15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Myanmar is home to a diverse array of snakes, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. In this informative article, readers will be introduced to 15 common types of snakes found in Myanmar. From venomous species like the Many-banded Krait and King Cobra to non-venomous snakes like the Burmese Python and Oriental Ratsnake, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the snake species in Myanmar. Readers will learn about each snake’s physical attributes, their range maps, and intriguing facts about their behavior. Whether you’re a snake enthusiast or simply curious about the reptiles found in this part of the world, this article is sure to captivate and educate.

Many-banded Krait

Identifying characteristics

The Many-banded Krait (Bungarus multicinctus) is a highly venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender body and can grow up to 1.5 meters in length. The snake’s coloration varies, but it typically has black bands on a yellow or white body. These bands are wide towards the head but become narrower towards the tail.

Range

The Many-banded Krait is primarily found in the central and northern regions of Myanmar. They inhabit a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas. While they are most commonly found in Myanmar, they can also be found in neighboring countries like China, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Interesting facts

  • The Many-banded Krait is known for its potent venom, which contains neurotoxins that affect the nervous system. Bites from this species can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Despite being highly venomous, the Many-banded Krait is generally not aggressive and prefers to avoid confrontation with humans.
  • This snake is mainly active at night and preys on small vertebrates, including other snakes, lizards, and rodents.

Banded Krait

15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Identifying characteristics

The Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) is another venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a similar body shape to the Many-banded Krait but is distinguishable by its distinct coloration. The Banded Krait has narrow black bands on a light-colored body, usually white or pale yellow. These bands are equal in width and extend across the snake’s entire body.

Range

The Banded Krait is widespread in Myanmar and can be found throughout the country, including the southern regions. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. This snake prefers wet and humid habitats like marshes, swamps, and rice fields.

Interesting facts

  • Like the Many-banded Krait, the Banded Krait possesses potent venom that can quickly incapacitate its prey. However, it rarely bites humans unless provoked or threatened.
  • The Banded Krait is a nocturnal hunter and primarily feeds on other snakes, frogs, and small mammals.
  • This species is relatively docile and slow-moving, making it easier to handle compared to some other venomous snakes.

Checkered Keelback

15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Identifying characteristics

The Checkered Keelback (Xenochrophis piscator) is a non-venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender body with pronounced keeled scales, which give it a rough texture. The coloration of this snake can vary, but it typically has a checkered pattern of alternating light and dark scales along its body.

Range

The Checkered Keelback is widely distributed in Myanmar and can be found in various habitats, including wetlands, rivers, and ponds. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Interesting facts

  • Despite being non-venomous, the Checkered Keelback has a unique defensive behavior known as “aquatic faking.” When threatened, it flattens its body and relies on its checkered pattern to mimic the appearance of venomous snakes like the Banded Krait, deterring potential predators.
  • This snake is an excellent swimmer and is often found near water bodies, where it hunts for frogs, fish, and other aquatic prey.
  • The Checkered Keelback is typically docile and poses no significant threat to humans.

Oriental Ratsnake

15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Identifying characteristics

The Oriental Ratsnake (Ptyas mucosa) is a large non-venomous snake commonly found in Myanmar. It has a slender and elongated body that can reach lengths of up to 3 meters. The Oriental Ratsnake possesses smooth scales and can vary in color, ranging from brown to greenish-gray.

Range

The Oriental Ratsnake is widely distributed throughout Myanmar and can be found in diverse habitats, including forests, agricultural areas, and even suburban environments. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Interesting facts

  • As a non-venomous species, the Oriental Ratsnake relies on constriction to subdue its prey. It primarily feeds on small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
  • This snake is known for its excellent climbing abilities and can scale trees and shrubs with ease.
  • The Oriental Ratsnake is typically calm and non-aggressive towards humans, though it may become defensive if cornered or threatened.

Buff Striped Keelback

15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Identifying characteristics

The Buff Striped Keelback (Amphiesma vibakari) is a non-venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender body with distinctive keeled scales and a smooth dorsal scale pattern. The coloration of this snake can vary, but it typically has a yellowish-brown or buff color with darker stripes running along its body.

Range

The Buff Striped Keelback is endemic to Myanmar and is commonly found in the central and southern regions of the country. It prefers moist habitats, including wetlands, rice fields, and forest edges.

Interesting facts

  • As a non-venomous species, the Buff Striped Keelback relies on its agility and speed to catch prey. It primarily feeds on frogs, fish, and small invertebrates.
  • This snake is known for its ability to flatten its body, often assuming a defensive posture when threatened. It can also emit a foul-smelling odor as a further deterrent.
  • The Buff Striped Keelback is generally not aggressive towards humans and will usually retreat when encountered.

Indian Wolf Snake

15 Common Types of Snakes Found in Myanmar

Identifying characteristics

The Indian Wolf Snake (Lycodon aulicus) is a non-venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a moderately slender body and can reach lengths of up to 1 meter. The Indian Wolf Snake has smooth scales, and its coloration varies but is usually brown or gray with lighter or darker bands across its body.

Range

The Indian Wolf Snake is widely distributed in Myanmar and can be found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas. It is also present in other countries in South Asia, such as India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Interesting facts

  • Despite its name, the Indian Wolf Snake is not related to wolves and does not possess any wolf-like characteristics or behavior.
  • This snake feeds primarily on rodents, frogs, and lizards, using constriction to subdue its prey.
  • The Indian Wolf Snake is nocturnal and often seeks shelter in burrows or crevices during the day.

Burmese Python

Identifying characteristics

The Burmese Python (Python bivittatus) is a large non-venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a thick and muscular body, which can reach lengths of up to 6 meters. The coloration of this snake is typically tan or brown with dark brown or black blotches along its body.

Range

The Burmese Python is native to Myanmar and is commonly found in the southern regions of the country. It inhabits a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and wetlands. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Indonesia.

Interesting facts

  • The Burmese Python is one of the largest snake species in the world and is known for its impressive size and strength.
  • This snake is an excellent swimmer and is often found near water, where it hunts for prey like birds and mammals.
  • While not venomous, the Burmese Python can cause harm to humans through constriction, with the ability to subdue and engulf large prey.

King Cobra

Identifying characteristics

The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is a highly venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender body and can reach lengths of up to 5.5 meters, making it the longest venomous snake in the world. The King Cobra is easily identifiable by its distinct coloration, which consists of olive or brown scales with yellow bands and a pale, cream-colored underbelly.

Range

The King Cobra is found in various regions of Myanmar, including the central and northern parts of the country. It primarily inhabits forests and grasslands but can also be found near human settlements. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as India and Thailand.

Interesting facts

  • The King Cobra is known for its potent venom, which contains a neurotoxin that affects the nervous system. Bites from this species can be deadly if not treated promptly.
  • Despite its venomous nature, the King Cobra typically avoids confrontation with humans and will only attack if it feels threatened or cornered.
  • This snake feeds mainly on other snakes, including venomous species, as well as lizards and small mammals.

Golden Tree Snake

Identifying characteristics

The Golden Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata) is a non-venomous snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender and elongated body and can reach lengths of up to 1.5 meters. The Golden Tree Snake is easily recognizable due to its vibrant coloration, which consists of yellow or golden scales with black stripes or spots.

Range

The Golden Tree Snake is widespread in Myanmar and can be found in various habitats, including forests, plantations, and gardens. It is also present in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Interesting facts

  • The Golden Tree Snake is an excellent climber and can sometimes be found resting on tree branches or even inside buildings.
  • This snake has a unique adaptation called “gliding,” where it can launch itself from a tree and glide through the air using its flattened body and undulating movements.
  • The Golden Tree Snake primarily feeds on small vertebrates, such as lizards and frogs, but will also consume birds and their eggs.

Small-banded Kukri Snake

Identifying characteristics

The Small-banded Kukri Snake (Oligodon fasciolatus) is a harmless snake species found in Myanmar. It has a slender body and usually measures around 40-60 centimeters in length. The Small-banded Kukri Snake has smooth scales and typically exhibits a brown or grayish coloration with darker bands running across its body.

Range

The Small-banded Kukri Snake is endemic to Myanmar and is commonly found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and rice fields. It can also be found in neighboring countries like Thailand.

Interesting facts

  • The Small-banded Kukri Snake is primarily a burrowing snake and spends much of its time hiding in the leaf litter or soil.
  • Despite its small size, this snake is an active hunter and feeds on a variety of small prey, including insects, lizards, and small rodents.
  • The Small-banded Kukri Snake is generally shy and non-aggressive towards humans, and will usually retreat when encountered.

In conclusion, Myanmar is home to a diverse range of snake species, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. From highly venomous snakes like the King Cobra and Banded Krait to non-venomous species like the Oriental Ratsnake and Checkered Keelback, these snakes play important roles in the country’s ecosystem. While some may pose a threat to humans, it is crucial to remember that most snakes are generally shy creatures and will only bite if they feel threatened or cornered. It is important to respect and appreciate these fascinating reptiles while also taking appropriate precautions to ensure human safety.

Nature Blog Network

NatureBlogNetwork.com is the leading birding research and information website. Serving the birding community since 2010.

Recent Posts