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Flying snake

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Flying snake
Scientific Classification

The Flying Snake is in the genus Chrysopelea and has only five species according to Mertens' 1968 classification. [1] People call it the flying snake because the snake can glide through the air up to 100 meters. [2] Their habitats are mostly in South Asia, India, and Melanesian islands. [3]


Most of adult flying snakes are 1 to 1.2 meters long (3 to 4 feet) but the smallest species' adult size is only 60 to 70 cm (2 feet). There are 5 distinct species of flying snakes ; Chrysopelea ornata, Chrysopelea paradisi, Chrysopelea pelias, Chrysopelea rhodopleuron, Chrysopelea taprobanica. [4] The species Chrysopelea ornata, Chrysopelea paradisi, and Chrysopelea pelias are the most well-known flying snakes.[5]

Chrysopelea ornata

The common name of Chrysopelea ornatais is the Golden Tree Snake or the Ornate Flying Snake. It is the largest flying snake species. The adult snakes are about 4 feet long. Because the size of snake is bigger compared to other flying snakes, it has weaker ability to glide.[6] They have many different body color which are green or greenish-yellow and other colors. [7]

Paradise Tree Snake

Paradise Tree Snake, Chrysopelea paradisi, is another well known snake. This snake grows up to be 3 feet. [8] This species is a very unique one. [9] So it is popular as a pet in Europe. Most of their body color is with black background and green, yellow, and orange flower shape scales on the back. [10]

Chrysopelea pelias

The Twin-Barred Tree Snake or Banded Flying Snake, Chrysopelea pelias. This snake is the smallest snake of flying snakes. The adult size of the snake is only 2 feet long. Because it is the smallest, it is also rarest one and can fly a further distance among all snakes. The color is very beautiful. The body is base on black and cover with a thick red and a thin yellow line.[11]


They don't have wings for flying[12] but they have a long thin body. People think that actually snakes fly but it is a misunderstanding from the name. [13] They must jump from the highest point of a tree to another tree because they can fly but glide through the air. They use similar performance like a flying squirrel. [14] They flatten their body up to two times their width from the head to the anus, [15] and make their body a U shaped half cylinder along their body length to make the body like a parachute which increases air resistance, prolong the flight time and land safely. During flight, they wave like when they are swimming and hold up their tail rigidly which uses as a rudder like ship to control balance. They can fly up to 100 meter and accidentally some snakes crash on land.[16] Snakes fly to escape from their predator, to catch a prey, to shorten long distance and to lose less energy to move. [17]


There is few imformation about their reproduction. Like most other reptiles, flying snakes are oviparous (animals which lay eggs). They lay about 6 to 11 eggs with young ranging in size from 15 to 20 centimeter. They have the same body color pattern as an adult but has brighter color. [18]


Flying snakes are mildly venomous. They have small fangs that only affects its small prey. The poison is harmless to human. But it might be more dangerous to snake because their teeth can be pulled out when it bites us and it causes disease and infection.[19]

Godlen Tree Snake feed on small prey such as lizzard, mice, and other snakes. Most of Golden Tree Snake is found in the Phang-nga and Southern area of Thailand.[20]

Paradise Tree Snake is a very good climber and also has one of the best ability to glide through the air among the other flying snakes. Most of the day, it lives on the tree and active during the day time. Singapore is the common place to find it but also is found in parts of the Philippines and parts of Burma and Southern Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia.[21]

The habitat of Twin-Barred Tree Snake or Banded Flying Snake is from southern Thailand to Malaysia, Singapore, Java, Riau, Sumatra, and Borneo. [22]


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See Also