king came up that tree stump faster than any snake I’ve ever seen. Not that I’ve seen it all – however, I have seen many fast snakes – rat snakes of all sorts, tree snakes, big, small, thin and fast… and no snake has ever pulled one of these maneuvers on me.

I wanted to post this to give you an idea that you “think you know a snake” – but then one will do something you’ve never seen before. This has happened to me often as I learn more about monocled and king cobras. I’ve probably spent 200 hours working with them and studying them – watching other people work with them. I learned a whole lot in the first 50 hours and still, I’m always learning new behaviors and what these snakes are capable of.

Every snake species has a range of behaviors that they can exhibit. Snake handlers know, in general, what a snake is capable of – because it’s a certain species. However, there are snakes within the species, that, for whatever reason – learned behaviors that are different from most of the other snakes – and when they exhibit them – it can surprise the hell out of you.

Be careful with venomous snakes of all sorts – and never take them for granted.

More info about King Cobras here.

King Cobra Fact Page >

All King Cobra Pages >

Wagler’s Pit Viper – Venomous and Dangerous

Tropidolaemus wagleri - Wagler's Pit Viper - Dangerous
Tropidolaemus wagleri – Wagler’s Pit Viper – Dangerous and potentially deadly bites.

Tropidolaemus wagleri – also called: Wagler’s Pit viper; temple viper; bamboo snake; speckled pit viper

[Last Updated: 28 November 2019]

Thais say: ngoo keow took geh

Length: Average length of 60 cm. Male smaller than female. Female maximum length at 100 cm.

Appearance: Wagler’s pit viper is a short green (งูเขียว) pit viper and the female is considerably thicker (3-4 times as thick) than the male. A marked difference in patterns is noted with the female becoming darker and with strong banding as you can see in the above image. The males are so radically different that they look like completely different species (sexual dimorphism). In three reptile identification books I have for Thailand, they make no mention of the differences between the sexes. The female is pictured in each case.

Dorsal scale count ( 23 to 29 ) – ( 21 to 27 ) – ( 17 to 21 ) and usually 21 to 23 mid-body dorsal scale rows in males and 23 to 27 mid-body scale rows in females. Dorsal scales are strongly keeled in females, and lesser keeled in males.

Coloration can vary significantly among females. Here is a very yellow T. wagleri.

Tropidolaemus wagleri - very yellow phase. Coloration not altered.
Yellow and black female Wagler’s Pit Viper from Southern Thailand.

Here is a darker colored female, but not nearly as much as the top and bottom photos on this page. Not nearly as much lateral yellow as the previous photo.

This is a brightly colored Tropidolaemus wagerli (Wagler's pit viper) which is gravid and ready to have young. It is located in a tropical rainforest in Southern Thailand.
Gravid and ready to bear young. Soon to be the parent of dozens of hatchling vipers.

Besides the difference in size, thickness, and pattern, the body type is also quite different. The male grows to be around 60 cm and is long and thin, more like a wolf snake or something similar.

Below is a photo of a male Wagler’s pit viper found within one meter of a very gravid female. Obviously quite a big difference.

This is the male specimen of the species, Tropidolaemus wagleri. The female and male are markedly different in appearance of body, pattern, thickness, and coloration.
Male Wagler’s Pit Viper – note the remarkable difference between male and female (Sexual dimorphism).

Range: Southern Thailand south of Khao Sok National Park, Suratthani province. Other countries: West Malaysia; Indonesia; Philippines. There is a concentration of these common vipers on the island of Phuket, Thailand.

Habitat: Elevations up to about 1,200 meters but most abundant at elevations from 400 up to about 600 meters in lowland primary forest, secondary forest, and jungle – especially coastal mangrove. During the day these vipers can sometimes be found as little as a meter off the ground, up to a couple of meters. They seem to prefer bushes over trees. Recently I found a gravid female at one meter off the forest floor and resting on a strong vine just 1 cm in diameter.

Active Time? Mainly nocturnal, but occasionally found during the day, especially during or after rain. Crepuscular in nature, they are more often active during dusk and dawn, or on an unusually dark day during heavy rain. I have found these snakes during the day in moderate rain at 400 meters elevation, and at 2000 hours after a light rain.

Food: Birds – especially baby birds in the nest, mice and other rodents, lizards, frogs.

Defensive Behavior: Coil back into s-shape before striking. The strike is typically less than .3 meters in distance. Mouth wide-open exposing very long fangs and white tissue. Can strike in succession rather quickly. Their strike is not very fast in comparison with some of the other vipers. The heat-sensing pits between the eyes can sense temperature difference as little as 0.003 degrees Celsius. If continuously threatened they may hold their mouth wide open, like the photo above.

Venom Toxicity: Potentially deadly. Strong venom that usually does not result in death to humans. Victims experience a strong burning sensation upon envenomation, and swelling, necrosis of tissue. The multi-valent antivenom for green pit vipers treats envenomation by this snake.

Antivenom Code: SAsTRC01
Antivenom Name: Green Pit Viper Antivenin
Manufacturer: Science Division, Thai Red Cross Society
Phone: +66-2-252-0161 (up to 0164)
Address: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, 1871 Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Country: Thailand

Offspring: Live birth in September is common, with up to 41 young per litter. Male and females look different from day one, the females having light banding and the males with creme / red or brown dots on the top of the body.

Notes: Though these snakes are said to be exclusively arboreal and nocturnal, I found one on a mountain recently during the middle of the day, on the ground, during a rain shower. See the video below.

Tropidolaemus wagleri

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Tropidolaemus
Species: T. wagleri
Binomial name: Tropidolaemus wagleri

Classified by Boie, in the year 1827.

Top of head – very triangular, and thin neck (female):

Triangle Head - Female Wagler's Pit Viper

Video 1 – Wagler’s Pit Viper – found during daylight hours during a moderate rain shower with dark skies at around 400 meters elevation on a mountain in Krabi province, Southern Thailand.

Siamese Viper – Venomous – Deadly

Russel's viper found in Sa Kaeo province near the Thailand border with Cambodia.
The Siamese viper found in Sa Kaeo province near the Thailand border with Cambodia.

Daboia siamensis (Siamese Viper; Eastern Russel’s Viper)

Thais say: Ngoo Maow Saow

Length: Maximum of 1.7 meters. Russel’s around 1 meter long are common.

Range: These snakes are found around Bangkok, West, North, and East of Bangkok. The Russel’s photos shown here are from Sa Kaeo province near Cambodia.

Habitat:  These snakes are terrestrial and prefer grassy lowland, and open areas of all sorts. They prefer dry air and ground. Siamese vipers are not known to be found in dense rainforest or other very humid areas often.

Active Time? Nocturnal.

Food: Mostly rodents, but will target lizards and frogs as well.

Defensive Behavior: A loud hiss can precede a bite. When striking, it coils first and strikes. This snake is strong, so bites can be deep. Simple rubber boots are probably not sufficient to stop the fangs from penetration.

Russel's viper in ambush posture.
Russel’s viper in typical ambush posture.

Venom Toxicity: Very strong. The rate of envenomation is estimated at 80% of bites. That’s high in comparison to Malayan pit vipers for instance, which is closer to 50%. Coagulopathy is common and necrosis is a possibility. Renal failure is common.

Russell’s Viper Antivenin is made at the Queen Saovabha Memorial Snake Institute in Bangkok.

Offspring: Need information for this section.

Notes: Across the globe, it has been estimated that bites from this snake kill more people than any other. This snake (Daboia vipers) are present across Asia and their bite is deep. They have strong fangs and their venom is very strong.

Russel’s have thick necks and they are the thickest of the vipers in Thailand, by far.

Color of Russel’s tends to be shades of brown.

A rather unknown occurrence – years after a bite, a man’s testicles may shrivel up, and there can be a loss of body hair. Info here.

Scientific classification: Daboia siamensis

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Daboia

Binomial name: Daboia siamensis

(Classified by M.A. Smith, 1917)

Video of Russel’s Viper – If you have a video of D. siamensis at Youtube or some other video sharing site, do let me know. I’d love to replace the video below with another better one!

Brown-Spotted Green Pit Viper – Venomous and Dangerous

Brown Spotted Green Viper in southern Thailand. Cryptelytrops venustus.
Trimeresurus venustus. Brown-Spotted Green Viper. Small – 70 cm. Venomous. Dangerous. Found in Ampur Muang Suratthani, Southern Thailand. ©2007 Vern Lovic.

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

[Last Updated: 28 November 2019]

Appearance: Green snake (งูเขียว) with brown or reddish-orange scales which may form bands across the width of the snake. Triangular pit viper head.

Thais Say: Haang Ham tai

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 active on the ground and in bushes. This one was 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 a stick.

Appearance: Small vipers with usually brilliant greens, whites, and browns. Though sometimes the color can be quite muted. Dorsal scales are strongly keeled. Dorsal scale count 21 – 21 – 15.

A brightly colored T. venustus waiting in ambush atop a rock.
A brightly colored T. venustus waiting in ambush atop a rock.

Habitat:  I’ve found these vipers up to 300 meters elevation. This snake hunts almost entirely on the ground where it preys on frogs and lizards. They also enjoy primary and secondary rainforest, limestone mountains, and rubber tree plantations. I kept one of these for three days to photograph and shoot video of. 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 most of mine during daylight hours, but have also found them at night hunting prey on the ground in ambush position in culverts on certain hills.

Food: Mice, frogs, lizards. I had a good-sized house gecko in the tank with this Trimeresurus venustus, but it left it alone. The pit vipers sense the heat of the animal and strike. The geckos are cold-blooded so they are no hotter than their surroundings. Still, some pit vipers will eat cold-blooded animals. Perhaps this snake just wasn’t hungry at the moment.

Trimeresurus venustus, the brown-spotted pit viper, aka: beautiful pit viper from Southern Thailand is one of the true vipers and is venomous but has not been shown to be deadly.
T. venustus is active at night and returns to vegetation to rest during daylight hours.

Defensive Behavior: This pit viper 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! It means ‘venomous’ in Thai. He insisted “no, it wasn’t” and held it up to his face where the snake immediately bit him on the cheek a couple times and once on the lip where it got stuck. It let go after a few 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, but complications can develop. Bites are painful and 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, but they are fully capable of doing so. Bites are to be considered potentially deadly. Green Pit Viper Antivenin is available at most public hospitals in Thailand.

Antivenom Code: SAsTRC01
Antivenom Name: Green Pit Viper Antivenin
Manufacturer: Science Division, Thai Red Cross Society
Phone: +66-2-252-0161 (up to 0164)
Address: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, 1871 Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Country: Thailand

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 jelly-like bubble that breaks after coming out of the female snake. Typical numbers are 20-30 young that are colored and patterned the same as the adults.

Classification:

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

I could find little information about this snake beyond my own experience and some of the snake identification books I have.

#GreenPitViper #GreenSnake #งูเขียว

Malayan Krait – Blue Krait – Venomous – Deadly

The Malayan Krait, also called Blue Krait, is a deadly Thailand snake with highly toxic venom.
Malayan Krait – or, Blue Krait – Venomous – Deadly

[Last Updated: 15 May 2017]

Malayan Krait Fact Page >

Malayan Krait (Blue Krait) – Venomous and Deadly

One of the top 10 most toxic terrestrial venomous snakes in the world resides in Thailand, and it is second behind the Bungarus multicinctus in strength of venom, according to LD50 charts for subcutaneous venom injection (in mice), is the Malayan Krait, also called the Blue Krait (Bungarus candidus).

I’ve been looking for one of these snakes in the wild for a couple of years. I don’t herp at night all that much so it was really unlikely that I saw one for a bit of time – but I was due to see this one.

Update 2015 – I’ve seen around one dozen of these snakes. They seem to be active most from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. cruising the ground along sidewalks or rocks. They are not big biters, and I’ve only seen one bite the tongs as I picked it up. These are relatively common snakes in Krabi province.

Here’s the story I put on Youtube about how it came to be that I caught this beautiful krait…

****
This is the ultimate krait for me in Thailand, for me. I’ve caught monocled cobras and maybe 60 other kinds of snake. Last night I hit the jackpot by catching the lovely Malayan Krait – the black / white banded snake you see in the video.

I was herping with a guy from the UK, Michael. He found a red-necked keelback about 30 minutes before. We were herping HARD all over this great wildlife area and I was fully prepared to find nothing more. It was hard herping.

I stopped on the sidewalk for a second and was shining my flashlight (9pm) on the greenery just below the sidewalk (and next to it).

I couldn’t mistake the black/white pattern as the blue krait moved just inches from Michael’s feet.

I said loudly – KRAIT KRAIT! Move back, move over here!

My first instinct, before I opened my mouth was to grab that sucker with the tongs and bag him.

As I moved to do that I realized Michael might get a good bite!

It was funny to see in hindsight how my mind worked. I’m glad I thought of him – right? You know how you get so excited you just act? That’s jsut about where I was. I’d looked for years and years for one of these kraits. Finally there it was – 1 foot from me, and I had all the equipment I needed to catch it if I was fast enough…

Anyway – after he moved a safe bit away I gave the initial squeeze with the tongs and pulled it up where we could see it. It was a beauty. I held it for a while as Michael searched through my backback for the snake bag. The krait got loose because I didn’t want to squeeze too hard… I found the bag – and re-found the krait who was already half under a large rock that I couldn’t have moved if I wanted to.

I slowly pulled it out with the tongs and we bagged it.

Today we took this video in the morning.

She was calm… slow for a bit, then woke RIGHT up. You don’t want to miss this video if you handle or plan on handling kraits. They do have the potential to move VERY fast in whatever direction they choose. I was shocked (horrified!) that it came right at me in an instant.

I never felt as alive as in those few seconds, I can tell you truthfully.
Though we tailed it – and were able to handle the krait a little bit – I never felt comfortable with it – and would never hold one, day or night. Least of all night-time.

So – that’s the story.

More info on Bungarus candidus here.

Come to Thailand and herp – and see what we can find!
******

The video is below. You don’t want to miss the video because just after I say something like, “This snake kills a few people a year in Thailand” the krait comes at me totally unexpectedly and I freak out trying to move my feet out of the way and get back. Just by pure luck I filmed it coming at me.

That was one of the scariest moments of my life – and yet my body still reacted to get out of the way. It was totally unexpected – and yet I was able to move fast enough. I don’t know whether it would have bitten me, but I don’t see why not. We had aggravated it for a good 20 minutes and it was probably getting angrier as time went on.

If you work with kraits – don’t be lulled into the false sense of control that you don’t have. The krait can, at any time, turn one of your best days into the worst day of your life. There are rumors that if this krait or the many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus) bit you, and you went to the hospital – 50% chance you will STILL die from the venom.  Not sure if that’s true – but, still – there are plenty of experts saying that, and it’s damn strong, and nothing to mess with.

Please don’t hand-hold the kraits – ever.

Check out my youtube video pages at

Thailand Snakes – http://www.youtube.com/user/thailandsnakes

and

Thailand Living – http://www.youtube.com/Thailand-Living

More info on Bungarus candidus here.

Cheers!

*********

My “Thailand Snakes” Video Channel on the Malayan Krait at Youtube:

Juvenile Blue (Malayan) Krait:

An Adult Malayan Krait at Night in Southern Thailand:

Malayan Pit Viper – Venomous – Very Dangerous

Adult Malayan Pit Viper in situ, found in a culvert in Krabi, Thailand.
Adult Malayan Pit Viper in situ, found in a culvert in Krabi, Thailand.

[Page Updated: 25 June 2020]

Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan Pit Viper, Malaysian Pit Viper)

Thais say: Ngoo gap pa

Length: Usually 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. I have only seen two in 12 years that were close to 1 meter long.

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

Notes: These vipers are similar to North American “copperhead” snakes. They prefer dry, flat areas. They are known as lazy snakes. They may not move out of the way at all if someone is walking right toward them. After they bite they are known to remain in the same location. There are thousands of bites per year in Malaysia and Thailand from this snake.

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 out lightening fast. Their preferred habitat is under dry leaves, wood, or rocks. They are active during the night mostly, especially during rain.

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Juvenile (neonate) Malayan Pit Viper with white-tipped tail.
A neonate Malayan Pit Viper showing the white-tipped tail it shakes to bring prey closer.

Nickname: Finger rotters – given by Al Coritz, Viperkeeper on YouTube. If they get you in the finger – you’ll likely lose part of your finger, hand, or arm without immediate care.

Habitat: Forests, rubber plantations, bamboo patches, farmland, grassland. Often lies in the short or long grass. These are terrestrial snakes that I’ve never seen climb anything.

Active Time? Day if cloudy and/or rainy, and night.

Food: Mice, frogs, lizards. Predominantly rodents.

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

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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.

This pit viper has the longest fangs of any other snake in Thailand – including the Siamese Viper (D. siamensis).

Malayan Pit Viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) skull showing fangs, jaws, and dentition.
Malayan Pit Viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) skull showing fangs, jaws, and dentition. Skull is at Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute in Bangkok, Thailand.

Venom Toxicity: Very toxic. Venom is necrotoxic – it destroys all cells it comes in contact with – red blood cells, muscle, and ligaments. With a quick hospital visit after a bite you may just lose part of your finger or some tissue where the bite occurred. The venom causes a bite victim to bleed from body orifices – eyes, nose, mouth, ears, sexual organs, and sometimes fatally in the brain. Most people don’t die if they go to the hospital. Deaths occur when bite victims delay seeking medical treatment. There is an antivenom for this snake.

If you are bitten by this snake, do NOT wrap a tight band around the bite location. That will stop the venom from moving, from being diluted, and the tissue will suffer much more destruction.

Offspring: Lay eggs. Female guards them. Young are about 9 inches long and fast and thin. They are fully able to bite, and have full strength venom.

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

Malayan Pit Viper Scientific Classification

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

Binomial Classification:
Calloselasma rhodostoma

Video – Malayan Pit Viper Color Variety in Thailand

Venomous Snakebites and Near Misses from Southeast Asia.
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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.

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Mangrove Pit Viper on Koh Samui

Mangrove Pit Viper Snake - Koh Phi Phi Krabi Thailand

This photo comes from a reader that was writing postcards in her bungalow on the island of Koh Phi Phi, in Thailand’s Krabi province when she noticed a Mangrove Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus) near her foot!

This is not the snake you want near your foot, as they are heat-sensing, and some are known to be strike-happy.

Luckily she was able to move away in time. This snake is so beautiful. They come in yellow, brown, purple, and black colorations. Awesome to get a photo of this one. Thanks Céline Borel!

Photo 2013 Copyright, Céline Borel.

Couple of Vipers – Wagler’s and Malayan Pit Viper

Here are a couple photos of pit vipers from southern Thailand. These are both wicked fast biters, and I never get close enough to have one tag me. That means I never grab them by the back of the head. I’m not force-feeding them, or removing eye-caps, so I don’t get involved in touching them. I need all the flesh and bone in my fingers because I type a lot on the computer every day.

Trimeresurus wagleri, Wagler's pit viper from southern Thailand.
Trimeresurus wagleri. Wagler’s Pit Viper from southern Thailand.

Wagler’s pit vipers have a variety of colors and patterns evident. This one is from Krabi, Thailand. It is gravid, so I’m hoping to get some good photos and videos of the juvi’s when they pop out.

 

Malayan pit viper with eggs
Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan Pit Viper) with eggs.

Over a month ago one of my friends from a neighboring province in Thailand – Nakhon si Thammarat, wrote me to tell me of some eggs he found and that he was incubating. Turns out they were from the Malayan pit viper! He promptly relocated them from inside his house, to out the back door in the forest! Malayan pit vipers do not play nice. They are strong vipers, with exceptionally strong venom. In fact, some state that this snake kills more people in Thailand than any other. The reason, of course, is that Thais and Burmese, Laotian, Khmer, workers in the fields don’t seek immediate treatment at a hospital. If you make it to a hospital – you’ll likely live after a bite.

15 Green Mambas Loose in Bangkok Flood

Recently 2 adult and 13 juvenile eastern green mambas escaped from a house located within the flooded area in Bangkok, Thailand.

Some were caught, some killed, and apparently nobody bitten (yet) by one. They did import some antivenin and have many vials available, at what I think was 300,000 THB – per vial. Yes, about $10,000 USD per vial. If bitten you might need many vials – so stay far away from any green snake in Bangkok for the time being.

Mambas are so dangerous for their speed and extra long strikes. Not to mention the complete absence of antivenin for the species in Thailand prior to this. Mambas are excellent climbers and are very fast. Do not try to kill or capture one, you will almost definitely be bitten, and probably die from it – if a good bite. Mambas strike fast, often, and unpredictably, and not just once, but many times, if threatened.

Eastern Mamba venom is rated at 3.05 mg per kilogram as a lethal dose to 50% of mice given subcutaneous injections. These mice were of the same size and species. Venom is rated like this so we can compare venoms of different snakes. In the real world whether you get a subcutaneous injection, intra-venous, or intra-muscular, is all up to fate – and they have different results. It’s likely that your bite would be subcutaneous in most cases.

In comparison, there are other Thailand snakes with more potent venom on the subcutaneous LD-50 scale than the eastern green mambas:

  • Bungarus multicinctus – Many-banded Krait
  • Bungarus candidus – Blue krait, or Malayan krait
  • Naja kaouthia – Monocled cobra
  • Ophiophagus hannah – King cobra
  • Daboia russelli russelli – Russell’s Viper

Just to name 5.

I didn’t look up the other cobras, but their venom is likely also more toxic than the venom in mambas loose in Bangkok.

Here are some recent tweets about snakes from the twitter stream, searching “thaifloodeng snake”:

veen_NT veena T.
Public Health Minsitry: 127 ppl have been bitten by snakes, 17 of which by cobra and 53 by green snake viper. TR @satien_nna #Thaifloodeng
12 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

nkoleszar nkoleszar
Crocodile and snake dangers in Bangkok floods – ABC Australia (25 Oct) youtu.be/lmrBYERz0y0 #ThaiFloodEng #YouTube #VDO
21 hours ago

E22NXL NADIT LIAM YAEBDEE
[4/11,17.21] Green Mamba snake anti serums already arrived Thailand. (via @thaiflood) #ThaiFloodEng #FB
4 Nov

rubinasi Rubina S.
2m snake found in my sister’s moo ban (neighborhood) at sukhumvit 71. Ahh! #thaifloodeng twitpic.com/7aosrt
4 Nov

seacorro Zoe Daniel
Strike force formed to hunt escaped Green Mambas from flooded Nonthaburi snake farm at Pakkret #thaifloodeng
3 Nov

williereid Rowan Reid
Whoa, your turn to do the dishes MT @RichardBarrow: Be careful of snakes, caught a 2nd snake in my house #ThaiFloodEng pic.twitter.com/NT38YTn0
3 Nov

pae_wazy wasinee
RT @RichardBarrow: Do be careful of snakes outside #ThaiFloodEng pic.twitter.com/EE8lw7Fa Is it the real snake?Look like fake
3 Nov

RichardBarrow Richard Barrow
Do be careful of snakes outside their normal habitat. Caught a 2nd snake in my house #ThaiFloodEng pic.twitter.com/be9xhJw5
3 Nov

lollylollz NooNY P
Wonder where the Green Mambas got their names. Are they great dancers or something? #snake #thaifloodeng
3 Nov

E22NXL NADIT LIAM YAEBDEE
★ Somphop, the snake hunter. Capture snakes for free (24/7) ★ ☎ 089-043-8445 (via @thaiflood) #ThaiFloodEng #FB
2 Nov

msnkkii Nikki Citybitch
SNAKE ALERT: Green Samba (extreme poisonous) has gone missing from flooded house in Pak Kred area. Nearby residents, beware. #ThaifloodEng
2 Nov

georgebkk George Thaivisa
2:39pm Snake hunter! Mr.Somphop ☎ 0890438445, free service for 24hrs ~ @thaiflood #thaifloodeng
2 Nov

E22NXL NADIT LIAM YAEBDEE
★WARNING★ African Green Mamba snake. If you see, Call 1362 (via @SiamArsa) #ThaiFloodEng #FB yfrog.com/kjw0omvj
2 Nov

Banki3 Bankie
RT @Nancreative: RT: If you see this kind of snake “Green mamba” Pls Call 1362 or @js100radio 02-7119160 # ThaiFloodEng
2 Nov

steviegell steve gell
#ThaifloodEng “@veen_NT: RT @DrJoop: How to identified the green mamaba snake. #snakeattack bit.ly/uYIj1P”
2 Nov

anneusm Barfie B.
Keep this number just in case: Snake-hunter Uncle Sompop, free snake catching service (24 hr) 089 043 8445 via @acesir #Thaifloodeng
1 Nov

8td Thanyarat Doksone
My 1st snake encounter during the floods. He/she was caught at a temple in Bang Phlat yesterday. #ThaiFloodEng pic.twitter.com/ApDCr0w7
1 Nov

steviegell steve gell
@
@bkkbase @lisavale I’m hoping for a big snake. Something about skinning 1 of those things that brings a community together #ThaifloodEng

Monocled Cobra Photo – Naja kaouthia

Monocled Cobra - Naja kaouthia - Deadly even at just 12 inches long.

One friend I have said, out of all the snakes in Thailand (about 200) – he likes the monocled cobras the best.

I asked – why?

They are always angry and ready to bite! They never chill out. They never relax. They are always ready to serve up a plate of death for you – if you’re dumb enough to get too close.

He has yet to be bitten by the monocled cobra, but he works with snakes everyday and he’s right – these snakes were born to kill. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 12 inch juvenile Naja kaouthia – like this one in the photo is – they are ready to kill you if you make one mistake.

Here is a link to more information about the Naja kaouthia – monocled cobra ->

I’ve kept the smaller monocled cobras for a short time – two weeks at most. I find that I have to watch them very, very closely. Every second I’m working with them – my eyes are on them and aware of what they are doing and what they could do. I don’t take any chances with these snakes. I have seen first-hand the damage their venom does. It is not pretty stuff.

He asked me too – what is your favorite snake?

I do like the King Cobra – and that’s what I answered, since I couldn’t think fast enough. Even now – if you ask me – I’m not sure. The Malayan kraits are very interesting snakes… as are the monocled cobras, and the king cobras. I definitely like Ridley’s Racer as well – the one that lives in caves and catches bats in mid-air. That’s a cool snake. Some of the big rat snakes are very cool – a lot of energy and wicked fast.

All in all – you know, it might just be the king cobra!

What is your favorite snake? Have you caught one before? Seen one before?