This Snake Resembles the Deadly Kraits – But, is Harmless

 

Malayan Bridle Snake - a Thailand snake which is not dangerous but can be easily confused with the deadly Thailand kraits.

I just finished a write-up about a snake that looks very similar to the deadly Malayan, Banded, and Many-banded kraits – but, which is harmless to humans.

Malayan Bridle Snake <- click for fact sheet

I’m calling it a Malayan Bridle Snake, not absolutely positive though. There are 3 snakes that are similar in appearance.

  • Malayan Bridle Snake
  • Common Bridle Snake
  • Laotian Wolf Snake

It could be any of these snakes – all of which are harmless.

One difference between the kraits which can kill you – and the three harmless snakes listed above… only the kraits get over a meter in length. Another difference is that only the kraits can get 3 fingers or more in body thickness. Remember, there are juvenile kraits that can look very similar to the snake you see here – and the other two listed above.

Be careful with any snake you find in Thailand. Most people are bitten by snakes as they try to kill them – not trying to avoid them altogether.

 

 

A Fast King Cobra Attacking (Video)

I love snakes. I’ve loved snakes since I was a little kid at 9 years old catching them in my grandmother’s back yard. She had garter snakes and once I saw a ribbon snake that was too fast to grab.

Here in Thailand there are over 200 snake species and many of them are venomous. If you don’t know the snake – please don’t pick it up and send me a photo at ThailandSnakes.com to ask me what kind of snake it is. Many of the snakes in Thailand can kill you – and fast – with or without treatment.

Anyway, I started ThailandSnakes.com as an outlet for my snake photos and videos, but also to provide information about snakes to help people understand them better. If you’ve seen a snake you have a photo of – send me a photo (high resolution is best) and I’ll try to identify it (info[{at}]thailandsnakes.com – remove brackets).

Here is a video I shot today of a VERY fast king cobra. The smaller the king cobra – the faster they are generally. This one was already 2 meters plus, but was wicked fast.

Dangerous Snake – Or Not?

If you see this snake - should you run away screaming?

This snake isn’t seen that often in Thailand, but they are common enough. I’ve seen three in the wild and this one that friends already caught.

This is a paradise tree snake – Chrysopelea paradisi, a flying snake. They can glide very far when they jump from high trees. Very far as in tens of meters horizontally. There are other flying snakes that are similar – and you’ve probably seen them – they are much more common…

Here is one ->

Flying snakes are not very dangerous. I’ve been bitten by them many times, and never had anything come of it. That isn’t to say you should let one bite down on you for many seconds though. They do have venom, they have rear fangs which inject venom into small pray like their favorites – geckos and frogs. The venom works well on those smaller creatures, but you’ll probably not notice anything if one bites you.

If you have any snake ID questions, go to ThailandSnakes.com and choose the link in the upper right about ID’ing snakes. Fill out the information and send me a photo to: info@thailandsnakes.com. I’ll see if I can figure out what it is.

Here are some common Thailand snakes you might have seen before.

 

A New Thailand Snake to Identify

Found this snake yesterday and can’t figure out what it might be. There are 200+ different types of snake in Thailand. I’ve seen a lot of them, but not this one. I’ve also seen another one – or possibly this exact same snake about a week ago on the same mountain, but couldn’t see his head so I didn’t grab him.

Want to help figure it out? (Click images to enlarge)

The color is green all over the top - with a tail that has some dark red- very dark, more brown-red.

Click here to see the snake belly[/caption]

Tokay Geckos For Sale in Thailand?

Tokay Gecko on a wall in Thailand
Tokay Geckos under threat!

Ever since I started posting videos and photos about the Tokay Geckos I was catching in Thailand I’ve been blitzed by people – usually in Malaysia – that want to pay outrageous sums of money for these Geckos.

I was told by my Thai friend that these people that buy the Tokays believe that the tongue will cure HIV / AIDS.

Below is a comment I received on one of my Tokay YouTube videos – phone and email changed to make invalid.

******
Approval required for comment on “Tokay Gecko Squawking in Thailand”
I’m BUYING Tokay gecko in weight:
400gsm above Starting RM4-Million,
500gsm Starting RM15-Million,
600gsm RM25-Million
700gsm RM40-Million
(Amount is negotiable for owner to demand the price)
800gsm
900gsm
1KG
IT’S FOR YOU TO DEMAND THE PRICE.

Please contact me at:
+6641 6878 528
Faiza_A*$*$*$*#@*#.com
We are DIRECT buyer Associate With:
Canada.
W.H.O
Korea.
Holland.
(I’M NOT A BROKER, GENUINE BUYER DIRECTLY)

We DO come over to other country!
Indonesia,
Myanmar,
Thailand,
Laos,
And more!

*****

So these guys are affiliated with the WHO huh? The World Health Organization???

If you look up the conversion rate on Ringit Malaysia you’ll find that they are willing (they say) to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for these Tokay Geckos.

No wonder I’m hearing less of them in Thailand.

There are guys that go out at night in the forest and collect every Tokay they can find – guys that come across the border from Malaysia and plunder the gecko populations of Thailand – to take back to Malaysia.

Apparently the drive to find tokay gecko tongues is unstoppable at the moment! I’ve read a lot of forums where these guys are literally dying to get their hands on these geckos.

Sell one big gecko – have enough to buy a house, car, and retire for a couple years.

Sounds lucrative.

Sounds illegal.

Is it?

Update 1/21/11 – I just got this as a form submission on my site (contact details changed):

Type: ThaiPulse BLOG Contact Form
FName: annie
LName: rodder
email: a%&&#^&1988@yahoo.com
Comment: good day!! i have a little tokay gecko farm here in philippines.. i have a 30 pcs of gecko\’s in my farm that approximately weighing 150 to 250 grms each.. i want to add more gecko\’s in my farm but i\’m lack of fund.. and i have a group of man for hunting a tokay gecko\’s.. there are some foreigner here buying a tokay geckos in a high prices but i want a direct buyer for a higher price.. i can keep hunred geckos in my farm if i have a direct buyer for assurance that my gecko\’s will be sold in a nice price.. thanks and Godbless!!

God bless us, and fuck the geckos – right?

If you have any direct knowledge of what is going on with the gecko madness – do leave a comment and let us all know.

My Friend Bitten for 4th Time by Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia) Snake

Working with monocled and king cobras for a living must be a little stressful.

My friend Dtom, a Thai guy working a Cobra show was bitten 5 days ago for the 4th time in his illustrious career. He was kneeling on the show floor, with a Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) on the left, right, and in the center in front of him. He kept the ones on the side occupied and focused on keeping the middle one focused on his knees which moved occasionally.

He reached up over top of the head of the center snake, to kiss it on the top of the head, when it suddenly struck at his groin. The guys wear loose fitting pants, and this happens sometimes. It has happened to the owner of the show – he told me a couple of weeks back. Their legs are spread and it leaves a big gap of pant fabric exposed to the snake, but their flesh isn’t right underneath it – and so, they aren’t often bit during this part of the show.

This snake bit that fabric close to Dtom’s right leg. As Dtom reached around to grab the snake from behind to get it off him – in a split second the snake slid down a bit and found his thigh under the pants and bit down.

The show was stopped and Dtom went to the hospital. Some of the guys at the show refuse to go to the hospital because they themselves or people they know have not had good experiences there. In fact, one of the snake guys had a little brother that died after a king cobra bite during a show there a couple of years ago. The boy died in the car on the way to the hospital – but the hospital staff couldn’t revive him and so some of them have a bad feeling about going to the hospital for venomous snake bites.

When bitten by a venomous snake and you’re at the hospital – if the staff knows what they are doing they will test the antivenin before giving you the full dose. Antivenin causes severe allergic reactions in some people – and death. The antivenin may kill you and the snake venom – not kill you. This is another factor in the guys not wanting to visit the hospital for treatment – they have seen and heard about others that have died as a result of the administration of antivenin for a bite.

Dtom will visit the hospital again today to have part of the necrosis – dead tissue – cut away around the bite site. He invited me to shoot some video of it – but, I’m not all that into seeing people cut with knives – even if they can’t feel it – I can.

If he stops by the house I might be dragged over to watch. I’ll point the camera and look the other way.

Dtom didn’t have an extreme reaction to the bite because this is his 4th bite by a monocled cobra. Gradually the body builds up resistance to the venom, and each reaction to a subsequent bite – is lessened.

I asked one of the other snake guys if he wants to work with the cobras now, having seen a bite up close and personal. He said – NO. This guy was there for over a year and was working his way up to do the cobra shows soon. He has reconsidered. I’m glad he did.

If you want more information on the snakes of Thailand – have a look at my Thailand snake site – www.ThailandSnakes.com. I’ll get some video up of Dtom talking about the bite as soon as I get a decent internet connection at the house. Going on 2 months of absolute JUNK connection now since the rains were heavy.

Thailand Herpetologists? Herpers? Enthusiasts?

Looking to connect with people interested in herping in Thailand, or possibly interested in joining a project I’m starting soon.

Basically I need a herpetologist with a lot of time to review – and help clarify what is truth and fiction regarding the snakes of Thailand, and eventually, southeast Asia, and the world… It’s a big project. One need not help constantly, but, if you were on the board for this non-profit – then that would help immensely.

If you have an interest in snakes – I mean an almost crazy interest, and you might consider helping on a project that will help many people across the world – I’d love to hear from you.

My email is: info@thailandsnakes.com

Here’s another article about this snake project.

Thailand Videos Featured at CNN International

Well, you never know who liked your stuff – not even if they write a whole article about it and not tell you.

I was looking at links coming in to the Thailand Snakes (.com) site, and noticed something that looked like CNN. Following the link I found the source – a page of my Thailand videos they featured. Pretty cool. I was surprised because I heard nothing from them. Guess they work quickly and didn’t want to bother with formality.

Here’s the page:

Thailand’s Creepiest Crawlers