Snakes are usually the most feared animal. For most people, the first instinct is to grab a tool and try to smash it. The reality is there are about 200 species of snakes in Thailand and only 60 of them are venomous.
In this article we will focus on the most common species you can encounter in Hua Hin and how to react if you come across one of them.
Only a few can hurt humans and all of them prefer to avoid people. There are only about 30 deaths by snakes in the country and almost all of them occur in remote villages.
In addition, snakes are beneficial for Thailand’s ecosystem. Many snakes feed on mice and rats, helping control those rodent populations and reducing crop loss and the spread of disease. Some of the smaller snakes eat insect larvae and help to control ant and termite populations.
By learning to identify the common snakes you will stop fearing them and you will know how to react. You will also most probably enjoy showing off by naming the species.
You should always try to avoid killing any living species therefore in the case you don’t want this little creature in your private space you should seek help to relocate them. We encourage every one of you to add and follow this community Facebook page on the subject Snakes of Huahin It will help you to identify the species and give contacts in case you need help for relocating the animal.
What to do If you get bitten by a snake?
- Keep still and calm to slow the spread of the venom
- If swelling occurs, remove any jewelry or watches that could cut into the skin
- Gently bandage or cover the bite with a clean, dry cloth
- Asked to be carried, if possible, because any exertion may increase venom absorption
- Seek medical attention by calling 154 for an ambulance or ask someone to bring you to the nearest hospital
What not to do If you get bitten by a snake?
- Don’t wait to seek medical attention
- Don’t apply a tourniquet
- Don’t slash the wound with a knife
- Don’t try to suck out the venom
- Don’t apply ice or immerse the wound in water
- Don’t consume alcohol or caffeine before treatment
What to do if a cobra spits venom in your eyes?
- Treat the eye immediately: Wash the eye(s) out with generous volumes of fluid. The types of fluids that are acceptable include water and milk.
- See the doctor as soon as possible: The attacked eye or eyes will need to be examined to see if there is any damage. There may also be a need for the ingestion of antibiotics for a few days to calm any possible bacterial infection.
The venomous snakes of Hua Hin
King Cobra (Ophiophagus Hannah)
ngu jong aang
The king cobra averages at 3 to 4 m in length and typically weighs about 6 kg.
The venom of the king cobra consists primarily of neurotoxins, known as the haditoxin, with several other compounds. Accordingly, large quantities of antivenom may be needed to reverse the progression of symptoms developed if bitten by a king cobra. The toxins affect the victim’s central nervous system, resulting in severe pain, blurred vision, vertigo, drowsiness, and eventually paralysis. If the envenomation is serious, it progresses to cardiovascular collapse, and the victim falls into a coma. Death soon follows due to respiratory failure. Bites from a king cobra may result in a rapid fatality which can be as early as 30 minutes after the envenomation.
Siamese Spitting Cobra (Naja siamensis)
ngu haow thong ponn phit
this species is medium in length, averaging between 0.9 to 1.2 m in length, though they can grow a bit longer to 1.5 m.
though not very aggressive in nature, these snakes can and will readily spit venom when they are cornered or threatened. They will also strike and bite.
Like other cobra species, this snake possesses postsynaptic neurotoxic venom. The venom may also consist of cardiotoxins and cytotoxins.
It is very dangerous. His bite is potentially fatal, and he is able to spit venom possibly causing blindness;
Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia)
ngu haow Thai
The monocled cobra has an O-shaped, or monoacetate hood pattern.
when threatened they will raise the anterior portions of their bodies, spread their hood, usually hiss loudly, and strike in an attempt to bite and defend themselves.
The major toxic components in cobra venoms are postsynaptic neurotoxins, which block nerve transmission.
The monocled cobra causes the highest fatality due to snake venom poisoning in Thailand.
Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus)
ngu thap saming khlaa
The Malayan krait may attain a total length of 108 cm.
Dorsally, it has a pattern of 27-34 dark-brown, black, or bluish-black crossbands on the body and tail, which are narrowed and rounded on the sides.
venom is neurotoxic and attacks the human nervous system, shutting it down. Coma, brain death, and suffocation due to paralysis of the muscles and nerves necessary for crucial functions like the diaphragm, and or heart, are frequent causes of death. Death results usually 12-24 hours after an envenomed bite that is not treated.
Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus)
ngu saam liam
is easily identified by its alternate black and yellow crossbands, its triangular body cross-section, and the marked vertebral ridge consisting of enlarged vertebral shields along its body.
Banded kraits are shy, not typically seen, and are mainly nocturnal. When harassed, they will usually hide their heads under their coils, and do not generally attempt to bite.
The major clinical effects caused by the venom of this species include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, etc. Severe envenomation can lead to respiratory failure and death may occur due to suffocation. Few authenticated records of human beings having been bitten are available
Malayan Pit Viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma)
ngu ga pha
Dorsally it is reddish, grayish, or pale brown, with two series of large, dark brown, black-edged triangular blotches, which are alternating or opposite.
This species has a reputation for being bad-tempered and quick to strike. Their strike is very fast. Their fangs are long – and in the front of the mouth. Some strikes are short, others involve the whole body as it “jumps” at the same time it strikes.
It is very toxic. the venom is necro toxic, it destroys all cells it comes in contact with – red blood cells, muscle, and ligaments. The venom causes a victim to bleed from body orifices, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, sexual organs, and sometimes fatally in the brain. Most people don’t die if they go to the hospital.
White-Lipped Pit Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris)
ngu khieow hang mai thong lueang
It is green above, the side of the head below the eyes is yellow, white, or pale green, much lighter than the rest of the head. The belly is green, yellowish, or white below. A light ventrolateral stripe is present in all males but absent in females.
Results of bites from this species range from mild envenoming to death. The venom of white-lipped pitviper contains procoagulant properties. There have been numerous reported bites with few fatalities.
Macrops Pit Viper (Trimeresurus macrops)
ngu khieow hang mai dtaa dtoo
It can be distinguished from other green pit vipers by the relatively large size of its eyes, which is especially noticeable in adult specimens, and to which the specific name, macrops, refers.
The venom of the Cryptelytrops (Trimeresurus) macrops mainly consists of hemotoxin and pro/anticoagulants. Studied bite incidents showed clear effects on the fibrinolytic system and caused coagulation problems. Bites in the first stages cause redness, bleeding from the bite wound, irritation, swelling, pain, bruising, more pain, headache, nausea, stomach pain, and cramps resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Long-term effects can be tissue damage and even loss of (part of) a limb.
Mangrove Pit Viper (Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus)
ngu pang ka
Males grow to about 60 cm and females to 90 cm on average. They are usually found near water and very wet areas like mangroves along the ocean or brackish water.
Its venom is very toxic to humans. Though people have died as a result of bites from this snake, this is not usually the case. Symptoms are pain, severe swelling, bruising, blistering, and necrosis.
Red-Necked Keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus)
ngu lai saap khor daeng
It has a greenish hue with red and yellow regions near the head. It grows to 70 to 90 cm.
It was previously thought to be harmless. However but following one fatal and several near-fatal envenomations, the toxicity of its venom was investigated. As a result, it has recently been reclassified as a dangerous species. Rear-fanged snakes need to bite and hold on, or repeatedly bite, to have any effect on humans.
The harmless snakes of Hua Hin
Sunbeam Snake (Xenopeltis unicolor)
gnu saeng aatit
The sunbeam snake is a Primitive snake known for both its highly iridescent scales and its ability to reproduce quickly, as it is and as such can lay up to 10 eggs at a time.
It grows to an average of about 1 m. the head is wedge-shaped and narrow with little neck delineation, which makes it easy to push through the soil.
Common Keelback (Xenochrophis flavipunctatus)
ngu lai sor baan
The common Keelback is a semiaquatic snake that occurs in slow rivers and streams, marshes, swamps, ponds, and lakes. It thrives also in wet human-modified habitats, including rice fields and ditches. It feeds on fish and frogs. It is diurnal.
Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus).
They are the world’s longest snakes (1.5 to 6.5M) and among the three heaviest snakes. They are nonvenomous but due to their large size they can strangle a human, and a bite could land you in hospital. Their natural diet includes mammals and occasionally birds. Small specimens up to 3 – 4 m long.
It is usually found in forests, woodlands, and nearby grasslands. It is also associated with rivers and is found in areas with nearby streams and lakes.
Burmese Python (Python bivittatus).
It is one of the five largest species of snakes in the world. Wild individuals average 3.7 m long but have been known to reach 5.74 m. It is an excellent swimmer and needs a permanent source of water. It lives in grasslands, marshes, swamps, rocky foothills, woodlands, river valleys, and jungles with open clearings. It is a good climber and has a prehensile tail. while non-venomous its bite can cause serious damage.
Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros).
ngu sing tammada
A harmless snake of agricultural and forested areas, this species preys on rats, frogs, and other small vertebrates. It is diurnal, and mainly a ground-dweller. Most encounters with the Indochinese Rat Snake occur as the snake attempts to cross rural roads.
It can be identified by the olive-colored tail with dark-edged scales, and the faint pale brown banding which occurs on the thickest part of the body.
Oriental Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa)
ngu sing hang lai
growing to 2 m and occasionally even to 3 m. Their color varies from pale browns in dry regions to nearly black in moist forest areas. they are diurnal, semi-arboreal, non-venomous, and fast-moving. Adult members of this species emit a growling sound and inflate their necks when threatened.
Common Mock Viper (Psammodynastes pulverulantus).
the common mock viper is a species of snake native to Asia. It is one of the few snake species to possess three hemipenes.
Mock viper is a small snake (total length up to 65 cm, less in males), but it will form defensive coils and strike in a viper-like fashion when threatened.
This species is Mildly venomous but not dangerous to humans.
Keeled Slug Snake (Pareas carinatus)
ngu gin thaag gled sann lai
Usually of a size of about 60cm, the Keeled slug snake inhabits mainly the lowlands. Near human settlements, villages, or cultivated areas she only rarely can be found. This snake is active at dusk and at night near the ground where it looks for food. The snake is moving slowly. It feeds on snails and slugs.
Cambodian Kukri Snake (Oligodon mouhoti).
ngu ngod khamin
It inhabits lowland forests and disturbed habitats, including secondary scrub and rice paddy.
Its body is pale brown or tan in color, with a lighter vertebral stripe, and the tail is orange-brown. The underside is orange or red, with dark blotches; this may be visible if the snake curls up the tip of its tail in what appears to be a warning posture.
This snake is fully terrestrial and appears to be both diurnal and nocturnal.
Banded Kukri Snake (Oligodon fasciolatus).
ngu pbi geaow lai taem
The species is somewhat variable in ground color and in the intensity of patterning. Typically it is light brown or buff to grey-brown in color, patterned with irregular darker brown cross-bands which are edged in black.
This snake is reputed to have an aggressive disposition when disturbed.
Laotian Wolf Snake (Lycodon laoensis).
ngu plong cha nuan lao
It is dark brown, with a whitish or yellowish crossband on the occiput, and similar body crossbands which bifurcate on the sides. Ventrally it is whitish. Adults are about 5 m. These are ground-dwelling snakes. They are rather shy and like to hide underthings. Laotian Wolf Snakes prefer mountains and hilly regions but also can be found close to dwellings at times.
Common Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus).
ngu plong cha nuan soy lueang
Though the wolf snake is non-venomous, it is quite a nervous snake when picked up or handled and will not hesitate to bite. They may also move their tails in a to-and-fro motion much like a rattlesnake when they feel threatened. It loves burrowing down the earth but is most often found in open ground, on rocks, or in low vegetation. Sometimes showing a semi-arboreal behavior. It is most active during the night
Copperhead racer (Coelognathus radiata).
ngu taang mapaoit
It can be brown, copper, grey with black lateral stripes on the upper half of the body, and a lateral stripe from the midsection fading out towards the tail. When fully grown will be around 3cm in diameter at upwards of 2+ meters long.
The Copperhead Racer will puff up their neck when threatened. The neck expands vertically making them look taller. A harmless defensive tactic but can be unsettling for the inexperienced. These snakes will almost always flee extremely quickly if they sense you approaching
Golden Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata).
ngu kee-ow ly dok mak
IT is not dangerous but slightly venomous. These Golden Tree Snakes are also known as Flying Snakes. They glide very well, perhaps the best of any snake in the world, and even better than some squirrels and lizards. Golden Tree Snakes are lime green and black checkered type patterned snakes. They are tree dwellers but can climb anything, even walls. They are frequently seen eating Tokays.
Painted Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis pictus).
ngu sai man pha inn
The snake’s coloration is olive or brown above with a yellow lateral stripe, bordered below by a dark line between the outer scales and the ventrals.
It is fully diurnal – by day it actively searches for its food prey, which comprises mainly lizards and frogs, but by night it rests on narrow tree branches a few meters above the ground.
This snake is nervous in disposition and will flee swiftly when disturbed.
Green Cat Snake (Boiga cyanea).
ngu khiaow bon
Boiga cyanea is mainly found in flatlands. They live in bushes and trees in woods and plantations. These snakes are nocturnal. Young animals are orange/red in color. The color changes into brown and then green after approx. ½ year. The animals feed themselves mainly on lizards, frogs, rodents, and birds. Other snakes are also eaten on occasion.
Long-nosed Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta).
gu khiaow pak naenb
The green vine snake is diurnal and mildly venomous. The reptile normally feeds on frogs and lizards using its binocular vision to hunt. They are slow-moving, relying on camouflaging as a vine in foliage. The snake expands its body when disturbed to show a black and white scale marking. Also, they may open their mouth in threat displays and point their head in the direction of the perceived threat.