The Philippines is among the countries with rich biodiversity. Its forests are home to hundreds of different species of snakes from the smallest to the biggest python.
The following is the list of the 13 most venomous snakes in the Philippines recorded by biologists and scientists.
1. King Cobra
The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is a species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae, endemic to forests from India through Southeast Asia. This serpent is the world’s longest venomous snake.
The king cobra is distributed across the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the southern areas of East Asia (where it is not common), in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and southern China.
2. Samar Cobra
The Samar cobra (Naja samarensis) also called Peters’ cobra, southern Philippine cobra or Visayan cobra, is a highly venomous species of spitting cobra native to the Visayas and Mindanao Island groups of the Philippines.
3. Northern Philippine Cobra
The Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) also called northern Philippine cobra, is a stocky, highly venomous species of spitting cobra native to the northern regions of the Philippines. The Philippine cobra is called ulupong in Tagalog, carasaen in Ilocano and agawason in Cebuano-Bisaya.
4. Batanes Pit Viper
Trimeresurus flavomaculatus mcgregori is a venomous pit viper subspecies endemic to the Philippines. Found in the Philippines on the Batanes Islands. The type locality given is “Batan Island, Batanes Group, (lying between Luzon and Formosa)” (Philippine Islands).
5. Philippine Pit Viper
Trimeresurus flavomaculatus (Philippine pit viper) is a venomous pit viper species endemic to the Philippines. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominated subspecies.
Found on the Philippine islands of Agutayan, Batan, Camiguin, Catanduanes, Dinagat, Jolo, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, and Polillo. The type locality given is “Philippine Islands”. Leviton (1964) proposed that this is restricted to “Luzon Island”.
6. Waglers Pit Viper, Temple Viper, Temple Pit Viper
Tropidolaemus wagleri is a venomous pitviper species native to South-East Asia. No subspecies are currently recognized. It is sometimes referred to as the temple viper because of its abundance around the Temple of the Azure Cloud in Malaysia.
Also found in Southern Philippines, the Philippine pit viper is nocturnal and arboreal. They appear quite sluggish as they remain motionless for long periods of time waiting for prey to pass by. When prey does pass by, or if disturbed, they can strike quickly.
7. Equatorial Spitting Cobra
Equatorial spitting cobra (Naja sumatrana) also called the black spitting cobra, Malayan spitting cobra, golden spitting cobra, or Sumatran spitting cobra, is a species of spitting cobra found in Southeast Asia.
8. Philippine Freshwater Sea Snake/Garman’s Sea Snake
Hydrophis semperi, commonly known as Garman’s sea snake, the Lake Taal snake, or the Philippine freshwater sea snake, is a rare species of venomous sea snake found only in a single lake on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is noted for being one of two known species of sea snakes (and the only one in its family) that is known to be found almost exclusively in freshwater.
9. Stokes’ Seasnake
Astrotia stokesii, commonly known as Stokes’ sea snake, is a large species of sea snake in the family Elapidae. It is the only species in the genus Astrotia. The species is endemic to tropical Indo-Pacific oceanic waters. The snake is usually cited in a large part of the West Philippine Sea including nearby Philippine Islands like Palawan.
10. Yellow Belly Sea Snake, Pelagic Sea Snake
Hydrophis platurus, commonly known as the yellow-bellied sea snake, yellowbelly sea snake or pelagic sea snake, is a species of snake from the subfamily Hydrophiinae (the sea snakes) found in tropical oceanic waters around the world, excluding the Atlantic Ocean. It was the only member of the genus Pelamis but recent molecular evidence suggests that it is more closely related to the species of the genus Hydrophis.
11. Banded Malaysian Coral Snake, Striped Coral Snake
Calliophis intestinalis, commonly known as the banded Malaysian coral snake, is a species of venomous elapid snake endemic to Southeast Asia.
This small species possesses potent venom, and human fatalities from its bite have been recorded.
12. Colubrine or yellow-lipped sea krait
Laticauda colubrina, commonly known as the banded sea krait, colubrine sea krait, or yellow-lipped sea krait, is a species of venomous sea snake found in tropical Indo-Pacific oceanic waters. The snake has distinctive black stripes and a yellow snout, with a paddle-like tail for use in swimming.
13. Leyte Cat Snake
Boiga angulata, commonly known as the Leyte cat snake, is a species of snake of the family Colubridae. The highly venomous snake is commonly found on Eastern Visayas in the Islands of Leyte and Samar.
Do you know other venomous snakes that are not included in the above list? Please leave a comment below.