Ornate Flying Snake

Ornate Flying Snake Chrysopelea ornata

Type of Animal:

Forests, woodlands, parks, gardens

S Asia, SE Asia, SE China

2 major color forms: 1 form greenish-yellow to pale green w/ each scale having black mesial streak/spot, more/less edged w/ black, dark crossbars at intervals, sometimes has large flower-shaped reddish/orangish spots, greenish ventral area, blackish head w/ yellow crossbars/spots; 2nd form more common in SE Asia lacking reddish vertebral spots & has less prominent black crossbars but coloration usually green of some kind to greenish-yellow/gold. Both forms slender w/ flattened head, constricted neck, large eyes, blunt nose, & fairly long tail

Lizards, bats, rodents, frogs, birds, bird eggs, other snakes, insects

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture


Additional Info:

Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary
1.86-1.87 lbs

1-2 months 

Life Span:
10 years

Body Length:
Adult: 3.3-4 ft
Young: 1 ft

Tail Length:
9.9 in

Active during the day (diurnal).
Also called Golden Tree Snake, Golden Flying Snake, Flying Tree Snake, Gold & Black Tree Snake, & Gliding Snake.
They’re highly arboreal.
They’re excellent climbers.
Females lay 6-12 eggs per clutch.
These snakes mildly venomous w/ rear fangs chewing venom into prey. These snakes would really have to chew to make bite medically significant & venom itself mild. Bites can be painful but nothing more besides that.
When snake catches prey, it seizes it by neck.
Largest member of Chrysopelea (Flying Snake) genus.

Fun Fact(s):
Smaller snakes can travel farther in single glide.
Further studies of these animals could possibly lead to advances in robot/air vehicle technology.
These snakes very difficult to keep in captivity due to highly nervous temperament.
Get name due to gliding abilities, in which they move from tree to tree w/ relative ease. Gliding ability helps catch prey, escape potential predators, cover distances faster, & move around. They’ve been known to cross as much as 328 ft. They don’t actually fly.
To glide, they climb to height by virtue of keeled belly scales & launch into mid-air. Snake contracts ventral surface inwards forming U-shaped concave depression along entire body length, holding outer edges of ventral scales rigid. Concave surface acts as parachute, increasing air resistance allowing snake to glide forward w/ thrust of launch. Snake undulates through air in swimming-like motion. Holds tail rigidly upwards & twists tail from side to side attaining balance. Then it lands clumsily.
Ornate Flying Snake, stock photo

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