Our Recent Posts

Tags

Venomous Snakes of Hong Kong. A practical guide and checklist. Part 1 of 7.

Snakes will soon be out and about, along with other poikilothermic, ectothermic tetrapods, or cold blooded creatures that love the sun. This quick checklist of the most common species can help you identify the venomous snakes that share their habitat with us.

Hong Kong has a recorded 52 species of snake. Six land species can inflict life endangering bites (the Banded Krait, the Many Banded Krait, Chinese Cobra, King Cobra, and Coral Snake). These "elapid" snake bites cause nerve related, necrosis and tissue damage. The Red-necked Keelback is a rear fanged colubrid. The two other venomous snakes - both pit vipers, the Bamboo and Mountain Pit Viper - have bites that can cause extreme pain and swelling (and still pose a fatality threat to children and dogs). Six other snakes have enlarged venom fangs at the back of the jaw (opistholglyphous), but are not known to produce much reaction in humans. The Common Rat Snake and the Burmese Python are not venomous, but do get very large, and their teeth can cause nasty cuts and gashes. The other lethal snakes not listed here, as they are so uncommon, are The Tonkin andPointed Scale Pit Vipers, and any of the sea snakes. CAVEAT:- We cannot be responsible for readers’ inaccuracy of identifying snakes based on this guide. There are many variables that go into identifying a snake properly, and even experts can make mistakes. Do not use this guide to help you decide whether it is safe to touch or pick up a snake. Leave snakes alone, and stay outside of striking or spitting distance (3-5meters).

Hong Kong has a recorded 52 species of snake. Six land species can inflict life endangering bites (the Banded Krait, the Many Banded Krait, Chinese Cobra, King Cobra, and Coral Snake). These "elapid" snake bites cause nerve related, necrosis and tissue damage. The Red-necked Keelback is a rear fanged colubrid. The two other venomous snakes - both pit vipers, the Bamboo and Mountain Pit Viper - have bites that can cause extreme pain and swelling (and still pose a fatality threat to children and dogs). Six other snakes have enlarged venom fangs at the back of the jaw (opistholglyphous), but are not known to produce much reaction in humans. The Common Rat Snake and the Burmese Python are not venomous, but do get very large, and their teeth can cause nasty cuts and gashes. The other lethal snakes not listed here, as they are so uncommon, are The Tonkin andPointed Scale Pit Vipers, and any of the sea snakes. SNAKE ID Follow the questions in red to snakes to help with an ID. There is NO easy way to tell venomous from non-venomous snakes, unless you actually know the snakes...and even then ID is not always clear in the heat of the moment. (Can you really tell that the third supralabial scale is NOT touching the eye and nasal scale? be honest). So basic principles apply...leave them alone, and they WILL leave you alone. You will not be attacked by a snake - why would it? it cannot eat you! In Hong Kong all snakebites on humans are defensive. If you really want to learn more about snakes, then please sign up for a night-time herp tour.

Check back soon for our follow up ID guide, step by step, in 7 parts.

    ©2018 by WildCreaturesHongKong.