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.

 

 

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.

Cave Snakes in Thailand

Thailand cave snake

There are snakes all over Thailand – even deep in the caves. The other day a friend and I got a guided tour from a monk through a cave that I’ve been through on about 10 occasions. Usually I just went straight through the cave to the other side. This time the monk took us through a small crack in the wall and we ended up in a couple different rooms with nice limestone formations.

It was all well and good – and we were having trouble breathing. There’s little air in some of the rooms of the cave. The monk kept squeezing through smaller and smaller holes. So, blindly we followed – trusting him.

He stopped at one point and pointed to the wall and said “NGOO”… My eyes lit up and I was instantly fishing in my backpack for my digital camera and video recorder.

On a limestone ledge was a picture perfect 1.75-2 meter cave snake. Elaphe taeniura ridleyi. It must have just shed it’s skin and was brightly colored and chilling in the cave there. I took some photos even 1 foot away from him and he was very calm. These bats can catch bats out of the air. They’re great climbers. The monk said there were two of them there in the cave. I’ll be back to find the other one this weekend.

I’ve looked for long time to find these snakes – and bang, unexpectedly it turns up. Now I’m buying a cave-lamp for my head (or 3 for backup) and hitting the caves to find more of these. I’d love to find them feeding. Stay tuned…

I’m wondering – should I change ThaiPulse to SnakePulse? I’m finding lots of great snakes… last night there was a 5 meter python that ate a goat that I got photos and videos of… will post that tomorrow maybe.

Questions about snakes in Thailand?

Thailand Snakes FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers regarding Thailand’s poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes.

More snake images – ThailandSnakes.com

Ridley’s Racer snake ©2009 ThaiPulse.com.

Baby Copperheaded Racer Snake Video

3videos below –

These snakes are really beautiful – great colors and patterns, but besides that they are great when they strike. Even this little 12-15″ baby racer has balls at such a young age.

They curl up their necks in a multiple S pattern before they strike. The adults strike so hard they can come 1.5 meters or more in the air at you. I met up with a 2 meter copperheaded racer the other month and was surprised when he came at me like a cobra would… ready to strike and moving right at me – not getting away as soon as possible.

So anyway, here was this little racer I’d just pulled off the highway because I missed running over his head by 1 inch with my motorbike. I put him on the sidewalk and you can see the rest in the video. Unfortunately it’s my phone’s video, but in a pinch it worked well enough.

Below is a Thai guy handling one they use at a show in Thailand. This one is a bit slow because he’s been in captivity a while. He’s not as strong / fast as he would be in the wild. These are fast snakes and great strikers in the wild.

This one is the one I was telling you about – the 2 meter snake that was crossing the road when I got lucky to see him. He comes after me – and I wasn’t ready for it – losing him from the shot a couple times.
I called it a yellow rat snake because that’s similar to what it looks like in USA. I’ve since learned the correct name.

These snakes are not poisonous – but, do you know what to do in case you or a friend is bitten by a poisonous snake in Thailand? Read this quick faq to find out:

Thailand Snakes FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers regarding Thailand’s poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes.