When planning to have an extreme adventure or vacation, the Philippines is considered one of the world’s tourist destinations. The fact that it has more than seven thousand islands makes it rich in wildlife. Other than different species of animals, the Philippines also has different varieties of snakes, which are dangerous.
The Top 10 dangerous snakes in the Philippines are The Schultze Pit Viper, The Pelagic Sea Snake, Wagler’s Pit Viper, King Cobra, Palawan Long-Glanded Coral Snake, Philippine Cobra, The Samar Spitting Cobra, Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait, Equatorial Spitting Cobra, and the Lake Taal Snake.
When visiting the Philippines, you will be enchanted with the rich forest life and underwater life in many islands in the country. However, some of the fascinated species of dangerous snakes are below and inside them.
So if you are on a mountain adventure and would likely go mountain trekking, make sure that you’re following the designated footpaths.
The Schultze Pit Viper
This snake has green dazzled skin. Though this may be beautiful, beware of its venom. The Schultze Pit Viper is endemic to the Philippines. Most of these types of snakes are found in the islands of Palawan, Balabac, and Culion.
The Schultze Pit Viper tends to stay in a forested area and likes to perch on green trees to camouflage itself. These snakes are known as a target of international pet traders due to their glowing green skin, striking scales, golden eyes, and red-tipped tails. Most of those who are interested are primarily in European markets.
This snake has the same characteristics as vipers since they live young instead of laying eggs. Their foods are primarily rodents, frogs, small mammals, and birds. This snake is venomous, and its venom is hemotoxic, which will destroy your blood cells.
Encountering this venomous snake might sound alarming, but these snakes are unlikely to hunt near human habitats and mostly live in forested areas.
The Pelagic Sea Snake
Here is another type of venomous snake that is considered to be the king of sea snakes. Another term for these snakes are Pelamis Platura or Yellowbelly Sea which is a vicious variety of snakes known to come from the subfamily of Hydrophiinae, which can be found in the tropical oceanic water.
This type of snake mostly spends its time in the water.
As its name suggests, these snakes’ color is a combination of primarily yellow and brown-black. It is easily distinguished in the water due to its color. The Pelagic Sea Snake hunts, sleeps and reproduces in the bodies of water. Since it is adaptive to its life in the water, it has a reduced ventral scale, paddle-like tail, valved nostrils, and a laterally compressed body.
The Pelagic Sea Snake has a unique salt filter gland under its jaw, which was formerly believed to filter out the salt in the water. Recently it shows that these snakes primarily drink freshwater only. These snakes secrete a venom called neurotoxic for fish, but low doses are not fatal to humans.
Wagler’s Pit Viper
Wagler’s Pit Vipers are the common species of vipers that can be seen in Southeast Asia. These species of vipers are mostly seen in lowland forests and mangrove regions. The most common identification of this snake was its triangular head shape.
THough Wrangler’s Pit Viper may be venomous; it is not considered aggressive, especially to humans. Most of these snakes may be seen in the ground if it is looking for food.
However, though they may prefer to stay in lowlands, they can also stay in tall trees, which can be many feet above the ground. They will stay on top of the trees to rest while they digest their food. They will come down to the ground once they are looking for another food.
The most common food on their diet are rodents, frogs, and some birds. These snakes have heat detectors on both sides of their heads, used at night to detect prey. Male and female Wrangler’s Pit Viper can be easily identified due to its physical features.
Male vipers are slender, while lime underbelly has red and cream spots and has a reddish-brown colored tail. On the other hand, the female has a thicker abdomen; it has a darker color on the top of the body with a yellow and white band underneath.
King cobra is a carnivorous snake that has a lifespan of around 20 years. King cobra is considered to be amongst the venomous snakes around the world. These snakes are considered to be notorious since they have a very steady attack. When King Cobra attacks, it can lift a third of its body from the ground while maintaining excellent balance and momentum.
Though King Cobra might be venomous, it typically stays away in humans. When it can feel an alarm, it will hiss a warning. King cobra is one of the longest venomous snakes. The venom of one bite is enough to kill 20 people or an adult elephant.
King Cobra typically eats other snakes, eggs, small mammals, and lizards for food. These snakes are commonly seen in rainforests, mangroves, bamboo thickets, rivers, and mountain grasslands. One of the interesting facts about King Cobra is that it is the only snake that will build a nest for its egg
Palawan Long-Glanded Coral Snake
Palawan Long-Glanded Coral Snake may offer one of the unique venoms in the world wherein one bite will result in an immediate shock in the nervous system, which will cause an overload in the nervous system and spasms.
This type of snake will typically hunt other venomous snakes, which may include young King Cobras.
When hunting other snakes, the venom of the Palawan Long-Glanded Coral Snake will work quickly, but it will not kill the victim right away. Instead, it will strike at the nerves and activate them, which may result in paralysis. One of the interesting facts about the Palawan Long-Glanded Coral Snake is that the toxin that it excretes is used to improve pain treatments for humans.
The Philippine Cobra is also called the Northern Philippine Cobra. This snake is one of the world’s deadliest Cobra and is considered third in rank of the most dangerous snakes on the planet.
The Philippine Cobra can spit 3 meters of its venom with precise accuracy, making it the most feared in the country. This deadly snake is native to the areas of Luzon, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Mindoro. These snakes usually stay near lakes, rivers, and other freshwater areas.
The Philippine Cobra commonly eats lizards, smaller snakes, mice, rats, and frogs. This cobra’s bite will result in minimal tissue damage with alteration of the regular activity of the nervous system; this will lead to respiratory paralysis and necrolysis.
The Samar Spitting Cobra
The scientific name for Samar Spitting Cobra is Naja Samarensis but also called “Peters’ Cobra,” “Southern Philippine Cobra,” or “Visayan Cobra.” The color of this cobra is a combination of yellow and black. These cobras are fond of eating rodents, small reptiles, and frogs. The thing that is to be aware of this cobra is that it merely hunts near human habitats.
The Samar Spitting Cobra has a nervous personality that makes it prone to striking and spitting when alarmed. When this cobra can sense an alarm, it will typically spit venom that may reach two meters or six feet. Though the venom may give no harm to the skin, these cobras usually spit on the face. The venom spitted on the face may cause blindness when not washed or treated right away
Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait
Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait is one of the highly venomous snakes. It is described to have a blackhead, yellow upper lip, snout, and cheeks. The body of this snake has a light grey color with black bands and a yellowish underbelly. Since it typically stays in the water, it has a paddle-like tail making it adaptive in swimming.
Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait typically has the same venom as other sea snakes. It releases a venom called neurotoxic.
Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait can also be found in the land; however, it is less likely to be aggressive to humans unless felt threatened. This snake is a delicacy in the Philippines which is smoked and exported to Japan.
Equatorial Spitting Cobra
One of the highly venomous snakes in the Philippines is the Equatorial Spitting Cobra. The other term for this cobra is Sumatran Cobra. These cobras can be found in lowlands, even in residential places with a lot of greenery.
These cobras are not aggressive; however, they will spit their venom if they can threaten the environment. When it spits venom into your face, it may cause blindness if not washed away immediately.
The bite of this cobra is fatal. If threatened, it will rise a third of itself from the ground and give warning hiss. It could even spit its venom and attack. This cobra is native to the region of southern Philippines. Its typical food is rats, mice, and amphibians.
Lake Taal Snake
One of the rarest sea snakes that can be seen in Taal Lake is Lake Taal Snake. It is one of the two sea snakes that live in freshwaters.
The color of this snake may be similar to other species of snakes, which are dark-skinned with yellow bands. However, the Lake Taal Snake is much shorter than most sea snake species.
Most of Lake Taal Snake’s life is spent in the acidic waters in the craters of Mount Taal. They typically eat small fishes. There is no available estimate of their numbers due to their dwindling numbers due to pollution and human interaction.
The Philippines are rich in wildlife, and most of the forests are inhabited by dangerous snakes. Though most of them are dangerous, they typically live away from human habitats.
Some may live in the rainforest, ground lakes, or seawater and may have distinct defense mechanisms like spitting its venom or biting.
Moreover, if you are a tourist and wish to do mountain climbing in some remote forest, make sure to follow the guidelines and follow the designated footpaths to keep away from the danger of encountering dangerous snakes.