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Thailand Snake Journal – Herping Field Trip #8

Our Thai guide took us to a place that looked snakey from the start. I’d never been in this particular part of the forest, but he said he goes there to find cobras.

Our first find was after an hour of looking – one of the guys paying for the trip, Barry, found a really nice specimen of Red-Necked Keelback. These snakes are common in Thailand, but every time I see one I just love the things. This one was defensive and flared up like a cobra and showed us all the amazing colors… red, green, yellow – these are rainbow colored snakes. They are harmful only if it bites and hangs on. This one was a biter, and our Thai guide got tagged quickly. We didn’t see any break in the skin, and the snake let go as fast as it struck. We guess no envenomation – he didn’t experience any symptoms as the day wore on.

Our second found snake of the day was a small monocled cobra – Naja kaouthia, and it was a lovely black color. These snakes – at least in this locale – are at their most beautiful when they’re completely black. As they get older they turn a brownish color that isn’t all that cool.

We took it further up the path where the herpers from Australia could get good photos. It was a really stunning snake. I didn’t bring my camera because I like to focus more on the people and what they’re doing. There’s a lot of ways someone could do something stupid while herping. I can get photos anytime. Now, if we found a king cobra – that would be different… as you don’t see those in the wild on a daily or maybe even yearly basis.

After almost three hours we called it quits. There were numerous frogs and small lizards we saw on the trip. Those are always a bonus. Nobody was much interested in them – everyone had snake on the brain.