Golden tree snake

An accomplished climber with the ability to glide!

Shagil Kannur

Despite its common name, it typically exhibits a bright green coloration with black cross-hatching and yellow or gold accents, creating a dazzling and distinctive appearance. This snake is a member of the genus Chrysopelea, which is renowned for its ability to “glide” or “fly,” thanks to a remarkable locomotion technique that allows it to leap from tree to tree—a behavior that has led to the moniker “flying snake.”

Widely distributed across Eastern and Western Asia, including countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, golden tree snakes are arboreal, spending much of their time in trees. They possess a highly specialized set of ribs that can flatten out their body, increasing their surface area and enabling them to glide through the air when leaping from tree to tree.

Although they can bite when threatened, the golden tree snake’s venom is not dangerous to humans, causing only mild symptoms at most. They use this venom primarily to subdue their prey, which consists largely of lizards, particularly geckos, as well as small mammals, birds, and frogs. Their agile movements and speed both in trees and on the ground make them efficient hunters.

The golden tree snake is diurnal, meaning it is most active during the day. It can often be seen basking in the sunlight to regulate its body temperature and is known for its impressive climbing ability, utilizing the rough surfaces of tree bark to ascend to the canopy.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
2010
Bhutan
2010
Cambodia
2010
China
2010
India
2010
Laos
2010
Malaysia
2010
Peninsular Malaysia
Myanmar
2010
Nepal
2010
Sri Lanka
2010
Thailand
2010
Vietnam
2010

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No