Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Family: Colubridae (Colubrids)

Genus/species: Chrysopelea paradisi 


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS  Long slender black body is covered from head to tail with a yellow spotting pattern that may form a somewhat stripped pattern with red or orange splotches starting at the base of the head and extends down to the tail. The head of the snake is distinguished by the 5 yellow, or sometimes orange, bars that span its width. Length: to 3 feet. 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT  Southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Habitat: Arboreal. Lives in a fairly diverse habitat, ranging from tropical evergreen rainforests with relatively sparse undergrowth to deciduous forests with undergrowth of shrubs and grasses.

DIET IN THE WILD  Carnivorous and, like all snakes, swallows its food whole. Prefers lizard species but will eat frogs, bats, small birds and small rodents. They are mildly venomous with rear fangs and also can constrict its prey, which consists of mostly lizards and bats.

PREDATORS: Preyed upon by predatory birds and large mammals.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, with internal fertilization, the female lays clutches of 5 to 11 eggs. Offspring are brightly colored like adults.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Least Concern

The species is fairly common throughout its range.


REMARKS  The genus Chrysopelea usually posses the ability to “fly.” They slither out to the end of a branch, and dangle in a “J” shape. Using the lower half of their body they form into an S. They then stretch out their ribs, flattening their bodies to double the original width. The belly region of the snake becomes concave, a shape that acts as a parachute as the snake glides on air drafts from a higher branch to a lower one. They can undulate their bodies to change directions and can glide up to 300 feet.

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