Reptiles and Amphibians of Thailand

Thailand's Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, and Frogs

Banded Bronzeback

Dendrelaphis striatus

This snake is found in Thailand but not in Bangkok
Banded Cohn's Bronzeback Striated Bronzeback Tree Snake Dendrelaphis striatus malaysia
Banded Bronzeback in peninsular Malaysia (© Orion Herp Adventure)

English name: Banded Bronzeback (aka: “Cohn’s Bronzeback”, “Striated Bronzeback Tree Snake”)
Scientific name: Dendrelaphis striatus
Thai name: งูสายม่านลายเฉียง (Ngu Sai Man Lai Chiang)

Description: To 102cm long. A slender brown snake with black eyestripe that becomes black bands on the neck, typically thinner and indistinct at first and then thicker and more distinct further down on the body. A yellowish tint to the neck and blue tint to the body becomes much more obvious when the snake is agitated, revealing the colored skin between the scales. Belly is pale yellow to cream, sometimes becoming more yellow under the head.

Relevant scale counts: 15 rows of midbody scales with enlarged vertebral scales. 149-167 ventrals and 120-145 subcaudals.

Similar Species: Sawtooth-necked Bronzeback is larger, has a more distinct “sawtooth” transition to the black bands, and has 197–204 ventrals and 148–152 subcaudals.
Blue Bronzeback lacks the black barring and yellow coloration on the neck.
Painted Bronzeback lacks the black barring and yellow coloration on the neck and has a distinct dorsolateral stripe.

Range: Southern Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Habitat: Lowland forest, both on the ground and in trees.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Feeds on frogs and lizards. Would be eaten by birds of prey and larger snakes.

Danger to humans: This species is not dangerous to humans.

Conservation status and threats: The conservation status of this species has not been studied.

Interesting facts: There are 11 species of Bronzeback known from Thailand, 8 of which (the Painted, Striped, Blue, Elegant, Haas’s, Kopstein’s, Sawtooth-necked, and Banded Bronzebacks) can be found in the small region south of the Isthmus of Kra. How can so many similar snakes occupy the same range? If they had the same habitat and diet they would compete with each other and it is likely that one species or the other would die out. Thus it is necessary that each species occupy a slightly different area, different habitat or microhabitat, or different diet. Some species only occupy part of the region but not others, some species may be found at higher elevations and some lower, some in more open forest and some denser, some in the trees and others more on the ground, some may focus on eating frogs while others focus on eating lizards. We still know relatively little of the habits of many of these snakes, so often the specific differences that allow them to co-exist remain to be discovered.

References:
Ecology Asia: Cohn’s Bronzeback
Thai National Parks: Banded Bronzeback
A new species of Dendrelaphis from Thailand and Myanmar

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