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30 Thailand Black Snakes | Which did you see?

Black Thailand Snake, Ptyas carinata - Keeled Rat Snake.
One of Thailand’s black snakes – Keeled Rat Snake (P. carinata).

If you’re looking for black snakes in Thailand, USA, Australia, and Europe – go here.

I get a lot of snake ID requests with very little information. One of the top requests is:

“I found a black snake about a meter long, can you tell me what it is?”

That’s an impossible request because there are just too many meter long black snakes in the country. Confounding that is the fact that when a snake is moving, and has a well defined pattern, but is overall dark or black colored – someone can see it as black.

Snakes of any species can be very dark, even black. The term is “melanistic.” They have an abundance of melanin, which makes them appear some degree darker than is typical for the species. This is a rather common occurrence.

So, it’s quite a stretch to start guessing snakes even when the exact Thailand province is known.

That all said, here are some snakes which can be black or dark without melanism. They are relatively patternless and you might see any of these in Thailand.

Thailand Black Snake Length When Fully Grown

Over 4 Meters Long

3-4 Meters

2-3 Meters

Under 1 Meter

  • Blunt Headed Slug Snake
  • Brahminy Blind Snake
  • White Spotted Slug Snake
  • Vertebral Slug Snake
  • Mangrove Cat Snake (Black on top, yellow bands may not be visible)
  • Mountain Bronzeback
  • Dark Wolf Snake
  • Malayan Banded Wolf Snake (adults are bandless)
  • Inornate Kukri Snake
  • Grey Kukri Snake
  • Common Many-toothed Snake
  • Malayan Mountain Keelback
  • White-bellied Mangrove Snake
  • Tweedie’s Mountain Reed Snake
  • Malayan Mountain Reed Snake
  • Variable Reed Snake
  • Yellow-bellied Sea Snake
  • Blue Malayan Coral Snake
  • Red-headed Krait
  • Equatorial Spitting Cobra
  • Indo-Chinese Spitting Cobra
  • Monocled Cobra
  • Mangrove Pit Viper

Keep in mind that any of the snakes in the section other than Under 1 Meter – can be juvenile snakes.

This list is not comprehensive, but it covers common snakes in the country of Thailand.

When you ask for a snake to be identified, please give us as much information as possible.

6 thoughts on “30 Thailand Black Snakes | Which did you see?”

  1. We live in Roi-et. Our land is 9 rai and a mixture of trees, grass, and garden. Just encountered a jet black, very shiny snake, that moved very quickly and was over 2 meters long. It was easily thicker than a man’s index finger. It was inside a pile of branches/ garden stuff that we were burning. The fire had started when it shot out of the side of the bonfire where my son and I were NOT standing. It ran to a timber store that we have which is nearby.

    It was all too fast for me to take a photo or even get my mobile out. Didn’t get a good view of its head because it was slithering in the opposite direct very quickly.

    • Sounds like one of the rat snakes – either Ptyas korros or Ptyas carinatus. Both harmless. Cobras are much thicker than a finger.

  2. What snake would be black with brown/black side of head, small, thin, diurnal likes to sleep under roof tiles, fall from coconut trees? Have previously green sname also fall/glide from same tree. But cannot identify this brown/black one. Looks closest to golden tree snake or whip snake but very melanated, possibly baby? Thanks. Great site btw.

    • There are bronzeback snakes that fit the description. They can fall/jump from trees too. I’ve had that happen a couple of times at night as the light from my headlamp hit them.

  3. When I run before dawn I’ll often see black snakes with white underbellies, faint bands across the back. I only saw the bands when I happened across one that had been squashed by a truck. Fairly thick bodies. In the dusk they look very shiny. Usually about a metre in length. I live near a swamp in outer Bangkok.

    • There are 4 rat snakes that fit that description – Ptyas carinatus, Ptyas korros, Ptyas fuscus, and Ptyas mucosus. Might be one of them. Could be a king cobra, but black is not a usual color for them and they don’t have a white belly.


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