Golden Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata)
Shenton Way, 15th May 2013

This carcass of a Golden Tree Snake, possibly killed by workers, was found at a construction site by staff from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Wildlife Rescue team, and this photo was shared by Anbarasai Boopal.

This species is not native to Singapore; its range covers India and Sri Lanka east to Indochina, and south to the northern Malay Peninsula. The presence of an individual here in a highly urbanised area of Singapore is likely due to an escaped or abandoned illegal pet, or an accidental introduction as a stowaway in cargo.

This find has been documented in the Singapore Biodiversity Records: Golden Gliding Snake at Shenton Way.

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Fig. 1. Dorsal view of entire snake. Photograph by Noel Thomas

Golden Gliding Snake (Chrysopelea ornata ornatissima) at Shenton Way

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Shenton Way; 14 May 2013.

Observation: One example of 106.6 centimetres total length (Fig.1) was found dead at a construction site, possibly killed by workers.

Remarks: The specimen has been preserved and catalogued as ZRC 2.7022 in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore. The Golden Gliding Snake is not native to Singapore. Chrysopelea ornata is found in India and Sri Lanka eastwards to the Indochinese region, and south to the northern Malay Peninsula (Das, 2010: 272). It is similar in appearance to the native Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi), but distinguishable by having a black longitudinal line on every dorsal scale. The present individual is believed to be an abandoned or escaped pet that may have been illegally imported.


  • Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-east Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 51