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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2014
   

 

   

 

 

 

Southeast Asia's snakes exhibit a remarkable diversity of colour, patterning, shape and size.  Equally diverse are their habits and behaviour.  Some species, such as the White-bellied Blind Snake, spend virtually their entire lives burrowing in the tropical soil.  Others, such as the Big-eye Whip Snake and Elegant Bronzeback, are master climbers which can easily ascend vertical tree trunks or navigate their way amongst  the most slender of branches.  The most amazing of tree dwellers are of the genus Chrysopelea, such as the Paradise Tree Snake : these 'flying snakes' can glide from tree to tree by flattening their body to trap a cushion of air beneath.

Many species, such as the Puff-faced Water Snake, have found their niche in tropical streams and ponds, while others can survive in mangrove habitat, spending much of their lives semi-submerged. Sea Snakes have taken a watery life to the extreme and are true marine dwellers, though they still need to surface to breathe.

Presented here are a selection of the regions snakes to illustrate this amazing diversity ...

 
 

Blind Snakes  (Typhlopidae)

Sunbeam Snake  (Xenopeltidae)
           
Brahminy Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops braminus 
  White-bellied Blind Snake
Typhlops muelleri
  Sunbeam Snake
Xenopeltis unicolor
   
 
   
 
                 

Pipe Snakes  (Cylindrophiidae)

Pythons  (Pythonidae)
           
Red-tailed Pipe Snake
Cylindrophis ruffus
   
 
  Indian Rock Python
Python molurus molurus
  Reticulated Python
Malayopython reticulatus
   
 
                 

Whip Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Ahaetulla, Dryophiops)

           
Big-eye Green Whip Snake
Ahaetulla mycterizans
  Oriental Whip Snake
Ahaetulla prasina
  Keel-bellied Whip Snake
Dryophiops rubescens
 
   
 
   
 
                 

Flying Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Chrysopelea)

           
Golden Tree Snake
Chrysopelea ornata
  Paradise Tree Snake
Chrysopelea paradisi
  Twin-barred Tree Snake
Chrysopelea pelias
   
 
   
 
                 

Bronzebacks  (Colubridae, Genus : Dendrelaphis)

       
Striped Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis caudolineatus
 
  Blue Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris
 
  Elegant Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis formosus
 
  Haas's Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis haasi
 
  Kopstein's Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis kopsteini
 
           
Sawtooth-necked Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis nigroserratus
Painted Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis pictus
  Dendrelaphis sp. (Waigeo) 
 
       
                 

Cat Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Boiga)

       
Green Cat Snake
Boiga cyanea
 
  Dog-toothed Cat Snake
Boiga cynodon
 
  Gold-ringed Cat Snake
Boiga dendrophila
 
  White-spotted Cat Snake
Boiga drapiezii
 
  Jasper Cat Snake
Boiga jaspidea
 
               
Black-headed Cat Snake
Boiga nigriceps 
               
                 

Reed Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Calamaria, Pseudorabdion)

         
Variable Reed Snake
Calamaria lumbricoidea
  Schmidt's Reed Snake
Calamaria schmidti
  Pink-headed Reed Snake
Calamaria schlegeli
  Dwarf Reed Snake 
Pseudorabdion longiceps
   
 
                 

Wolf Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Lycodon)

           
Mountain Wolf Snake
Lycodon butleri
  Common House Snake
Lycodon capucinus
  Banded Wolf Snake
Lycodon subcinctus
 
 
   
 
                 

Brown Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Xenelaphis)

             
Ocellated Brown Snake 
Xenelaphis ellipsifer
  Malayan Brown Snake
Xenelaphis hexagonotus
 
 
 
 
   
 
                 

Rat Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Ptyas)

           
Keeled Rat Snake
Ptyas carinata
  White-bellied Rat Snake
Ptyas fusca
  Indochinese Rat Snake
Ptyas korros
 
     
 
 
                 

Kukri Snakes  (Colubridae, Genus : Oligodon)

         
Small-banded Kukri Snake
Oligodon fasciolatus
  Striped Kukri Snake
Oligodon octolineatus
  Brown Kukri Snake
Oligodon purpurascens
  Barred Kukri Snake
Oligodon signatus     
 
 
                 

Other Colubrid Snakes (Genus : Coelognathus, Dryocalamus, Gongylosoma, Gonyosoma, Orthriophis)

       
Malayan Racer
Coelognathus flavolineatus
  Malayan Bridle Snake 
Dryocalamus subannulatus
  Orange-bellied Ringneck
Gongylosoma baliodeirum
  Red-tailed Racer
Gonyosoma oxycephalum
  Cave Dwelling Snake
Orthriophis taeniurus ridleyi
                 

Water Snakes  (Homalopsidae)

       
Dog-faced Water Snake
Cerberus schneiderii
 
  Rainbow Water Snake
Enhydris enhydris
 
  Crab-eating Water Snake
Fordonia leucobalia
 
  Gerard's Water Snake
Gerarda prevostiana
 
  Puff-faced Water Snake   
Homalopsis buccata
 
               
Blackwater Mud Snake
Phytolopsis punctata
               
                 

Keelbacks and Mock Vipers  (Natricidae)

       
Malayan Mountain Keelback
Amphiesma inas
 
  Red Mountain Keelback
Amphiesma sanguineum
 
  Sarawak Keelback
Amphiesma sarawacense
 
  Orange-necked Keelback
Macropisthodon flaviceps
 
  Blue-necked Keelback
Macropisthodon rhodomelas
 
       
Speckle-bellied Keelback
Rhabdophis chrysargos
  
  Fire-lipped Keelback
Rhabdophis murudensis
  
  Red-necked Keelback
Rhabdophis subminiatus
 
  Spotted Keelback
Xenochrophis maculatus
 
  Triangle Keelback
Xenochrophis trianguligerus
 
           
Striped Keelback
Xenochrophis vittatus
 
  Painted Mock Viper
Psammodynastes pictus
 
  Common Mock Viper
P. pulverulentus
 
       
                 

Slug Snakes  (Pareatidae)

             
Mountain Slug Snake
Asthenodipsas vertebralis
  
  White-spotted Slug Snake
Pareas margaritophorus
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
                 

Coral Snakes, Cobras, Kraits etc.  (Elapidae)

         
Banded Krait
Bungarus fasciatus
 
  Red-headed Krait
Bungarus flaviceps
 
Blue Malayan Coral Snake
Calliophis bivirgatus
 
Banded Malayan Coral Snake
Calliophis intestinalis
 
 
             
Equatorial Spitting Cobra 
Naja sumatrana
  King Cobra 
Ophiophagus hannah
           
                 

Sea Snakes  (Hydrophiidae)

           
Marbled Sea Snake
Aipysurus eydouxii
  Olive Sea Snake
Aipysurus laevis
  Amphibious Sea Snake 
Laticauda colubrina
   
 
   
                 

Pit Vipers  (Viperidae)

       
White-lipped Pit Viper
Cryptelytrops albolabris
  
  Shore Pit Viper 
C. purpureomaculatus
  
  Siamese Peninsula Pit Viper
Popeia fucata
 
Cameron Highlands Pit Viper
Popeia nebularis 
 
Broad-banded Pit Viper
Tropidolaemus laticinctus
  
             
Bornean Keeled Pit Viper
Tropidolaemus subannulatus
 
Wagler's Pit Viper
Tropidolaemus wagleri
 
           
                 

  See also ... Snakes of Papua New Guinea