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A common garden visitor

March 28, 2011

The striped keelback (Amphiesma stolata) is a common snake in the Chiang Mai gardens. Since it is not venomous nor aggressive there is no reason to be afraid of it. My experience is that this small diurnal snake does not like to be watched and tries to get away if you try to follow it. It is particularly common in areas with many amphibians, its main prey.

This specimen was caught by one of the Dokmai Garden hens. Since I wanted to know what she had caught I had to force her to leave the snake alone. She was very upset.

The snake is beautiful with a checkered front and a striped rear. These pictures were only possible thanks to the hen which probably crushed the head of the snake. In addition to small snakes, I have also seen chicken chase lizards and eat termites, and they are said to eat scorpions too. I have seen the related silver pheasants devour mouse babies. This mortally wounded snake was eventually fed to Lolo, our wild boar, who needed some extra protein.

Eric Danell

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2011 7:12 AM

    MY HUSBAND JUST HAPPENED TO SEE A SNAKE AS IT WAS EATING A SMALL TOAD THE SNAKE WAS APPROXIMATELY ONE FOOT LONG. HE PUT A STICK GENTLY ON THE BACK OF THE SNAKE WHO THEN PROMPTLY SPIT OUT THE STUNNED TOAD. WE HAVE BEEN SEARCHING WEB SITES TO TRY TO IDENTIFY THIS SNAKE. THIS IS DEFINITELY IT. WE LIVE IN PHOENIX CITY ALABAMA USA, SEEMINGLY NOT A NATIVE OF THIS AREA SINCE WHAT WE HAVE READ SO FAR MARKS IT AS AN INDONESIAN REPTILE. ARE THEY INDIGENOUS OF THIS PART OF THE WORLD?

    • October 18, 2011 10:30 AM

      There are great numbers of snakes in the world and many are tricky to identify. If you have a picture you may want to ask a specialist at a nearby university. If you had a striped snake you may want to consider a garter snake which are common in the US.

      Kind regards, Eric

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