Golden tree snake, Chrysopelea ornata

The Golden Tree Snake, scientifically known as Chrysopelea ornata, is a species of snake belonging to the family Colubridae. It is also commonly referred to as the Ornate Flying Snake or Golden Flying Snake due to its unique ability to glide through the air. Here are some key features and characteristics of the Golden Tree Snake:

  1. Appearance: Golden Tree Snakes are slender-bodied snakes with a distinctive golden or yellowish coloration, often adorned with black or dark brown markings along their dorsal surface. They have large eyes with round pupils and a flattened head. As adults, they can reach lengths of up to 1.2 meters (about 4 feet).
  2. Distribution: These snakes are native to Southeast Asia, including countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including rainforests, mangroves, and wooded areas near water bodies.
  3. Gliding Ability: One of the most remarkable features of the Golden Tree Snake is its ability to glide through the air. When threatened or seeking prey, these snakes climb to the top of trees and launch themselves into the air, flattening their bodies and using a combination of lateral undulation and contorting their bodies to create lift and control their direction. They can glide for considerable distances, sometimes spanning over 100 meters (330 feet) between trees.
  4. Diet: Golden Tree Snakes are carnivorous and primarily feed on a diet of small vertebrates, including lizards, frogs, birds, and small mammals. They are adept climbers and hunters, using their agility and stealth to capture prey both on the ground and in trees.
  5. Behavior: These snakes are primarily arboreal, spending much of their time in trees where they hunt, rest, and seek shelter. They are generally shy and non-aggressive towards humans but may become defensive if threatened.
  6. Reproduction: Golden Tree Snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. After mating, females lay a clutch of eggs in a suitable nest site, such as a hollow tree trunk or leaf litter. The eggs hatch after an incubation period, and the young snakes are independent from birth.
  7. Conservation Status: The Golden Tree Snake is not considered threatened or endangered, as it is relatively adaptable and can tolerate a range of habitats. However, habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and urbanization could pose threats to local populations.

Overall, the Golden Tree Snake is a fascinating and visually striking species known for its remarkable gliding ability, making it a subject of interest for researchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Subscribe to the newsletter: