VIDEO: The Vine Snake: Agumbe, India

From www.ironammonite.com

We discovered this juvenile vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) dangling from a branch whilst tracking King Cobras in Agumbe, India. As you can see they are incredibly well camouflaged and move much like a vine blowing on the wind. They use this incredible camouflage to hide and hunt, swaying back and forth, moving closer and closer to an unsuspecting frog or lizard.  They are mildly venomous, and I can understand why a lot of the locals fear them, but there's nothing to worry about from this little chap. Its fangs would barely penetrate my skin, and although their venom is potent enough to knock out a few frogs it wouldn't have much effect on me. When they do attack they often have to chew a bit just to get the venom in! I've seen many pictures of these snakes, often with the limp body of a giant lizard dangling from their mouths, and so I was pretty excited to finally see one in person.

Although relatively harmless it's still a good idea to handle them gently and carefully - like you would any animal. The key is to just let them slide through your hands as if on a branch, and never 'grasp'.  I've read that when stressed vine snakes will inflate their bodies, making themselves look larger and more aggressive, and revealing black and white markings which look like a chequers board. The most shocking part of their threat display however, is that they gasp and open their incredibly pink mouths. I'm pleased to say that I didn't see any of this - my experience passed with a mutual understanding of curiosity!

If you're unsure about a snake then the best thing to do is keep your distance and let them get on with doing their snakey things.


  1. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Neat Snake. Brilliant. EXCELLENT...... FAB. Luv yr stuff.

  2. SuzieQ6:12 AM

    Another great encounter. Keep up the good work Paul.
    - Suzie.

  3. Nice video. I love this species - ive seena few of these on my journeys through the forest. Your style is very natural - Really great when it raised its neck. Thanks for sharing. Dilesh.

  4. hah, its probably the same snake on my business card! not really, but we did catch one right outside our cabin when i was in agumbe last year.