Black Snake | What Kind Is It?

While we focus on snakes in Thailand and Southeast Asia, you may be looking for the answer to the question “Which Black Snake Is It?” and you’re in the USA, Australia, or Europe. We list some of those too.

Some black snakes are always black, and some black snakes are highly melanistic – with an excess of melanin – and they can also be black. Do keep that in mind as you look at the black snakes below. We feature some COMMON black snakes below.

Black Snake in Thailand?

  • Indo-Chinese Rat Snake — If you see a black snake in Thailand, this is probably the one you see. This black snake is common and quite fast, hard to get a good look at. Species: Ptyas korros.
  • Monocled Cobra — Dangerous and potentially deadly, the monocled cobra can be black, grey, or brown. Any snake that shows a hood should be considered a cobra, though some have developed this ability and are harmless. Species: Naja kaouthia.
  • Siamese Spitting Cobra — Dangerous and risk of deadly bites. Species: Naja siamensis.
  • Sumatran Spitting Cobra — Dangerous and risk of deadly bites. Species: Naja sumatrana.
  • King Cobra — The king cobra is typically brown, but there are near-solid black king cobra snakes as well. They usually have very thin light-colored bands which you may or may not see. Species: Ophiophagus hannah.
  • Keeled Rat Snake — Another black or brown snake found in Thailand. This one can reach over 3 meters in length (10 feet) and will be thicker than the Indo-Chinese rat snake above (wrist or forearm thickness). You may be able to see light-colored bands on this predominantly black snake, or not. Species: Ptyas carinata.
  • Malayan Banded Wolf Snake — A thin black snake found across Thailand in forested areas. Has white bands when young and loses them and is completely black at adulthood. Species: Lycodon subcinctus.
  • Slender Wolf Snake — Species: Lepturophis albofuscus.
  • Boie’s Mud Snake — A short water snake (under 1m) with a yellow belly. Species: Enhydris plumbea.
  • Puff-faced Water Snake — Another water snake. The bands can be hard to distinguish on this typically brown or black snake. Species: Homalopsis buccata.
  • White-bellied Rat Snake — Species: Ptyas fusca.
  • Brahminy Blind Snake — Species:
  • White-bellied Mangrove Snake — Species: Fordonia leucobalia.

Black Snakes with Bands

In addition to completely black snakes, there are black snakes with bands across the body (like a belt). We’ll list some of the common snakes like this below.

  • Laotian Wolf Snake — Species: Lycodon laoensis.
  • Malayan Wolf Snake (juvenile) — Species: Lycodon subcinctus.
  • Indian Banded Wolf Snake — Species: Lycodon fasciatus.
  • Common Bridle Snake — Species: Dryocalamus davisonii.
  • Malayan Bridle Snake — Dark brown/black. Species: Dryocalamus subannulatus.
  • Mangrove Cat Snake — Yellow bands and bright yellow on the lower jaw and ventral. Species: Boiga dendrophila.
  • King Cobra – juvenile and adult. Species: Ophiophagus hannah.
  • Malayan Krait — Venomous and capable of deadly bites. Species: Bungarus candidus.
  • Many-banded Krait — Venomous and capable of deadly bites. Species: Bungarus multicinctus.

Black Snake with Red Head?

There are three black snakes with red heads in Thailand. You’re not likely to see any of them, but we’ll mention them anyway.

  • Red-headed Krait — A dangerous and potentially deadly black snake not found often, and residing south of Bangkok in forested areas. Species: Bungarus flaviceps.
  • Blue Long-glanded Coral Snake — A dangerous and possibly deadly snake found in southern Thailand. Species: Calliophis bivirgata.
  • Red-headed Keelback — Found in southern Thailand, but we’ve never heard of anyone finding one. Species: Macrophistodon flaviceps.

Black Snake in the United States?

The University of Florida has published a fine resource on black snakes in the Southeastern USA. Instead of repeating all of their information, you can see their web page of the PDF here. Or, download their Black Snake PDF here. If you cannot find it, we have a copy of it here.

  • Cottonmouth — A venomous pit viper with dangerous bites. Species: Agkistrodon piscivorus.
  • Eastern Racer — Non-venomous colubrid (rear-fanged) black snake. Species: Coluber constrictor.
  • Northern Pacific Rattlesnake — Venomous rattlesnake. Species: Crotalus oreganus.
  • Black Rat Snake or Pilot Black Snake — Non-venomous colubrid black snakes. Species names: Pantherophis alleghaniensis, Pantherophis obsoletus, and Pantherophis spiloides. , a.k.a. the black rat snake or the pilot black snake, three non-venomous colubrid species found in North America

Black Snake in Australia?

We will link to images of the snakes below as soon as our preferred resource, is back online.

  • Eastern Brown Snake — Most feared snake in Australia. Second strongest venom of all terrestrial snakes (worldwide). Species: Pseudonaja textilis.
  • Red-bellied Black Snake — Species: Pseudechis porphyriacus.
  • King Brown (Mulga snake) — Species: Pseudechis australis.
  • Inland and Coastal Taipan — Species: Oxyuranus microlepidotus (inland). Oxyuranus scutellatu (coastal).
  • Black Tiger Snake — Species: Notechis ater.
  • Lesser Black Whip Snake — Species: Demansia vestigiata.
  • Small-Eyed Snake — Species: Cryptophis nigrescens.
  • Spotted Black Snake — Species: Pseudechis guttatus.
  • Blind Snakes — Species: Ramphotyphlops Sp..
  • Pale-headed Snake — Species: Holocephalus bitorquatus.
  • White-crowned Snake — Species: Cacophis harriettae.
  • Yellow-faced Whip Snake — Species: Demansia psammophis.

Black Snake in Europe?

  • Common European Black Adder — Dangerous bites. Found across Europe even to Asia. Species: Vipera berus.
  • Black Whip Snake — Species: Dolichophis jugularis. Link.
  • Western Whip Snake — Species: Hierophis viridiflavus. Link.
  • Grass Snake — Species: Natrix natrix. Link.
  • Seoane’s Viper — Species: Vipera seoanei. Link.
  • Asp Viper — Species: Vipera aspis. Link.
  • Caspian Whip Snake — Non-venomous black snake. Species: Coluber caspius.


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