Visiting Thailand? Careful, There are SNAKES in the Grass!

Mangrove snake, Southern Thailand

Riding the motorbike this morning to get something to eat I finally came across the snake I’ve been trying to find for a while. Sometimes I go on snake hunting excursions here in Thailand to find poisonous and other snakes, but I’ve yet to find one of these in the wild. The only two I’ve seen outside of a snake farm were both in the state this one is in… head run over by a motorbike.

This one is a 1.5 meter long “Mangrove Snake”… It has bright glossy black and yellow scales that make it a beautiful snake to look at. These snakes are very active at night, and are one of the larger snake species in Thailand. This one was found adjacent to a rubber tree field and had just been introduced to someone’s motorbike tire because it’s body was still supple.

If you look at the bulge in the middle of the body you can see where he just swallowed something to eat. I’m guessing a frog, rat or mouse.

These Mangrove snakes are known as “mildly venomous” meaning that they are not likely to kill you, but if you have an allergy to their venom you may die as a result. These snakes are usually mild-mannered, but they are known to be very aggressive at times.

The snake resides in rain and mangrove forests. It is mostly found near rivers, brooks, ponds and swamps. This species is nocturnal. The snake eats almost everything they can catch, including other snakes. If aggravated, the snake makes itself into an S shape, flattens out the front of its body and opens its mouth wide, so that the black inside of the mouth can be seen. The snakes are easily provoked and bite very quickly. (Joachim Bulian, Surat Thani, Thailand Snake researcher and specialist)

They love the trees and they can usually be found there during the daytime, curled up in the “V” of some large tree branches.

If you see one, I wouldn’t recommend messing with it… unless of course it’s in the same state as this one…

Here are some details found online:

Mangrove Snake
Scientific name: (Bioga dendrophila melanota)

Habitat: Lowlands, jungles, mangrove swamps in Southeast Asia.

Colors: Bluish black, shiny scales with 40-50 bright yellow crossbars that travel down the length of it’s body.

Size: Usually adults are around 2.5 meters in length.

Food: Birds, eggs, rodents

Brood: 4 to 15 eggs are laid per clutch with an incubation time of around 3 months. Hatchling Mangrove snakes are approximately 33 centimeters long and resemble the adult in coloration, with the exception of some pink colored rings on the baby snakes’ tales.

Thailand Snakes FAQ >

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

One thought on “Visiting Thailand? Careful, There are SNAKES in the Grass!”

  1. Ohh… :( I don’t particularly like snakes, but I still think it is sad to see road kill like that.

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