First Record of the Annam Kukri Snake Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae) From Thailand


  • Justin L. Lee Department of Biology and Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova University; Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085-1699 USA; Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 20013 USA


Reptilia, Cardamom mountains, biodiversity, Southeast Asia, taxonomy


I report the first documentation of the rare Kukri Snake species Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 from Thailand based on a previously unidentified specimen collected in 1987 from the tropical rain forests of Chanthaburi Province, southeastern Thailand. This species was previously known from only four specimens collected at three localities in the Langbian Plateau of southern Vietnam and the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia. This new specimen extends the distribution of O. annamensis approximately 90.4 kilometers northwest from the nearest location in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Pursat Province, Cambodia.


Bauer, A.M. and Das, I. 1998. New species of Cnemaspis (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Southeastern Thailand. Copeia, 1998(2): 439-444.

Boulenger, G.A. 1918. Description of a new Snake of the genus Oligodon from Upper Burma. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1918: 9-11.

Bringsøe, H. and Holden, J. 2021. Yet another kukri snake piercing an anuran abdomen: Oligodon ocellatus (Morice, 1875) eats Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799) in Vietnam. Herpetozoa, 34: 57-59.

Bringsøe, H., Suthanthangjai, M., Suthanthangjai, W., Lodder, J. and Komanasin, N. 2021. Gruesome twosome kukri rippers: Oligodon formosanus (Günther, 1872) and O. fasciolatus (Günther, 1864) eat Kaloula pulchra Gray, 1831 either by eviscerating or swallowing whole. Herpetozoa, 34: 49-55.

Bringsøe, H., Suthanthangjai, M., Suthanthangjai, W. and Nimnuam, K. 2020. Eviscerated alive: Novel and macabre feeding strategy in Oligodon fasciolatus (Günther, 1864) eating organs of Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799) in Thailand. Herpetozoa, 33: 157-163.

Chan-ard, T., Grossmann, W., Gumprecht, A. and Schulz, K.D. 1999. Amphibians and Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand: An illustrated checklist. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Germany, 240 pp.

Coleman, K., Rothfuss, L.A., Ota, H. and Kardong, K.V. 1993. Kinematics of egg-eating by the specialized Taiwan snake Oligodon formosanus (Colubridae). Journal of Herpetology, 27(3): 320-327.

Daltry, J.C. and Wüster, W. 2002. A new species of wolf snake (Serpentes: Colubridae: Lycodon) from the Cardamom Mountains, southwestern Cambodia. Herpetologica, 58(4): 498-504.

David, P., Cox, M.J., Pauwels, O.S.G., Chanhome, L. and Thirakhupt, K. 2004. When a bookreview is not sufficient to say all: an in-depth analysis of a recent book on the snakes of Thailand, with an updated checklist of the snakes of the Kingdom. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 4(1): 47-80.

David P, Hauser S and Vogel G (2022) A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Reptilia: Colubridae) from southern Laos. Taprobanica 11(1): 12–24 + pls. 4–5.

David, P., Vogel, G., Nguyen, T.Q., Orlov, N.L., Pauwels, O.S.G., Teynié, A. and Ziegler, T. 2021. A revision of the dark-bellied, stream-dwelling snakes of the genus Hebius (Reptilia: Squamata: Natricidae) with the description of a new species from China, Vietnam and Thailand. Zootaxa, 4911: 1-61.

David, P., Vogel, G. and Van Rooijen, J. 2008. A revision of the Oligodon taeniatus (Günther, 1861) group (Squamata: Colubridae), with the description of three new species from the Indochinese Region. Zootaxa, 1965: 1-49.

Dowling, H.G. 1951. A proposed standard system of counting ventrals in snakes. British Journal of Herpetology, 1: 97-99.

Green, M.D. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of the snake genus Oligodon (Serpentes: Colubridae), with an annotated checklist and key. Unpublished M.S. Thesis. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 170 pp.

Green, M.D., Orlov, N.L. and Murphy, R.W. 2010. Toward a phylogeny of the kukri snakes, genus Oligodon. Asian Herpetological Research, 1(1): 1-21.

Hauser, S. (2018). Addition of Liopeltis frenatus (Günther, 1858) and Cyclophiops multicinctus (Roux, 1907) to the herpetofauna of Thailand (Squamata: Colubridae). Tropical Natural History, 18(1): 54-67.

Hauser, S., Smits, T. and David, P. 2022. On the distribution of the species of the genus Hebius Thompson, 1913 (Squamata: Natricidae) in northern Thailand, including the description of a new species and a discussion on snake diversity of this region. Zootaxa, 5116: 1-39.

Kaiser, C. M., O’Shea, M. and Kaiser, H. 2019. A new species of Indo-Papuan groundsnake, genus Stegonotus Duméril et al., 1854 (Serpentes, Colubridae), from the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua, Indonesia, with comments on differentiating morphological characters. Zootaxa, 4590(2): 201-230.

Lee, J.L., Yang, J.-H., Yushchenko, P. and Poyarkov Jr., N.A. 2021. Rediscovery and distribution extension of the rare Kukri Snake, Oligodon hamptoni Boulenger, 1918 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae), with the first record of this species from China. Herpetozoa, 34: 13-21.

Leviton, A.E. 1953. A new snake of the genus Oligodon from Annam. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 43: 422-424.

Leviton, A.E. 1960. Notes on the second specimen of the snake Oligodon annamensis Leviton. The Wasmann Journal of Biology 18: 305-307.

Minton, S.A. and Anderson, J.A. 1963. Feeding habits of the kukri snake, Oligodon taeniolatus. Herpetologica, 19(2): 147.

Murdoch, M.L., Grismer, L.L., Wood Jr, P.L., Thy, N., Poyarkov, N.A., Jr, Tri, N.V., Nazarov, R.A., Aowphol, A., Pauwels, O.S.G., Grismer, J.L. and Nguyen, H.N. 2019. Six new species of the Cyrtodactylus intermedius complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Cardamom Mountains and associated highlands of Southeast Asia. Zootaxa, 4554: 1-62.

Neang, T. and Hun, S. 2013. First record of Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Cardamom Mountains of southwest Cambodia. Herpetology Notes, 6: 271-273.

Nguyen, H.N., Tran, B.V., Nguyen, L.H., Neang, T., Yushchenko, P.V. and Poyarkov Jr., N.A. 2020. A new species of Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 from the Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam, with additional information on Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae). PeerJ, 8: e8332.

Pauwels, O. and Grismer, L.L. 2016. First documented record of the Long-tailed Ringneck Gongylosoma longicauda (Squamata: Colubridae) in Thailand. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 23(3): 239-242.

Pauwels, O.S.G. and David, P. 2005. Book review. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles in Thailand, by Jarujin Nabhitabhata, Tanya Chan-ard, and Yodchaiy Chuaynkern. Herpetological Review, 36(3): 341-343.

Pauwels, O.S.G., Larsen, H., Suthanthangjai, W., David, P. and Sumontha, M. 2017. A new kukri snake (Colubridae: Oligodon) from Hua Hin District, and the first record of O. deuvei from Thailand. Zootaxa, 4291: 531-548.

Pauwels, O.S.G., Sumontha, M., David, P., Chan-ard, T. and Vogel, G. 2005. First record of Lycodon cardamomensis from Thailand, with a key to Thai Lycodon (Serpentes: Colubridae). Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, 53: 79-86.

Pauwels, O.S.G., Thongyai, K., Chantong, P. and Sumontha, M. 2021. Two new Kukri Snake species (Colubridae: Oligodon) from the Nakhon Si Thammarat Mountain Range, and addition of O. ocellatus to the fauna of Thailand. Zootaxa, 4908: 537-557.

Pauwels, O.S.G., Wallach, V., David, P. and Chanhome, L. 2002. A new species of Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Serpentes, Colubridae) from southern Peninsular Thailand. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 2: 7-18.

Pawangkhanant, P., Smits, T., Dugdale, I., Yimyoo, K., Nguyen, T.V., Suwannapoom, C. and Poyarkov, N.A. 2021. Photographic records of reptiles from Yala and Narathiwat provinces reveal seven new species for Thailand. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 28(3): 152-162.

Smith, M.A. 1917. Descriptions of new reptiles and a new batrachian from Siam. The journal of the Natural History Society of Siam, 2: 221-225 + 2 plates.

Smith M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Subregion. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III. Serpentes. Taylor and Francis, London, xii + 583 pp.

Smith, M.A. and Kloss, C.B. 1915. On reptiles and batrachians from the Coast and islands of South-East Siam. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, Bangkok, 1: 237-249.

Smits, T. and Hauser, S. 2019. First record of the krait Bungarus slowinskii Kuch, Kizirian, Nguyen, Lawson, Donelly and Mebs, 2005 (Squamata: Elapidae) from Thailand. Tropical Natural History, 19(2): 43-50.

Soderberg, P. 1967. Notes on a collection of herpetological specimens recently donated to the centre for Thai National Reference Collections. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, Bangkok, 22: 151-167.

Sumontha, M., Kunya, K., Dangsri, S. and Pauwels, O.S.G. 2017. Oligodon saiyok, a new limestone-dwelling kukri snake (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand. Zootaxa, 4294: 316-328.

Sumontha, M., Vasaruchapong, T., Chomngam, N., Suntrarachun, S., Pawangkhanant, P., Sompan, W., Smits, T., Kunya, K. and Chanhome, L. 2020. Protobothrops kelomohy sp. nov. (Squamata: Viperidae), the second known species of Lance-headed Pit Viper from Thailand. Tropical Natural History, 20: 43-59.

Taylor, E.H. 1962. The amphibians fauna of Thailand. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 43: 265-599.

Taylor, E.H. 1963. The Lizards of Thailand. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 44: 687-1077.

Taylor, E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 45: 609-1096.

Uetz, P., Freed, P., Aguilar, R. and Hošek, J. 2022. The Reptile Database. Available from:, (March 22, 2022)

Vogel, G. and David, P. 2019. A new species of the Lycodon fasciatus complex from the Khorat Plateau, eastern Thailand (Reptiles, Squamata, Colubridae). Zootaxa, 4577: 515-528.

Wall, F. 1923. A review of the indian species of the genus Oligodon suppressing the genus Simotes (Ophidia). Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 25: 305-334.

Wüster, W. and Cox, M.J. 1992. Defensive hemipenis display in the Kukri Snake Oligodon cyclurus. Journal of Herpetology, 26(2): 238-241.




How to Cite

Lee, J.L. 2022. First Record of the Annam Kukri Snake Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae) From Thailand. Tropical Natural History. 22, 1 (Dec. 2022), 100–107.



Original Articles