How to Identify Venomous Snakes

Upon noticing a snake slithering stealthily into the lawn with its forked tongue flicking in and out, many people hurriedly bar their windows and doors, keeping a strained eye on the whereabouts of the particular snake.  Others who are bolder might immediately rush into their kitchen and storm out with a honed cleaver in hand, aspiring to behead the snake by the end of the day.

Although snakebites are pretty common inMalaysia, it is extremely important to recognize which snakes are venomous or non venomous so we do not necessarily panic, thinking that we might be paralyzed in an hour or so.  The thing is, 17 out of 105 species of land snakes are venomous so we do not have to wring our hair out when we chance upon a snake.

  1. Always study the head shape of the snake you have encountered.  If the head is triangular, it is most likely a venomous snake.  The head of a non-venomous snake looks pretty much the same like the rest of its body.  In short, if the head bulges out, it’s probably venomous.


2.  If you are close enough to see its eyes, most venomous snakes possess vertical eye slits while most non-venomous snakes have round pupils.  However, a small number of venomous snakes have round pupils, so just be wary if you see a snake.

 Here are a few species of venomous snakes that you can look out for :

King Cobra

They are olive green or brown and have an extremely special quality whereby their ribs can spread.  It is also known as the hood.


King Cobras are dangerous because of the amount of venom they inject into their victims which is quite substantial in a single bite.  The venom is based on neurotoxins.












Malayan Cobra

This cobra is found commonly in Peninsular Malaysia.  They usually have white marks on their throat and are bluish black, light brown or yellow.  These nasty snakes are capable of spitting venom from their fangs so beware!








Malayan Pit Viper

Also known as Ular Kapak Bodor or dumb pit viper, this snake obtained its name by remaining at the same exact spot where it bit its victim.  Thus, it is usually killed as revenge by the victim with ease.  They usually have a rusty color or are yellowish brown.














Banded Krait

They have alternate black and yellow crossbands and possess neurotoxic venom which causes muscle paralysis.  It is a passive snake if not provoked, so simply ignore if you encounter it.

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