Yellow and Black Snake – Possible IDENTITY

When people see a snake they cannot identify, they tend to look it up by the colors or other description. Big snake. Long snake. Thick black snake.

Yellow and Black Snakes

Here are some yellow and black snakes with photos for most. If you don’t find the snake here – will you leave a comment or send a photo to us so we can try to identify it?

1. Mangrove Cat-eyed Snake

Mangrove cat snake at night in situ, secondary tropical rainforest in Southern Thailand's Krabi province.
One of the B dendrophila snakes I’ve found at night in the tropical secondary rainforest in Southern Thailand, Krabi Province.

This snake is native to Southeast Asia. It is a colubrid (rear fanged) with a mild venom that doesn’t affect most people. Bites by this snake are not known to have been deadly in the past. This snake is sometimes confused with the Banded Krait, but you can see in #2 below, they really don’t look much alike.

2. Yellow and Black Banded Krait

Banded Kraits are yellow and black in most of Southeast Asia. In Indonesia they can be white and black.
Banded kraits can be yellow and black or white and black.

Deadly and beautiful, the yellow and black Banded Krait is a really amazing looking snake. Southeast Asia is where you will find these snakes in the wild. The yellow and black snakes on this page are from SE Asia, so their identities are sometimes confused.

3. Laotian Wolf Snake

Yellow and black snake - Laotian Wolf Snake, harmless and common in Southeast Asia.
Lycodon laoensis – the Laotian wolf snake. Harmless.

A small (70 cm) snake which is known to be non-venomous, is also a native of Southeast Asia and Laos – the country it is named after. These snakes are typically timid and not interested in biting at all. Laotian wolf snakes are black with yellow and white bands across the dorsal (top) of the length of the body of the snake. Toward the tail the pattern changes to more of a yellow or white spider-web type effect.

4. Wagler’s Pit Viper

Tropidolaemus wagleri - very yellow phase. Coloration not altered.
Yellow and Black phase of T. wagleri – Wagler’s Pit Viper – one of our favorite Thailand snakes.

Though not always yellow and black, Tropidolaemus wagleri can come in a stunningly beautiful yellow and black phase like you see in the image above. This snake was from Krabi, Thailand where I live. We don’t see these snakes often, but when we do – we get lots of photos!

5. Juvenile King Cobra

Yellow and black king cobra hatchling snake.
Hatchling yellow and black King Cobra snake.

Some juvenile king cobras are yellow and black upon hatching and for a short while until they turn into adults. Above you see the head of one very small (50cm) hatchling King Cobra which was quite yellow and black. King Cobras are of course quite deadly, even as hatchlings – where their venom is even more toxic than adult snakes.

6. Golden Tree Snake

Golden Tree Snake - Chrysopelea ornata ornatissima - Southern Thailand
Golden Tree Snake – Venomous – Little Danger to Humans

The Golden Tree Snake is sometimes called a “yellow and black snake” but in most cases they are some shade of very light green and black. The photo above shows the most yellow and black C. ornata I’ve ever seen.

There are other snakes with yellow and black colors, but they also have other colors mixed in. The snakes above are the ones that I think of for yellow/black snakes.