Striped Bronzeback Snake

Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (Striped Bronzeback Snake)

Length: Up to about 1.5 meters. The males are a bit more red on top, and slightly thinner.

Range: The Striped Bronzeback is found in southern Thailand through the Malaysian Peninsula, and to Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Philippines. The snake shown here was caught in Tub Kaak, Krabi Province in southern Thailand.

Habitat: Forests and lowlands up to about 1,500 meters. They are found on trees primarily, and often on the ground too in search of prey.

Striped bronzeback snake from Southern Thailand - Dendrelaphis caudolineatus
Juvenile Dendrelaphis caudolineatus – Not Venomous – Not Dangerous

Active Time? Diurnal – daylight.

Food: Frogs, lizards, some say small birds in the nest.

Defensive Behavior: A quick bite – coiled beforehand, or not. I was bitten when I grabbed his tail when I first saw him. I expected it. He caused a little blood on the top of my pointer finger by the big knuckle. There are a couple of small bumps there now. I experienced no serious symptoms.

Venom Toxicity: No venom. No danger.

Offspring: Same in body shape and pattern/coloration as adults.

Notes: Striped bronzeback snakes are somewhat larger than the other bronzebacks, and can get up to about 1.5 meters. The one in the photo and video below was caught at about 300 meters elevation (900+ feet) on a fallen tree. I stepped over the tree and the snake fell to the ground and attempted to hide under another rotting tree stump.

I had to decide in about 1 second whether the snake was venomous and whether I could step lightly on his tail to stop him from disappearing. I saw the tell-tale head shape and stripe down the side and knew it was a bronzeback, but there are about 6 species of bronzeback in Thailand. I hadn’t caught one of these until today.

These snakes are diurnal – active during daylight hours and are excellent climbers, as all bronzebacks are. They are twitchy snakes, and this one bit me when I first grabbed him. I had to pull him off my index finger slowly to prevent injuring him. He bit down hard for his tiny size (about 10 inches). These snakes love frogs and other small animals – geckos included.

This species of bronzeback has a black stripe on a light background running from it’s neck to it’s tail. The belly is white or yellowish. This snake does not have the stripe across the eye like some of the other bronzebacks. The top of the head is brown – bronze color as is the top of this snake’s back.

The eye is large, like a rat snake, and the head is long almost like a whip snake, but wider in comparison to the body. Unlike other bronzebacks, the vertebral scales are not enlarged but are narrow in shape. Its lower cheeks and lips are pale yellow with small black marks or stripes running vertically near the snout.

Striped bronzeback handheld.
The striped bronzeback can be hand-held after a while.

Striped Bronzeback Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Dendrelaphis
Species: D. caudolineatus

Dendrelaphis caudolineatus
(Discovered by Gray in the year 1834)

Striped Bronzeback Snake Video:

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  1. I found a small (15cm) specimen in a young pawpaw tree in our garden today. Appeared very relaxed, not scared, altho its little red tongue was busy, constantly flicking. I was able to caress/stroke its underside, first 5cm back to its underjaw, with my pointing finger without it offering any threat behaviour. While looking for a container/bag to put it in it disappeared. I’m going to have to carry a camera – and a decent bag – in the garden in future. I keep several scorpions but some local snakes would add interest to the display. There seems to be plenty of new-born frogs around the place at present (towards end of wet season), snakes won’t be far behind.

  2. ..Striped Bronzeback Tree Snakes doesn’t want to be held in the tail, they hate even the slightest pressure. They prefer to be picked up in the mid portion of the body. Sometimes they still insist so better use a snake hook or a stick when picking them up before holding them by your hand. Most captives from the wild will continue resisting so if you really want to hold them better pin their head on the ground with enough pressure by using a snake hook or a stick then by your hand pick them up gently by the neck (right after the head) supporting the back of the head by your pointer finger, then pick the mid portion of the body by your other hand. Thanks sir & peace to all. ..let’s love nature

  3. Any one identify this shredding belongs which snake,I will send images.

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