Striped Kukri – Non-Venomous – Not Dangerous

Striped kukri snake from Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. (Oligodon taeniatus - adult).
Found in Nakhon Ratchasima, this Striped Kukri photographed by Tomoki Sando and used with permission.

Oligodon taeniatus (Striped Kukri Snake)

Thais say:  Ngoo koot

Length: Adults are about 40 cm long. Juveniles upon hatching are about 10 cm long.

Range: In Thailand in proximity to Bangkok, North, and Northeast. Also found in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China. Wide range and not threatened across its range.

Habitat:  Often found in residential areas as they eat eggs of all kinds found mostly in leaf litter and loose dirt. Not known to be arboreal (tree climbers). Can be found on the ground in moist forest.

Active Time? Diurnal – active during daylight hours.

Food: Eggs of all kinds – lizard, geckos, frogs, etc.

Defensive Behavior: Will flee very quickly if given the chance. If agitated, kukri snakes will coil into an S-shaped neck and strike. Their reach is not far. When held they typicaly bite quickly. They have enlarged rear teeth which are shaped like kukri knife blades. These specialized teeth are good for cracking eggs. Some kukri snakes can be hand-held without bites.

Venom Toxicity: No known venom.

Offspring: Eggs. The hatchling kukri snake pictured below is only 10 cm long.

Hatchling Oligodon taeniatus - Striped Kukri snake from Bangkok, Thailand.
Just hatched striped kukri snake from Bangkok area. (Oligodon taeniatus). Image used with permission.

Notes: These are very common snakes, and are seen a lot because they prefer to be active during the daylight hours in gardens, along sidewalks, and other habitat near people.

Oligodon taeniatus can have a yellow stripe down the vertebral column as it grows to adult size. The venter is cream to ivory colored while the tip of the tail is pink underneath.

Oligodon taeniatus Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Oligodon
Species: taeniatus
Binomial name: O. taeniatus
(Classified by  Günther in year 1861.)