Has anyone seen any of these nasty little beasties in Taiwan?

Has anyone seen any of these nasty little beasties in Taiwan?

Good article at - - on snakes in Taiwan and what to do to minimise risks.

yep… whilst swimming at a waterfall in Nantou, about an hour away from Puli I had taken off my shoes and was heading down to the water, walking/jumping across the boulders, I had just jumped down to the rock below me when I saw a Green Bamboo snake (last one on that list) lying on the rock right next to my foot… :shock: … needless to say I freakin panicked and fell on my ass trying to get away from it… it reared up for a while, but all in all it seemed less impressed by my presence and continued to lie there and watch me swim…

still close call… :shock: …

Seen a cobra once, lots of umbrella snakes (banded krait) in the veggie patch behind my old house, lots of bamboo vipers, and lots of others not on that list, including a beautiful little coral snake that I stupidly caught one time just outside Timogan’s house, not realizing that its venomous.

Even more interesting would be to find out if anyone has been biten.

What about the “blue-veined, one-eyed, spitting trouser snake”?

Seen one a few days ago hiking, climbing around a rock when i heard a “whip-shoosh” and saw a flash of solid brown-green on a rock, too big to be a lizard.

cool link above, thanks awol

Blue-veined, one-eyed, spitting trouser snakes go “whip-shoosh”? Damn. Mine doesn’t make any noise at all. :?

Last year I went swimming with some friends in a river at WuLai. The place was quite popular, with many people and even a few dogs in the area. At around dusk, we started to pack up and as we were leaving, I noticed a large brown, diamond-headed snake swimming across the river in our general direction. It was well over as metre long, and swimming quite fast. We were quite happy to leave when we did, as I’m not sure of what would have happened if we’d been in the water at the time.

Correct me if I am wrong here… but the way to tell a dangerous snake and a harmless snake in Taiwan is by the shape of their head usually

Dangerous - Triangle head or diamond head
Harmless - round or eliptical head

Wow, they look great.

Looks like I have to get out more :blush:

Not that I’m keen on having one swimming in the river with me. But to see them from a safe distance, what a great experience!!!


True, most vipers have diamond or triangular-shaped heads. However, following that logic might get you into serious trouble with any of cobra family which all have elongated heads when their hoods aren’t spread. Coral snakes, very toxic members of the same family, also have small rounded heads.

There is some interesting history and mythology surrounding deinagkistrodon acutus, a threatened species that is also known as the hundred-pacer (how far you can walk after being bitten before dropping dead, apparently).

I noticed that the page mentioned indigenous species but didn’t mention any non-native species. I’ve often read (I think Lonely Planet mentions this) that the Japanese released hundreds of non-native snakes from a toxic animal research lab at the end of WWII. Sounds like a fascinating tale but I have only heard the bare outline of this story. Has anyone else heard this?

Sorry to get off-topic. But is there a (English/Chinese/German) web site on plants in Taiwan (indigenous, non-indigenous)? I’ve found loads of websites on birds in Taiwan for my ornithologist aunt. But while she gets absolutely excited about anything that has wings and sings, I usually don’t miss many a lower on the ground.

Never came across a bookmarking-worth website, though.


Kamakazi tree snakes?
Samurai sliders?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Snakes?

Taiwanese students are taught at school that triangular-shaped heads indicate a venomous species. This is a pretty rough rule of thumb. The highly venomous but non-aggressive banded krait is a classic exception to the rule.

Regarding the Japs releasing exotic species of snakes into the wild. Garbage! No exotic species has ever been recorded as establishing itself in the wild. A much greater threat comes from the illegal pet trade: owners getting tired of their pets and releasing them into the wild. You may have seen a recent story about a young women who was bitten by King cobra (which is a non-native species).

Thanks for clearing that up, almas john. I found the story in Culture Shock! Tawain. Even that book can’t say for sure whether it’s true or not.

I’ve asked local friends about this and they usually nod their heads and say “sure, it’s true”, but who knows how much the average man on the street knows about local fauna other than which tastes like chicken or is reputed to keep you “up” all night when mixed the right ingredients. :unamused:

Now this sounds like a better topic for a thread

Any personal recommendations from the Boss Hogg pantry or medicine chest?