Tag Archives: non venomous snake

Brown Kukri Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Kukri Snake in Thailand - non venomous, but biting snake found all over Thailand
Kukri Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Oligodon purpurascens (Brown Kukri Snake)

Thais say: Ngoo koot

Appearance: Typical kukri shape – not long, but thick snakes with a short tail and no real separation between neck and head. Very small head. Pattern on top of head indicative of most kukri species. Venter is creme or pink.

Length: Average just under 1 meter (about 37 inches)

Range: All over Thailand. Brown Kukri snakes were once thought to be native to only the southernmost Thailand provinces, however J. Bulian has found one in Pattaya and there have been others discovered farther in the northeast. Assume the Brown Kukri’s habitat is across most of Thailand.

Habitat: These snakes prefer life in the forest and can be found at great elevations – about 1 mile high (1,600 meters). I have received numerous requests to identify this snake from readers who found them close to or inside their homes as well. The habitat is wide and varied for this species. Regardless where they are found, they enjoy living under brush, wood, rocks, and thick flora.

Active Time? Nocturnal, active at night and in the early morning as the sun rises. I have also found them in the middle of the day, and toward evening before sunset.

Food: Frogs, lizards, geckos, skinks, and their eggs.

Defensive Behavior: If the brown kukris are bothered enough they will roll their body to the side and lift up their tail – perhaps to present it as a place to attack – leaving the mouth free to strike when the aggressor does go for the tail. Kukri snakes have specialized egg-slicing teeth in the back of the jaw which are enlarged and shaped like a kukri knife. When held by the head, this snake can expertly twist the jaw around to stick the handler with these teeth. Holding is not recommended.

Venom Toxicity: No venom.

Offspring: Lay 6-12 eggs. A reader reported his snake had 8 eggs the first time and 10 the next. Eggs hatched after 60 days, incubated at 29 degrees C. Hatching in Bangkok latitude around late April.

Notes: Though this snake is not venomous, it is keen to bite and can inflict deep wounds due to it’s large, curved teeth and strong bite. Michael Cota, researcher, says, “Appears that it might be an evolutionary link on the way to being venomous, since it is the only snake that I can think of that has “fangs” (enlarged pair of teeth), but no venom delivery system or ducts to the teeth. They are not dangerous, but will give you quite a bloody bite that takes a long time to heal. What makes them so difficult is that their head is not distinct; therefore, it is extremely difficult to grab behind the head and keep proper control of it.  It maneuvers it head around on your grip and then uses teeth to bite – slash.”

You’ll need a tetatus shot if you are bitten, as with all snakes as a precaution.

Kukris are common and you might see one in Thailand if you live here.

Brown Kukri Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Oligodon
Species: Oligodon purpurascens

Binomial name: Oligodon purpurascens
Classified by Schlegel in 1837.

Purple Kukri Snake - Harmless and common in Thailand.
Oligodon purpurascens, a very common kukri snake in our area. These have a fairly wide range in the south of Thailand. Brown or Purple kukri snake.

White Bellied Rat Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

White Bellied Rat Snake – Ptyas fusca

Thai: ngoo sing thai

Length: up to 290 cm

Description: Fusca comes from the latin, fuscus, meaning dark or dusky. In adults, the body and head are brown. The head is long and distinct. The head resembles Ptyas korros quite a bit, unless they are side-by-side, I don’t think I could tell them apart by head shape. Eyes are large and pupils are round. There is occasionally a red stripe down the vertebral column. Some light banding can be seen laterally in some snakes. The tail can be black. There is a black lateral stripe that stands in contrast to the whitish of the venter, unlike other rat snakes.

In juveniles of this species, the head, neck, and almost to mid-body can be a green tint. There can also be a noticeable pattern / banding that disappears with age.

Range: This rat snake has been found in Peninsular Thailand in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Krabi, Trang, and Phang-Nga provinces. It is likely resident in many forests in Southern Thailand.

Habitat: Found in primary and secondary evergreen forest and rubber plantations.

Behavior:  This snake is terrestrial and diurnal, sleeping at night on tree branches. When disturbed it raised up vertically and holds position, almost like a cobra. I have also seen this snake do this on the sides of roads to look up over the grass to see if the coast is clear to cross.

Active Time? Diurnal.

Food: Primary prey is birds, rodents, and lizards..

Defensive Behavior: Quick strikes, not necessarily from a coiled position or S-shape. After some handling, some of these snakes will calm down and cease striking.

Venom Toxicity: No fangs to deliver venom.

Danger: No danger from venom, but these are biting snakes that may inflict some lacerations / puncture wounds.

Offspring: Oviparous.

Notes: I have not caught this snake in Southern Thailand yet, but I have seen them occasionally on the side of the road. I have also handled one in captivity. They are quite different looking from the other rat snakes of the area.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Ptyas
Species: P. fusca

Binomial name: Ptyas fusca
(Günther, 1858)

Brahminy Blind Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snake is parthenogetic - can spawn young without males.
Brahminy Blind Snake – non venomous, burrowing snake native to southeast asia. Brahminy Blind snakes are parthenogetic – can spawn young without males.

VERY COMMON non-venomous snakes which are in nearly every country across the world. It is a myth that these snakes are venomous and deadly. Here in Thailand it is a pervasive myth.

These snakes resemble thin black worms in Thailand. They have a lot of energy when you pick one up. You will likely find them in soil in your potted plants or climbing up through your drain in your restroom.

Brahminy Blind Snakes are completely harmless.

(Page Updated: 7 September 2016)

Ramphotyphlops braminus (Brahminy Blind Snake)

Thai: (ngoo din ban)

Length: Up to about 6 inches (15cm)

Range: All over Thailand and much of the world, native to Southeast Asia. Transported across the world in potted plants.

Notes: These are ground dwelling and burrowing snakes. They are shy. They are easily eaten by many other predators like birds, monitors, and other snakes. The Red Tailed Pipe snake eats these snakes often. The blind snakes have very small eyes covered with a thin skin that protects them as they burrow through the dirt.

Many people have this tiny black snake come up through the pipes into their homes. We found dozens of them in our home, having come through the shower drain. They are completely harmless and yet there are rumors across the world that these are deadly snakes capable of killing humans with one bite. It is completely false. Do not kill these snakes, they are beneficial to the environment – they eat termite and ant eggs.

Active Time? Anytime. I have found them at night and daylight – under leaves or other litter on damp ground, and of course crawling up through our drains.

Food: Ant and termite eggs primarily.

Defensive Behavior: Flip around craziliy and will attempt to flee. The mouth is too small to inflict a bite on humans, and I have never seen one of these small snakes attempt to bite.

Venom Toxicity: No venom or means to inject it.

Offspring: An interesting twist here. Brahminy Blind snakes are all born female and need no males to continue the species (parthenogenic). They are parthenogenetic. When they reach sexual maturity they lay fertile eggs – and hence, are fully self-perpetuating the species. If there is one – soon there will be more! These snakes have populated much of the western world and can be found in Thailand, India, Hawaii, Louisianna, Boston, and other places in the USA and across the globe now.

My Brahminy Blind Snake Video 1:

Blind Snake Video 2:

Brahminy Blind Snake Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Typhlopidae
Genus: Ramphotyphlops
Species: R. braminus

Binomial classification:
Ramphotyphlops braminus