Just moved here, want to look for snakes and bugs but unsure where to start

Hello, I’ve been a long time reader on the old boards, part of the reason my move over here went so smoothly I think.

I am over here studying for four years and utterly love nature. As a kid in the UK I’d spend my childhood looking for insects and snakes to photograph and record and wanted to do the same here.

The problem is that everyone I ask thinks I am crazy. I guess they live with this stuff all the time and so the novelty wears off but hell I have no idea how or where to start looking for snakes and bugs and am no closer to finding out.

I read some old posts that some of you guys go out at night looking. If that still happens I would love to tag along, I live near Chiayi but would happily travel anywhere.

I guess there are more common foreigner problems that people have, but this is mine! So far I found a dead scarab beetle and the decomposing husk of a rhino beetle, David Attenborough I am not!

Any help or contacts are appreciated.


close encounters with snakes, especially in summer, are not ideal (prety dsngerous).

for spiders and bugs, there are tropical forests everywhere, you can find all sorts of stuff

Longtan Lake - 龍潭大池 - Yilan county - 宜蘭縣 by Thomas "Bis" Passarini, on Flickr

Longtan Lake - 龍潭大池 - Yilan county - 宜蘭縣 by Thomas "Bis" Passarini, on Flickr

Winter critters by Thomas "Bis" Passarini, on Flickr

Untitled by Thomas "Bis" Passarini, on Flickr

Thanks for the reply, those are some beautiful shots. I appreciate the concern regarding snakes and will bear it in mind, as with all things I want to keep well away and just observe. There aren’t really any areas around where I live that have trees and I’m not sure where to travel to right now as I don’t want to trespass or break any laws .

@onionsack likes to go herping and he’s a nice guy, you could contact him (he’s in Taoyuan). I believe @mad_masala is also into snakes. And as mentioned above, find any old hiking trail and you’re sure to find insects. Especially in the spring and fall you’ll see those giant orb-weaver spiders (nephila clavata) even along the busier urban trails.

Do you have a scooter or bike to get around?



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why go anywhere else? Chiayi is an incredible spot to look for snakes and bugs. Just look up hiking locations or agriculture roads (產業道路), go there during a work day or at night, you should be able to spot plenty of them.

While you are at it, why not also look for macaques? If you are looking for novelty, there are no primates in Europe right?

If you ever make it to Hsintien, you could try behind @Icon’s fridge.

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Thanks for the info, I’ll send them a message. I don’t have transport for another week or two but should have my own car soon!

I think there is a small population of macaques on Gibraltar. If I remember correctly, Paul Theroux initially had a moment of trouble in distinguishing between them and the tourists.

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That’s great info. Thanks. My problem so far has been discerning a nature trail from someone’s fields or private property. In the UK it’s usually clear where to go, I probably need to adjust my mindset and plan some hikes.

Thanks again, never seen a macaque but yes I’d love to see anything like that.

Behind? Inside…

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Kid just got here, I was trying to break him in gently…

Getting scared here. Although I’d rather find a snake behind my fridge than a centipede. Ten years of expeditionary caving and those things still make me shudder.

Welcome to The Island!

I’d recommend you to join one of the many hiking groups. usually they gather around temples or train stations early in the morning.

Living close to te mountains means many critters will find you, not the other way around. Please do take care because insect bites here are really nasty. Stay particularly away from rover beetles!

Normal precautions are guaranted, like long sleeves, boots and lots of sunblock. Please also hidrate well in your walks.

And don’t forget to share the pictures of your finds.

Caveat emptor: I come from a place where roaches are the size of your hands, scorpions the size of shoes… I am not amazed nor amused when a cat sized spider takes residence in my balcony.

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Try to stay out of cheap sex hotels

Also do not click on links labeled cheap sex hotels given by cybernetically enhanced mammals.

I feel like I’m learning way more than I bargained for from this thread. :smiley:

I read about Rove beetles, scary stuff. So far I’ve just been bitten to high hell by mosquito’s and that’s as much as I am willing to accept.
My father in law told me that years ago he thought it was a mosquito and squashed one of those beetles on his arm and it turned really bad.

I will definitely start looking for hiking groups and will of course share any good critter sightings.


I’ve been braving the mosquitos for quite some time now and have found that Mopidick’s is the best for relief. You can find them at Waston’s.


Just don’t think too much about the name…