7 Types of Venomous Snakes in Pakistan (DANGEROUS)

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

Types of venomous snakes in Pakistan

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 Pakistan 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!

7 Venomous Snakes that Live in Pakistan:

*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.

Common Pakistan venomous snakes

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 Pakistan, 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

Common venomous snakes found in Pakistan

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 Pakistan 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 Pakistan.

#3. Common Krait

  • Bungarus caeruleus

Also known as Bengal Krait, Indian Krait.

Venomous Snakes of Pakistan

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 Pakistan. 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!

#4. Common Seasnake

  • Enhydrina schistosa

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

Common Pakistan venomous snakes

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 Pakistan.

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).

#5. 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 Pakistan, 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 Pakistan 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.

#6. Central Asian Cobra

  • Naja oxiana

Also known as Caspian Cobra, Ladle Snake, Black Cobra, Brown Cobra, Russian Cobra, Oxus Cobra, Trans-Caspian Cobra, and Acellate Cobra.

Caspian cobra. (2023, August 30). In Wikipedia.
  • These heavy-bodied snakes reach 100-140 cm (39-55 in) long.
  • Their snouts are blunt and short with large nostrils.
  • They are shades of brown or yellow with dark bands across their throats.

The Central Asian Cobra is INCREDIBLY VENOMOUS. One bite is potent enough to kill 40 adult humans! Fortunately, it avoids humans and prefers to escape if approached.

Look for this venomous snake in Pakistan in rocky foothills, shrublands, and forests far from civilization. Central Asian Cobras are fantastic climbers and capable swimmers. They feed on rodents, amphibians, fish, and birds, then hide in tree hollows to rest.

Central Asian Cobras are terrifyingly aggressive if cornered, especially juveniles. First, they will spread their hoods and sway from side to side while hissing a warning. Then, as a last resort, they repeatedly strike with astonishing speed. Stay back!

#7. Persian Horned Viper

  • Pseudocerastes persicus

Also known as the Persian Horned Desert Viper, False Horned Viper, and Eye-horned Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can range between 45-116 cm (18-46 in) in length. They have stout bodies and short, slender tails.
  • There are scaly horn-like protrusions above their eyes, but not as prominent as their horned cousins. Hence, the common name “False Horned Viper”.
  • They have broad, flat heads distinct from their necks and short, rounded snouts.

Sandy, limestone deserts, and rocky hills are home to Persian Horned Vipers in Pakistan. They’re shy creatures who prefer to stay far away from human habitations. You’ll find them hiding underneath boulders, inside rodent burrows, and amidst tall grasses.

Persian Horned Vipers have quite the appetite. Their favorite meals include lizards, mice, birds, small mammals, and arthropods. Plus, they’re not one to waste dead food if they come across one! These vipers are generally sluggish, but they can move sideways, straight forward, or in S-shaped curves to suit the terrain.

Although Persian Horned Vipers prefer to escape when confronted, they won’t hesitate to bite if they feel cornered. First, they will loudly hiss at you to announce a warning before coiling into a striking position. Their venom is still poorly studied, but it’s reported to cause intense pain, swelling, and internal bleeding. Thankfully, antivenom is available for this species.

Do you want to learn about other animals in Pakistan?

If so, check out these guides!

Which of these snakes have you seen before in Pakistan?

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