I showed a video at youtube (here) of a Malayan Pit Viper striking a mouse behind it – very fast. You can’t see how quickly the mouse dies, because the snake never let go of it. I saw it, being there up close, and I could have sworn it was dead in seconds.
I just found a new video uploaded at YT by a guy I’ve known online for a little while, showing an adult Malayan Pit Viper striking a mouse and paralyzing it immediately. It’s uncanny how fast the venom acted to paralyze this mouse!
I was out herping with a couple of friends the other night. We found a small (2m) Dog Toothed Cat Snake, as well as a juvenile Malayan Pit Viper. The Malayan was laying right across the path and didn’t move as my friends approached. Good thing they saw it – it was pitch black, and one of their flashlights (torches, brits say) was fading. I’m very glad they saw it.
Malayan Pit Vipers kill more people in Thailand than any other snake does. The kraits are a close second. Identification of kraits is a bit difficult, so sometimes the banded kraits are called “Malayan Kraits” or “Blue Kraits” and vice versa.
Many people, after a bite from a Malayan pit viper – will not seek medical treatment. This is a contributor to the high death rates resulting from bites from this snake.
If you are bitten by a snake and you don’t know what it is – get to the hospital and try to ID it from there. Many hospitals have books you can thumb through – with photos.
I’m in the middle of creating an ebook with Thailand’s snakes, that I’ll either give away – or charge 99 cents for, so it will make identification easier and less harmless snakes will be killed out of ignorance.