26 Types of Venomous Snakes in Asia (DANGEROUS)

Do you want to learn about the venomous snakes found in Asia?

If so, you have come to the right place. In the article below, I have listed the MOST COMMON venomous snakes you can expect to see. If I missed any, please leave a COMMENT at the bottom of the page. 🙂

You’ll see that the venomous snakes in Asia are very different from each other. They have different sizes, habitats, and even different types of venom. In addition, certain snakes are common to find living around people. For each species, you will find out how to identify that snake correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!

26 Venomous Snakes that Live in Asia:

*If you encounter any of these species, PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB! Venomous snakes are dangerous animals and should be left alone. The more you agitate them, the more likely you could get bitten. DO NOT RELY ON THIS ARTICLE to correctly identify a snake that has recently bitten you, as colors and patterns can vary widely. If you have recently been bitten, GO DIRECTLY to the nearest hospital to get help and to determine if the snake is venomous.*

#1. Indian Cobra

  • Naja naja

Also known as Asian Cobra, Binocellate Cobra, Spectacled Cobra.

venomous snakes in asia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 1-1.5 m (3.2-5 ft) long.
  • They are uniformly black on top, while the underside is light gray, tan, or brown. Horizontal black bars decorate the throat.
  • A pattern similar to a pair of glasses can be seen on the back of the neck, in the center of this species’ hood.

From lush forests to wide-open plains, busy cities to farm fields, the venomous Indian Cobra is a terrifying legend of the snake world. It loves hiding in tree hollows, termite mounds, and rat holes. You might even spot one taking a dip in the water to keep cool.

A member of the “Big Four” deadliest snake species in southern Asia, the Indian Cobra’s venom is no joke.

Within minutes or hours, the victim starts to experience symptoms leading to muscle paralysis, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest. Antivenom is vital within the first 30 minutes, so get treatment as soon as possible if you’re bitten!

In Asia’s ancient myths, Indian Cobras are revered and feared, representing power and illusion. While the practice is not allowed in modern times, snake charmers used to wow the crowd with the tunes of a flute guiding Indian Cobras to strike their fiercest poses. 

#2. Russell’s Viper

  • Daboia russelii

venomous snakes in asia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults reach 1.24 m (4 ft) long.
  • Their coloring is yellow, tan, or brown, with three vertical series of dark brown spots along the length of the body.
  • They have a flat triangular head, distinct from the neck, and a slightly raised snout.

Instead, look for this venomous snake in Asia in open, grassy areas, farmland, and forested plantations. Russell’s Vipers are also often found in highly urban areas and settlements in the countryside. They are attracted to human habitation because of the rodents in these areas.

When threatened, they tend to form a series of S-loops, raising the first third of their body and producing an incredibly loud hiss. If you encounter a Russell’s Viper in this stance, back away slowly to avoid its bite.

Russell’s Vipers inject venom through backward-pointed fangs, which burrow deeply into the flesh and deposit large amounts of toxin. The potent venom is enough to kill a human with one bite, so maintain a safe distance when observing this dangerous snake in Asia. 

#3. King Cobra

  • Ophiophagus hannah

venomous snakes in asia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 3-3.6 m (10-12 ft) long, but the largest specimens can grow up to 5.4 m (18 ft).
  • Their coloring is olive green with black and white bands on the body.
  • They have a prominent hood that opens in a defensive stance and a rounded nose.

The King Cobra is the longest venomous snake in Asia.

Despite its size, this species is not considered particularly aggressive. It usually avoids humans and slinks off when disturbed. However, it is known to defend incubating eggs aggressively and strikes intruders rapidly. A single attack can deliver multiple bites.

Interestingly, the venom of hatchlings is as potent as the adults’. The babies are brightly marked, but these colors often fade as they mature. In addition, they are often nervous and alert, which makes them highly aggressive if disturbed. 

Whether you encounter a juvenile or an adult, giving this dangerous snake a lot of space is recommended. Its bite results in excruciating pain, blurred vision, dizziness, fatigue, and even paralysis. If the bite victim doesn’t receive medical help, they can die from cardiovascular and respiratory failure within 30 minutes of the bite. Stay back!

#4. Chinese Moccasin

  • Deinagkistrodon acutus

Also known as Chinese Copperhead, Five-pacer, Hundred-Pacer, Hundred-pace Snake, Long-nosed Pit Viper, Sharp-nosed Viper, and Snorkel Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • These stout snakes measure between 80-157 cm (31-62 in), with males larger than females.
  • They are commonly light to grayish brown, adorned with alternating dark brown triangles along their bodies.
  • The head is distinctively triangular, black on top and cream-colored on the undersides. 

The venomous Chinese Moccasin slithers in Asia through lush forests and rocky hills.

Locals nicknamed it the “Hundred Pacer,” believing that if you get bitten, you could only take 100 steps before meeting your fate! Although that tale is not scientifically proven, fatalities caused by this snake’s bite are not uncommon, so keep your distance!

The Chinese Moccasin has a diverse palate. It feasts on small mammals, birds, toads, frogs, and even lizards. As an ambush predator, this snake waits patiently coiled for hours, ready to strike with lightning speed at unsuspecting victims. Plus, it’s equipped with heat-sensing pits to detect both its prey and predators in the dark.

Of course, this viper is not just a venomous villain. Since ancient times, people in China have used the venom of the Chinese Moccasin as medicine against arthritis and stroke, among other ailments. And as science advances, glimpses of its potential in cancer treatment have emerged.

#5. Chinese Sea Krait

  • Laticauda semifasciata

Also known as Black-banded Sea Krait and the Chinese Sea Snake.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are thick-bodied, about 170 cm (67 in) long on average.
  • Designed for underwater exploration, this snake has a short, flattened head and a boneless tail that spreads widely like a majestic fin. 
  • Some specimens are uniform-colored, while some have prominent dark bands along their bodies.

In the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the Chinese Sea Krait makes its home. While this venomous species is usually found in southern Asia, scientists have made a remarkable discovery. Due to climate change and habitat deterioration, the Chinese Sea Krait has been venturing farther north beyond its usual territories, even appearing in Russia once!

The Chinese Sea Krait is living proof of nature’s incredible adaptability. Unable to chase fish in open water due to its slower speed, it cunningly forms an alliance with the more agile Bluefin Trevally (fish). Together, they flush out prey from narrow cracks in the reefs, sharing the spoils afterward.

Though you’ll rarely encounter this sea serpent, be careful anyway when you’re out for a swim. The Chinese Sea Krait’s venom is ten times more potent than a cobra’s, swiftly paralyzing its prey.

#6. Common Krait 

  • Bungarus caeruleus

Also known as Bengal Krait, Indian Krait.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can reach 90-175 cm (35-69 in). 
  • Their colors range from black to red, striped with thin white cross bars along the body. The undersides are usually white. 
  • The body is smooth and shiny. Their tails are short with prominent white bands.

The Indian subcontinent is teeming with wildlife, and among its most dangerous inhabitants is the Common Krait. This venomous snake belongs to the notorious “Big Four” species responsible for the most snake bites in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. 

Common Kraits have a diverse diet. They feed on rodents, lizards, frogs, and other snakes—even their own kind! You’ll find them in farms and scrub jungles, sometimes even making their way to human settlements. Contrary to urban tales, Common Kraits don’t sneak into bedrooms to suffocate snoozing humans—in fact, they help control rat populations.

With that said, keep your eyes peeled and your senses sharp in Asia. The Common Krait’s venom is packed with neurotoxins that can cause muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. The scary part is that bites initially cause little pain, lulling victims into a false sense of security, then claiming lives four to eight hours later. Remember, timely administration of antivenom can save lives!

#7. Common Seasnake

  • Enhydrina schistosa

Also known as Beaked Sea Snake, Hook-nosed Sea Snake, Valakadeyan Sea Snake.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 91-152 cm (36-60 in) long on average.
  • Their pointy snouts hook downwards over the lips and have bigger scales than the rest of the body.
  • Coloration is usually gray on top, with faint dark bars across the body. These snakes are whitish or yellowish on the sides and bottom.

The venomous Common Sea Snake loves to hang out in the tropical waters of Asia.

This agile swimmer has some impressive skills. It can dive down to a jaw-dropping 100 meters (328 feet) and stay underwater for up to five hours! Like an oar, it uses its tail to navigate the water.

But watch out; the Common Sea Snake’s venom is twice as potent as many land-dwelling snakes. A single bite is enough to take down 50 humans; That’s some serious firepower! So, if you ever encounter one, remember to give it the respect it deserves and keep your distance.

Common Sea Snakes have quite the appetite when it’s time to dine. Their favorite meals include fish, shrimp, and catfish. Sadly, these captivating creatures face threats such as pollution, habitat loss, and getting tangled in fishing nets. They’re even hunted for their meat, skin, organs, and venom (which is used to create antivenoms).

#8. Malayan Krait 

  • Bungarus candidus

Also known as Blue Krait, Common Krait, and Javan Krait.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 108 cm (43 in) long on average.
  • They are easily identified by their striped bodies, ranging in color from dark brown to black or blue. There are yellow or white gaps between these stripes; some are speckled.
  • They have small, round eyes and large nostrils.

The Malayan Krait is as colorful as it is deadly. In the hilly landscapes and tropical rainforests of Asia, this venomous snake knows how to blend in with its surroundings. It makes its homes in forests and plantations, often near water.

The venom of the Malayan Krait is not to be taken lightly. In fact, it earned the nickname “Five-step Snake” because victims can take only five steps after being bitten! Although this is not quite true, venom is very dangerous and has a mortality rate of 60-70% if not immediately treated. 

The Malayan Krait is a master of the night, preferring to hunt lizards, frogs, mice, small animals, and even fellow snakes when the sun goes down. Although generally slow-moving,  it can quickly escape when faced with danger. Be careful not to provoke this snake, as it will strike aggressively and without warning!

#9. Monocellate Cobra

  • Naja kaouthia

Also known as Indian Spitting Cobra, Monocled Cobra.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults measure around 135-150 cm (53-59 in) but can reach up to a whopping 229 cm (90 in).
  • Young ones have more consistent colors, but adults can have yellow, brown, gray, or black-colored backs with or without cross bands.
  • It displays an O-shaped pattern on the back of its flared hood.

The Monocellate Cobra is a dangerous snake in southeast Asia you might encounter in rainforests and agricultural lands, living close to human-populated areas. Be careful! When it feels threatened, it raises its head and flares its hood, revealing the eye-catching monocle marking on the back to warn potential foes.

Monocellate Cobra Range Map

Regarding diet, mammals, birds, frogs, and fellow snakes are on the menu for the Monocellate Cobra. With specialized fangs, it delivers neurotoxic venom that can immobilize both its prey and unlucky humans who get bitten.

Thankfully, the Monocellate Cobra is generally docile and prefers to slither away when confronted. However, it can turn aggressive when cornered, and its bite can cause severe pain, convulsions, respiratory failure, and death if left untreated. Steer clear! 

#10. Peron’s Sea Snake 

  • Hydrophis peronii

View pictures here!

Also known as Horned Sea Snake, Spiny-headed Sea Snake.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • This is a medium-sized snake with a slender body. It can grow up to 123 cm (48.4 in) from snout to vent.
  • Its back is grayish, pale olive, or tan with narrow dark crossbands.
  • It’s the only sea snake that has spines on its head.

Peron’s Sea Snakes reside in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, staying close to sandy beds, lagoons, and coral reefs. Although it’s a rare species to find, divers in Asia have occasionally spotted these venomous snakes skimming the water’s surface.

One cool trait of Peron’s Sea Snake is that it can shut its nostrils underwater and hold its breath for up to eight hours! In fact, these calm and docile creatures frequently fall asleep at the bottom of coral reefs, having no natural enemies in their environment. 

Their diet consists of shrimps, gobies, and other small fish. Peron’s Sea Snakes prefer to hunt at night, using their venom to immobilize their prey. Luckily, they have small fangs, meaning they can only deliver small amounts of poison when they bite. Regardless, seek medical treatment if you get bitten!

#11. Philippine Common Cobra

  • Naja philippinensis

Also known as Northern Philippine Cobra, Philippine Cobra, Philippine Spitting Cobra.

Credit: (left image) MorphinESTP, (right image) Mario Lutz

Identifying Characteristics:

  • On average, adults measure around 100 cm (39.4 in) in length. Some individuals can reach up to 160 cm (63 in).
  • Adults have a light to medium brown color, while juveniles are darker brown.
  • They have elliptical heads that are slightly distinct from the neck. The snout is short and rounded, with big nostrils.

The Philippine Cobra is found exclusively in the Philippines in Asia.

These venomous creatures are quite the adventurers: you can spot them in low-lying plains, forests, open fields, and jungles. They even love chilling in the water, such as ponds, rivers, or just big puddles!

Philippine Cobra Range Map

Philippine Cobras are quite the hunters, preying on small mammals, frogs, lizards, birds, eggs, and even other snakes. Alas, sometimes, they’re the ones being hunted. Their predators include birds of prey, mongooses, and the bigger and more fearsome King Cobra.

Foraging for mice—their favorite snack—often brings Philippine Cobras near human settlements, so watch out! Although they’re shy creatures that prefer to escape when confronted, they won’t hesitate to bite or spit venom if they feel cornered. Their venom, among the most potent in the cobra family, can lead to respiratory failure and death.

#12. Saw-scaled Viper 

  • Echis carinatus

Also known as Indian Saw-scaled Viper, Little Indian Viper, or Sindh Saw-scaled Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults average 38-80 cm (15-31 in) in length. 
  • They have flat, broad heads coupled with very short snouts. You’ll notice a cross-shaped marking on the top of their heads.
  • Their eyes are remarkably large.

In Asia, there is a group of snakes known as the Big Four—responsible for most serious snake bite incidents. Among them, the mighty Saw-scaled Viper may be the smallest, but don’t be fooled by its size. A single bite from this little viper in Asia can cause havoc, leading to internal bleeding and even death within hours!

Be highly alert if you spot peculiar S-shaped imprints in the sand or hear distinctive rasping noises! These are unmistakable signs that a Saw-scaled Viper is nearby, ready to defend its territory. Highly aggressive and capable of lunging astonishing distances, this viper will coil itself into a spring and strike in the blink of an eye.

At night, Saw-scaled Vipers hunt for rats, lizards, scorpions, and centipedes. They live in shrublands and deserts, seeking solace in burrows and fallen logs. When it rains, these snakes quickly climb up trees and cacti to keep them dry. 

#13. Thai Spitting Cobra

  • Naja siamensis

Also known as Black and White Spitting Cobra, Indochinese Spitting Cobra, and Siamese Spitting Cobra.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults measure around 90-120 cm (35-47 in) in length. They can occasionally reach up to 160 cm (63 in), but it’s rare.
  • This species is slim, different from other cobras in the Naja family.
  • Body colors can be gray, brown, or black, with white spots or stripes. Some have so many white markings that their bodies almost look white.
  • The mark on their hood can vary: sometimes irregularly shaped, sometimes resembling spectacles, or even missing altogether.

Look for Thai Spitting Cobras in lowlands, hills, plains, and woodlands in Asia.

Sometimes, they wander into urban settlements while hunting mice, so stay alert! These snakes also feed on toads and other snakes.

To protect itself from potential attackers, the Thai Spitting Cobra can spit venom from 1 meter (3.3 ft) away, a shorter range than most cobras. Regardless, don’t take that lightly! This cobra accurately aims for the eyes, causing intense pain and temporary blindness.

Thai Spitting Cobra Range Map

By day, Thai Spitting Cobras sluggishly rest in burrows but turn to aggressive hunters at night. If you come across one, back away slowly and leave the area! This species’ venom has neurotoxins and cytotoxins, causing pain, necrosis, paralysis, and even death in unlucky victims. Seek immediate medical help if you get bitten.

#14. Asian coral snakes

  • Calliophis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The many snakes belonging to this genus greatly vary in length, with the smallest species being 15 cm (6 inches) long and the largest species reaching 180 cm (71 inches) long!
  • Asian coral snakes have a wide range of vivid colors, including red, yellow, blue, black, and white.  

Snakes belonging to the Calliophis genus bring a sense of awe and wonder to the world of reptiles. This group of venomous snakes is commonly referred to as “Asian coral snakes.” You’ll find them in various regions, from India to Southeast Asia. Their strikingly bright colors and body markings serve as a warning to potential predators, announcing their venomous nature.

Having slender bodies, they easily slither through forests, grasslands, and even common gardens. Asian coral snakes mostly prey on other reptiles, such as lizards and other snake species. Quite the stealthy hunters, they burrow deep in the ground or hide among leaf litter, then quickly sink their fangs into any passing prey.

Asian coral snakes are among nature’s most formidable creatures. Their venom is highly potent and neurotoxic, causing paralysis and necrosis in bite victims. Luckily, they are not typically aggressive toward humans. Instead, they prefer to retreat and hide if given a chance, so remember to keep a respectful distance if you encounter one!

#15. White-lipped Pit Viper

  • Trimeresurus albolabris

Also known as Green Tree Pit Viper and White-lipped Bamboo Pit Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Males are 60 cm (24 in) long. They also have light-colored side stripes, which the females lack.
  • Females are 81 cm (32 in) long.
  • Their coloring is green on the upper body, with lighter shades of yellow, light green, or white on the belly and sides of the head.

The White-lipped Pit Viper is a dangerous venomous snake in Asia.

Their preferred habitat is shrublands, agricultural areas, forests, and suburban gardens. These vipers are ambush predators that wait for small mammals, birds, and frogs to come by. When a meal gets close, they attack, injecting venom until the prey dies.

White-lipped Vipers are solitary and most active at night, which helps them to avoid hunting during high temperatures. They prefer cooler weather because it’s easier to use their heat-sensitive pits. These organs pick up the body heat of animals, but that heat can be hard to distinguish on warmer nights.

The White-lipped Pit Viper has hemotoxic venom, which can cause various symptoms. Some people report only mild irritation, but this snake’s bite can cause pain, blood clots, and death if left untreated.

#16. Many-banded Krait

  • Bungarus multicinctus

Also known as the Chinese Krait or the Taiwanese Krait.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 1-1.5 m (3-5 ft) long. The record length is 1.85 m (6.1 ft).
  • Its body is slim and slightly compressed on the sides, with the spine visible on top.
  • Their coloring is dark bluish-black with white cross bands along the back.

Look for the Many-banded Krait in shrublands, agricultural fields, woodlands, suburban areas, and villages. It often makes its home inside abandoned buildings. This species prefers to stay close to water, so pay close attention to rice paddies, ditches, and riverbanks.

It’s best to keep your distance from this dangerous snake in Asia.

Many-banded Kraits have strong jaws and can twist sharply, landing a bite even when held behind the head. It can take up to an hour to show symptoms of a bite, by which time there can be lethal consequences. So if you see one in the wild, it should be left alone.

#17. Chinese Green Tree Viper

  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri

Also known as the Chinese Pit Viper,  Bamboo Viper, and Chinese Tree Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 90 cm (35 in) long.
  • They have triangular heads, noticeably red eyes, and bright green coloring. The end of the tail is brick red.
  • A thin white line runs down the sides, and males also have a red line in the same spot.

Don’t let this snake’s bright coloring and slow movements fool you; it’s aggressive, dangerous, and venomous!

The Chinese Green Tree Viper prefers moist environments and often lives in cultivated farmland. Luckily, it’s rare to stumble on an active individual because they spend their days sleeping, preferring to hunt at night. This species eats rodents, frogs, birds, and other snakes.

If you see one of these venomous snakes in Asia, back up slowly and give it plenty of space as you leave the area.

The Chinese Green Tree Viper’s venom is potent, and its bite can be lethal without medical attention. The symptoms include an extremely painful wound, often compared to being branded with a hot iron. The pain can last for up to 24 hours after the bite. Within a few minutes of being bitten, the hemotoxic venom breaks down blood and tissue, causing swelling and necrosis.

#18. Chinese Cobra

  • Naja atra

Also known as Taiwan Cobra. 

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 ft) long.
  • Their coloring is iridescent black overall, with several white or yellow lines on the body and a white throat.
  • They have the prominent fanned hood typical of a cobra species.

The Chinese Cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in Asia.

Its typical habitat is shrublands and mangroves. However, it’s highly adaptable to a wide range of terrain, including grassland plains, open fields, jungle, and even heavily populated regions. The only habitat it avoids is dark forests with a closed canopy.

The Chinese Cobra has a varied diet and hunts both night and day, so you can see this species at any time. Unfortunately, this makes it even more dangerous for people who are caught unaware. Many accidentally stumble upon a Chinese Cobra and are bitten before they notice the snake.

This species’ highly venomous bite contains cardiotoxins, which damage the heart and muscles, and neurotoxins, which damage the brain and nerves. This combination causes life-threatening symptoms, including necrosis, chest pain, fever, lockjaw, and difficulty breathing. Fortunately, antivenom is widely available, so seek immediate treatment if you’re bitten.

#19. Short-tailed Mamushi

  • Gloydius brevicauda
Hyun-tae Kim – https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2809108

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 28-68 cm  (11-27 in) long.
  • They are light brown or reddish with grey elliptical spots and white stripes on a grey underbelly.
  • The head is wider than the body, with dark brown horizontal spots around the eyes. The eyes themselves are black or dark brown.

The Short-tailed Mamushi is a venomous pit viper and one of the most dangerous snakes in Asia.

Its venom causes the victim’s tissues to liquefy, often leading to skin necrosis. About ten people per year pass away due to a severe bite from a Short-tailed Mamushi. Luckier victims survive but are usually hospitalized for a week or longer.

This species inhabits open forests, meadows, marshes, swamps, and rocky hillsides. It hunts by ambushing its prey, camouflaged in low vegetation or leaves, waiting for rodents, small birds, insects, and other reptiles. Be extra cautious when hiking or walking in its range because it’s likely to feel threatened before you notice its presence.

#20. Banded Krait

  • Bungarus fasciatus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 0.8 m (2.6 ft) long, but the largest recorded was 2.7 m (9 ft).
  • Its body is covered in horizontal yellow and black bands. The underparts of the head are yellow.
  • The head is black, with a broad shape, but not distinct from the body. Look for its distinctive keeled spine, which gives its body a triangular shape.

The Banded Krait’s venom contains neurotoxins, and though bites are rare, it’s best to avoid this venomous snake in Asia.

Banded Kraits can be seen in diverse habitats, ranging from forests to agricultural lands and open countryside plains. They often live near human settlements, especially villages, because of the large supply of rodents and water.

Due to their love of water, they can most commonly be seen during rainy seasons. They are also nocturnal and usually hunt at night, mainly feeding on other snakes but are also known to eat fish, skinks, frogs, and snake eggs.

If harassed, they will hide their heads under their coils and do not generally attempt to bite. But, since they are more active at night, it can be easy to stumble upon one and wind up in danger. 

#21. Tiger Keelback

  • Rhabdophis tigrinus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 60–100 cm (24–39 in) long.
  • Their coloring is checkered olive green and black with orange, yellow, or red crossbars on the first third of the body.
  • The underside is white to cream.

Tiger Keelbacks are highly venomous, but they don’t produce their own toxins. Instead, they ingest and reuse toxins from the toads they eat. Once they eat the toad, they store its toxins in the nuchal glands and use them as a defensive mechanism. That’s one way to ensure you use every part of your prey!

The Tiger Keelback uses its tongue as much as its vision to hunt for prey. This is because it has sensitive receptors that react to chemicals in its prey, leading it directly to its next meal. This ability is why you may have heard that some snakes in Asia can “smell” with their tongues!

This species is sensitive to colder temperatures and is less likely to run away when the weather is cold. So, be alert of your surroundings in cooler seasons to ensure you don’t run afoul of the Tiger Keelback. In warmer weather, it’s more likely to flee than to try and fight.

#22. Golden Tree Snake

  • Chrysopelea ornata

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 115-130 cm (45-51 in) long.
  • Their coloring is green, with black cross-hatching and yellow, red, or gold accents.
  • They have slender bodies and flat heads with defined necks.

Golden Tree Snakes hunt for bats, lizards, and small rodents during the day. This species is an arboreal snake that lives mostly on tree branches. It has great gliding ability and is an excellent climber, easily moving from tree to tree.

It is mildly venomous and uses its venom to subdue its fast-moving prey. The snake stalks after the prey once it’s delivered a bite and seizes it by the neck, which is crushed in its strong jaws. Because their venom is mild, a bite from this species can be irritating and painful to humans but is not life-threatening.

Golden Tree Snakes have become increasingly available in the exotic pet trade in recent years. Unfortunately, many imported specimens have heavy parasite loads, and the stress of captivity often leads to untimely death. It’s much better to observe this species in the wild since it does poorly in captivity.

#23. Oriental Whipsnake

  • Ahaetulla prasina

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 1.8 m (6 ft) long.
  • This species has a slender body with a long, pointed snout.
  • Their coloring varies from light brown to dull yellow-green and fluorescent green. Some individuals have a checkered pattern of light and dark green scales.

Oriental Whipsnakes are mildly venomous, but the toxins are not strong enough to hurt humans in Asia. If you see one, observe from a respectful distance, but you don’t need to rush away.

The Oriental Whipsnake is one of the most colorful snakes in Asia! Its impressive range of colors makes it difficult to recognize because individuals look so different from one another. However, the slender body and incredibly large, spade-shaped head should help with your identification.

This species is arboreal and usually lives in forest edge habitats such as parklands, rural agricultural areas, and wooded residential areas. It’s also a diurnal snake, so the best place to find one is sunbathing or hunting during the day. They eat small nesting birds, lizards, and tree frogs.

#24. Kramer’s Pit Viper

  • Trimeresurus macrops

Also known as the Large-eyed Pit Viper and Green Pit Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 50-71 cm (20-28 in) long.
  • Their coloring is bright green, with a red line running over the tail. Their eyes are yellow or light brown and relatively large.
  • Males have a lighter green or blue line underneath their eyes, extending toward the neck.

The venom of this species has hemotoxic properties, but it’s too mild to be dangerous to humans. However, bite victims may experience localized swelling and pain that usually disappears within a few days.

Kramer’s Pit Vipers are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They prefer humid forests, particularly bamboo forests, often close to a water supply.

This viper is an ambush predator and usually hunts during the twilight and evening hours. It eats lizards, small birds, and rodents like mice. During the day, Kramer’s Pit Vipers rest among leaves where they are camouflaged thanks to their green color.

#25. Malayan Pit Viper

  • Calloselasma rhodostoma 

Also known as the Malayan Ground Snake, Malayan Moccasin, and Malayan Ground Pit Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 76-91 cm (30-36 in) long.
  • Their coloring is reddish, pale brown, or grayish with a thin dark brown vertebral stripe.
  • The scales around the mouth are pink or yellowish.

This venomous snake is known in Asia for being bad-tempered and quick to strike.

Even though deaths are not common, the bite of the Malayan Pit Viper is excruciating, and the venom can cause tissue death around the bite wound. Many victims are left with dysfunctional or amputated limbs. Seek medical treatment immediately!

Malayan Pit Viper venom is useful for medical purposes despite its dangerous effects on the body. For example, Ancrod, an enzyme in this snake’s venom, can treat blood clots and helps prevent heart attack and stroke.

#26. Ussuri Mamushi

  • Gloydius ussuriensis

Also known as Ussuri Pit Viper or Ussuri Mamushi.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 37-64 cm (15-26 in) in length.
  • Their coloring is light brown-gray to black with large, dark, elliptical blotches on the back and sides.
  • The medium-sized eyes have vertical pupils.

Look for the Ussuri Mamushi near open grassland, forest edges, marshes, and paddy fields. This terrestrial pit viper spends most of its time on the ground. Since it’s nocturnal, your best chance to see one is while it hunts for frogs and mice at night.

However, this is one dangerous snake you probably want to avoid rather than go looking for it. It’s a particularly aggressive species and quick to bite if threatened. Its bites cause excruciating pain, producing internal organ hemorrhages and bleeding at bite sites. Victims typically need a hospital stay of up to a week to recover.

Do you want to learn about other animals in Asia?

If so, check out these guides!

Which of these snakes have you seen before in Asia?

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