VENOM: Mild - no known danger
ACTIVE PERIOD: Active during the day
KEY ID FEATURES: Wide range of coloration from grey and lavender to red and brown, large head and eyes with distinct black ring on the neck
BEHAVIOR: Terrestrial and active during the day, will flatten is neck to display a cobra-like hood when defensive
SIZE: Medium - +/-1m
OTHER: Rear fanged and technically venomous but not known to be dangerous to humans
QUICK ASSESSMENT 0-10
IMPORTANT: Many snakes have significant variance in coloration and pattern even within the same species. There can also be extreme differences in appearance from juveniles to adults so it is important to never assume you have properly identified a snake.
Wide range of coloration including grey body with black/brown bands and dorsal stripes from the second third through the tail, sometimes reddish orange in color but can also be yellow or almost green. Head shows black stripe from back of the upper jaw wraping around the head and over the eyes. Black circle from top of the head looping around the top of the neck, shows as a large circle when hood is displayed. Large eyes with round pupils. Head and neck can flatten extensively when defensive appearing similar to cobras. As a technically rear fanged snake they are mildly venomous but there are no known cases of serious envenomation or reactions in humans. Also, the ‘rear fanged’ label can be somewhat misleading as the fangs are located more towards the first third of the mouth.
The Bamboo False Cobra is a daytime active, terrestrial snake and as such can often be found in leaf litter, though they are known to spend time in moist rocky locations and in vegetation especially over watered areas where they have been observed to eat small frogs. They also commonly display initial aggressive behavior by displaying their hood and rising up like a cobra. They will strike mostly with false bites and occasionally real hits, but being rear fanged renders any genuine bite relatively harmless.
Due to their tendency to hide in leaf litter and moist ground under large objects they are generally found in inland wetlands, or close to some permanent water source.
NO SNAKE SHOULD EVER BE HANDLED BY ANYONE BUT EXPERTS: Of the untrained observer the Bamboo False Cobra can be easily mistaken for a cobra when hooded. When not hooded its is generally unique in appearance and not normally mistaken for other species but is varying coloration within species and common size could make it easy to confuse for anyone but experts.