Tag Archives: Bangkok snakes

Thailand Snakes Overview Video

Last Updated: 20 December 2016.

Here is some general information about snakes in Thailand to put your mind at ease about the danger of the venomous snakes in the country. There is little to be afraid of if you are coming to visit Thailand for a few days, even a month. You are not likely to see any snakes at all unless you are out specifically looking for them. Even then, sometimes when I go looking, I don’t find any snakes after hours of looking. A friend just north of me in Hua Hin told me that he and another two guys just went out for 6 hours the other night and found nothing. That is the way it goes sometimes.

Anyway, watch this video for information about Thailand snakes in general. If you have any questions, just comment or write me an email. Cheers!

Daily worldwide snake news at SnakeScoop.com.
Want Daily Snake News? See SNAKESCOOP.com – Worldwide daily snake news with more facts and information than other channels, including BBC, WWF, Reuters, etc.

Common Snakes Frequently Found in Thailand

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 small selection of common (frequently found) snakes in Thailand. If you want a FREE EBOOK of COMMON THAILAND SNAKES – CLICK HERE.

Non-Venomous and Mildly Venomous and Harmless Snakes

Green Cat Snake - Southern Thailand

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. Vipers typically have brown colored tails. This snake has a solid green tail. This Green Cat Snake is harmless, and didn’t even try to bite as I interacted with it.


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 or black.

One rat snake – Ptyas korros, 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 (photo below).


Thailand Snake - Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum
Found often in southern Thailand – the Red Tailed Racer, Gonyosoma oxycephalum.

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 / Copper-headed Racer (Coelognathus radiata) – 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 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 Snakes – 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.


Golden Tree Snake - Southern Thailand

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 Snake Strikes

Bronzeback Snakes – 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 Snakes (Ahaetulla prasina) A very common snake, and usually found in trees, but the last two I found were on the ground probably hunting lizards or frogs. The bright fluorescent greens in this snake are awesome, yes? These have a mild venom, but again, no serious results of envenomation have occurred in humans. Other color variations: yellow, very light green (A. mycterizans), grey, brown.


Venomous and Deadly Common Snakes

Malayan Pit Viper - Southern Thailand Venomous and Deadly Snake

Malayan Pit Viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) A very dangerous pit viper with strong necrotoxic 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 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.

Monocled Cobras. 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 visit the hospital to ensure they are properly cleaned. Photo above (click to enlarge) is of the Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia)


Red Neck Keelback Snake - 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.
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.

Red-necked Keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus) Brightly colored snakes that become more so 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.


Malayan Krait (Blue Krait) 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.

Malayan Krait. Kraits are snakes active by night for the most part. 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 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).

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 35cm as an adult, and it looks harmless enough. It should be considered dangerous – deadly.

(Page Updated: 23 January 2017)

Read this book – you’ll be glad you did…

Thailand Snake Forum

A couple months ago I thought I’d start a forum for Thailand snakes. There are many forums already for snakes of all types, but no good Thailand forum – specifically for our snakes.

Growing the Thailand Snake Forum

There are now 60 members in the Thailand Snake forum, and though most people don’t post – they are reading a lot of the posts. Which is good. I haven’t been posting there outside of my regular articles (like this one) which the forum software copies as a new post.

Right now we’re in the best months for seeing snakes – June, July, August, September I usually count as the best. Many baby snakes have been born and hatched around July and are running all over the jungles trying to find toads, lizards, and frogs to feast on. The small snakes are sometimes harder to spot – other times they are easier to spot because they don’t know how to be as still as the adults when someone is close looking for them.

If you get any photos of snakes, would you post them in the forum? It’s a bit of a pain in the butt to get them posted, but once you figure out the process like a few forum-members already have, you’ll be up and running with it. If you need help posting pics, just let me know (info[{at]}thailandsnakes.com, minus the brackets.

I’m really hoping for some rain today so I can do some more night-herping. I had a blast the other day, but didn’t find snakes. Found all sorts of other things though. Snakes would be nice to find while herping – you know?

Good luck to you on your herping adventures – and let us know what you found. If you have video you can post it at Youtube first and then copy and past the embed code into the snake forum to share the video with everyone else.

Cheers,

Vern