Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

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Michael C
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Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 2:10 pm

Maybe this can be kept up on this forum in a permanent place as a resource for the residents of Udon Thani. During the time I have lived in Thailand, I have seen much misinformation, particularly from Thai people themselves on which snakes are venomous and which ones are not. The following snakes are the ones that you have to worry about, but keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of venomous snake bites are a direct result of an attempt to kill venomous snakes. These are the snakes in the vicinity of Udon Thani which you must seek medical attention for and are the only ones known to have caused fatalities:

Ophiophagus hannah (individual Cobra) Thai: Ngu jong ang
Image
This specimen comes from Nong Khai and all those in the Isaan Region are distinctly banded, like this specimen. Neonates and juveniles are even more distinctly banded in black and either dull yellow or white. Not usually found near where people are, very shy and usually found only in forest.

Naja siamensis (Indochinese Spitting Cobra) Thai: Ngu hao pon pit
http://biology.bangor.ac.uk/%7Ebss166/T ... nsisBW.jpg
The pattern is highly variable in this species, but it is the only species of true cobra in Udon Thani. Those in western Nong Bua Lamphu do have Naja kaothia (Monocled Cobra) Thai: Ngu hao
Image
Both types of cobra can be found in a variety of habitats, as well as farmlands and around human habitation.

Bungarus candidus (Blue Krait) Thai: Ngu tab tan (Isaan dialect)
Image
This species will never be seen active during the day; it is strictly nocturnal (only active at night time). When caught in daylight, it appears sluggish, disoriented and blind. During the night, it can move rapidly.

Bungarus faciatus (Banded Krait) Thai: Ngu sam liam
Image
This species will never be seen active during the day; it is strictly nocturnal (only active at night time). When caught in daylight, it appears sluggish, disoriented and blind. During the night, it can move rapidly. This is the most common species of krait in Thailand.

Calliophis maculiceps (Small-spotted Coral Snake) Thai: Ngu plong wai hua dam
Image
This species will never be seen active in the day. Usually found around or inside rotting logs, where it can find its prey, blind snakes, which feed on ant eggs and larvae. It can be spotted as pictured, striped or nearly uniform in colour. The head appears the same in all variations. Note the tail: all will make a similar tail display.


Cryptelytrops albolabris (White-lipped Pit Viper) Thai: Ngu kieow hang mai tong lueng
Image
This snake is usually only active at night and usually found in the trees of forests near or not too far away from streams. Highly variable in appearance, particularly eye colour.

Viridovipera gumprechti (Gumprecht's Pit Viper) Thai: (new species split, no Thai common name, was: Ngu kieow pai)
Image
The snake pictured is not Viridovipera gumprechti, but is actually Viridovipera vogeli. Both are so similar that only an expert can tell the difference by closely examining the actual snakes. Primarily active at night and usually found in the trees of the forest near or not too far away from streams. Only found in northern most Udon Thani province and Nong Khai

Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan Pit Viper) Thai: Ngu kaba
Image
Usually inactive both day and night. It is an ambush hunter that usually awaits prey in leaf litter. This snake kills more people in Thailand than any other snake, but is not common in this area, as it prefers moist areas or areas of high humidity.

Rhabdophis subminiatus (Red-necked Keelback) Thai: Ngu lai sab kor daeng
Image
Usually found in the forest around or not too far away from streams. This is the only rear-fanged snake known to have caused human fatalities. Its venom attacks the kidneys, having a dissolving effect.

*Moderators, if the pictures are too much, please edit to just leave the links.



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Michael C
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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 2:25 pm

Correction, the monocled cobra is Naja kaouthia (forgot the 'u')

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by lee » April 7, 2009, 3:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your information, I will create a link to this topic on the front page later.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by beer monkey » April 7, 2009, 3:25 pm

I see you put a 'stamp' on the pics..does it mean you where you fortunate enough to take them yourself.?
Thanks.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 3:35 pm

Yes, I have taken all the pictures, except for the one linked, which is the only one that I have not photographed yet. I may ask Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wüster for permission to post it here, so everyone can see it without having to go to the link. I stamped all of my pictures, because there are many pictures of the species that I have photographed that are not available anywhere else (e.g. my avatar picture is one of only two pictures of that species on the internet) and many people have stolen my pictures in the past.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by beer monkey » April 7, 2009, 3:43 pm

The pit viper ones are fantastic shots, have a look at the link in 'General Topics' on the other snake thread..see what you think.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Pakawala » April 7, 2009, 4:58 pm

I had the privilege of seeing one of the pit vipers about 3 meters up the side of a rather smooth coconut palm tree (haven't yet figured out how it got there) at the Nong Samrong Golf Course (Army Base). The birds in the area were very upset and actually brought it to my attention. The green color of this snake was absolutely beautiful... breath-taking. I watched it for a short while as it watched us. Finally, we got tired of just staring and I went ahead with my game. Memorable experience and I never fail to look in that same tree every time I play that course. :-" :-"

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 5:13 pm

I have yet to see Naja siamensis here in Udon Thani and have only seen a fresh shed of theirs, but in giving his permission to use his pictures for this thread, Prof. Dr. Wüster informed me that this is the variation that is the variant that should be found in Udon Thani:
Image
Image

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by beer monkey » April 7, 2009, 5:44 pm

Pakawala wrote:I had the privilege of seeing one of the pit vipers about 3 meters up the side of a rather smooth coconut palm tree (haven't yet figured out how it got there) at the Nong Samrong Golf Course (Army Base). The birds in the area were very upset and actually brought it to my attention. The green color of this snake was absolutely beautiful... breath-taking. I watched it for a short while as it watched us. Finally, we got tired of just staring and I went ahead with my game. Memorable experience and I never fail to look in that same tree every time I play that course. :-" :-"
Funnily enough when going under a tree i always look up first... 8-[

and some of these photos have sent a shiver down my spine.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 6:12 pm

The green tree vipers are really no problem unless you try to catch or kill them. Many Thais do not go to the hospital when bitten, although I would strongly advise going because of the localised tissue damage the bite causes along with the strong possibility of infection.

When going to the crocodile reintroduction area of Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaeo, an American that came here to visit me stepped on a Cryptolytrops macrops which was on the trail, which a couple of park rangers and I had already passed. Here is one from Chantaburi:
Image
This species is close to our area; it is possible that one might find it here, even though it has yet to be recorded here. Their eyes are usually large and bright yellow- if someone sees one of these near Udon Thani, please contact me.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by LoongLee » April 7, 2009, 8:08 pm

Michael C ,,,,,,,,, does the Russells Pit Viper occur around Udon? the only one I've seen in Thailand was in Takhli. As a matter of fact, all the snakes I've seen were there, never anywhere else I've lived or traveled in Thailand.

I forgot to ask,,,,,,,,, what is your experience/knowledge about Thai medical expertise at treating snake bites? Is anti-venom widely available for all species found and does the doctor need to have the snake present to properly ID and select the right anti-venom? Thanks,,, LL

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by Michael C » April 7, 2009, 10:49 pm

On Russell's Viper, they do not occur around Udon Thani. It occurs in the Chao Praya River Basin, northeast to Nakhon Ratchasima then east to the Cambodian border (where its geographic distribution stops). It is absent in the east along the Eastern Seaboard with a coastal area absence from around Chon Buri to the Cambodian border. That is definitely one that I do not want to be bitten by!

Thailand is a leader in treatment of snake bites in Southeast Asia. On of the world's largest antivenin laboratories is at the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute in Bangkok. Antivenin is produced as polyvalents and monovalents. Polyvalents work for a group of snakes such as for Crotalidae, which is effective against pit vipers. Monovalents work for specific species and are generally more effective than a polyvalent. Monovalents are made from the species that are more common and also from Ophiophagus hannah, which is not that common. There are no antivenins produced for the rare snakes, such as the coral snakes (which rarely bite anyway and are rarely seen) or the rare red-headed krait (which is distantly related enough that the Bungarus polyvalent is ineffective). If they are not able to determine the specific species that the bite came from, a polyvalent will be administered. The nice thing about the antivenin being produced in Thailand is that it is readily available and although it will be expensive, it will be far cheaper than anywhere else.

Do not try to kill a venomous snake. I forgot the exact figure, but it was >90% of all venomous snake bites are the result of trying to kill them. Printing off the pictures now and pointing out the snake to the doctor if it ever happens will be the best way to ensure that the proper antivenin is administered.

Antivenin is no magical potion. Many people have allergic reactions to it and it could be deadly. Many that die from venomous snake bites die from an allergic reaction to the venom.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by old-timer » April 7, 2009, 10:59 pm

Antivenin is no magical potion. Many people have allergic reactions to it and it could be deadly. Many that die from venomous snake bites die from an allergic reaction to the venom.
[/quote]

is that the snake venom or the antivenin? - is it the medication that can kill you?

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » April 7, 2009, 11:26 pm

Do not try to kill a venomous snake.
sorry, if it doesn't have legs or more than 2 and it's in my yard, it gets killed. if it has 2 legs and i don't know him, it gets evicted or invited in the house, then referr to no legged animal.

if i see a snake on the road, the ex used to say 'oh, good luck today..............thump, don't think so'.

definitely agree, they will attack when threatened, had one cornered, he knew it, whacked him a couple times with my snake knife, about 2 meters pole w/blade, but kept hitting snake on soft stone. so when he made last ditch strike, make the mistake of crossing concrete. oops, not a good decision. not give sliced and diced. had one cornered or trapped in my cinder block pile, but couldn't get to him. amazing what a couple liters of gas will do.

and kraits are active during the day, had to kill one cutting across front lawn with kids playing near blocks. along with a cobra or 2.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by westerby » April 7, 2009, 11:29 pm

Blimey, LA - you're a one man killing machine. Do you keep a tally?

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » April 7, 2009, 11:44 pm

personally, with my custom made blade, at least 5, in car, lost count. during rainy season, sometimes it one a day. the road seems the only high ground at times. but good for couple a month. none recently, since living near town, maybe one while in the north recently, but i think i missed or just nailed his tail, big sucker.

i less dead snake, on less kid getting bit accidently. my theory anyway.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by westerby » April 7, 2009, 11:54 pm

laphanphon wrote:i less dead snake, on less kid getting bit accidently. my theory anyway.
Hmm, yes but they can't all be venomous can they? My experience of Hissing Sid is that he just wants to get out of your way.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by rick » April 8, 2009, 7:24 am

With snakes, it is important to know what is dangerous and what is not. In Australia i was shown how to handle file snakes (a type of water snake) and how to open its mouth to show off its fangs. It was not a venomous one. I am not offering to do the same with a Cobra! Glad we have an expert like Michael around. Have seen plenty of people who cannot tell a snake from a legless lizard. I understand some err on the side of caution, but a little knowledge helps.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by laphanphon » April 8, 2009, 8:43 am

yes, i did kill one i later found not to be poisonous, pretty big green thing, had some extra growth on head like a lizard, almost felt guilty about that one, but the rest were poisonous, and few quite large. except the one i bbq'd, all served a purposed after death, yummy......................not me, but the ex family. the krait really scared me, because there was a couple kid playing so close to it.

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Re: Venomous Snakes of Udon Thani

Post by aznyron » April 8, 2009, 10:02 am

well if I should come across a snake around my house I will get the garden hose & squirt it with water
to chase it away. I do believe in letting them alone and avoiding them Killing them is a no no in my opinion and I want to express my thanks to my friend Michael C. for posting this very important information and I do hope to see him Saturday night at the N/M get together

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