Thailand snakes are so diverse – there are over 60 venomous snakes in Thailand if you’re counting the sea snakes, and this is one of those that has venom, but he’s rear-fanged and has to get lucky to catch you good and bite down chewing the venom in to do any harm. If you wanted to test it you’d let him chomp down on your finger for a minute or two – like someone did with this red-necked keelback snake – which the scientific community thought was not venomous, and you’d probably end up in the intensive care unit of the hospital for a few weeks same as he did. They’ve since reclassified the red-necked keelback as venomous and potentially deadly.
These Oriental Whip Snakes (Ahaetulla prasina) are not really strikers. They are very calm snakes from my 4 interactions with them in the wild and there may not be a prettier snake in all of Asia. The body of the oriental whip snake is very thin – thinner than my pinky finger- and about as thin as a regular pencil in some places. When aggravated they turn from fluorescent green to the green-white-black pattern you see in the image just after the title in this first video. They also flare their necks – not like a cobra, but the other way – vertically – to attempt to scare whatever is messing with them. This one was just 2 feet in front of me on the path where I stopped to look in the trees because I thought, this is a snaky place.
I slowly maneuvered my video camera (well, Sony CyberShot which doubles as a video camera), out of my backpack and got a quick video off. I was lucky to trap this snake with my stick when he attempted to bolt. I’d have chased him but, there is a sheer cliff about 2 meters from where he is and the ground slopes treacherously downward – and is covered with sand… I like Thailand snakes, but I’m not dying trying to get another couple minutes of video of one. Not this one anyway – I already have some great video of this kind of snake (see 2nd video below).
What else? I caught a tree frog for my red-necked keelback snake – I’m keeping for the time being at home. I saw 2 big water monitors – well, they saw me – and went RIPPING through the jungle like Tasmanian devils – they must run 50 meters before they stop. They go like they’re on fire.
Anyway – that was my day hiking in Thailand. Internet is down so I took a day off after writing some articles. Anyone have any Thailand snake video or photos? Send ’em!