Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) – Mildly Venomous – Not Dangerous

Paradise Tree Snake - Chrysopelea paradisi - from Krabi, Thailand and also called, flying snake
Paradise Tree Snake – Not Dangerous – Just Beautiful

These are great snakes for a couple of reasons. Number 1 – their colors. This snake looks like Christmas – right? Amazing oranges, greens, and blacks assault your senses.

Number 2? They fly. They glide very far when they jump from a high vantage point. They can glide dozens of meters – and probably more, these snakes are limited only by how high they are when they jump. Typically they use their gliding ability to travel from tree to tree in search of prey, or to elude capture by a predator.

Name: Chrysopelea paradisi. Paradise Tree Snake. Also called “flying snake” and “ornate flying snake”

Length: As long as 1.2 meters (almost 4 feet)

Range: Thailand-wide. This one was found in Krabi province at sea-level in a handbag shop at the beach. We’ve found them in rainforest near a Thailand resort as well.

Habitat: Bushes, ground, trees, roofs. They are often found in palm tree fronds. I have found them there as well as small trees with big leaves and a lot of open area so they can see – presumably. I have found them as high as 500 meters vertically up a mountain in Thailand, and at sea level. Recently we found one 7 meters up a large tree on a hot sunny day.

Active Time? Diurnal – active during the day.

Food: House geckos, Tokay geckos, bats, and frogs.

Defensive Behavior: They bite very quickly, but have small mouths and teeth. There has been no medically significant case of envenomation mentioned in the literature. They are considered harmless for humans and probably pets over the size of a cat.

Venom Toxicity: Weak for humans. Effective for geckos, frogs and bats. These are rear-fanged colobrids and a prolonged bite could cause swelling and pain at the bite site.

Offspring: They produce eggs which hatch during May/June in Thailand.

Notes: Paradisi is distinguished from ornata ornatissima by the orange/red coloration at the top of the body, sometimes at the head, sometimes more of the body is colored, and sometimes the entire head and body are covered in the red flower like scale patterns.

Full body of Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) from Krabi, Thailand
This one tried to bite many times and calmed after 10 minutes.
Singapore Paradise Tree Snake eating Gecko
This paradise tree snake was caught grabbing gecko lunch in Singapore by David Joseph.  Copyright 2011 – David Joseph. Used with permission.

Chrysopelea paradisi - the Flying Snake

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Chrysopelea
Species: C. paradisi
Binomial name – Chrysopelea paradisi
Classified by Boie, in the year 1827

Video of C. paradisi found 5/23/13:

About Vern Lovic

Snake posts by Vern Lovic. Amateur herpetologist roaming about Thailand on field herping tours and events to find king cobras, kraits, vipers, corals, keelbacks, and other snakes native to Thailand. FYI - Thailand has over 200 snake species. Here's our latest book with detailed information on Thailand's 35 Deadly Snakes. "Is That Snake In Your House Dangerous? Identify Deadly Thailand Snakes In Under 5 Minutes!" INFO HERE.

2 thoughts on “Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) – Mildly Venomous – Not Dangerous”

  1. Pingback: The Paradise Tree Snake | Exploring The World of Exotic Reptiles

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