Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Pink-headed reed snake

Calamaria schlegeli, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron, 1854

(In Thai: งูพงอ้อหัวแดง, ngu pong ao hua daeng)

Calamaria schlegli or the Pink Headed Reed Snake is a relatively small sized burrowing or fossorial snake. It is called reed snake due to its cylindrical body. Nocturnal in habit, it mainly feeds on slugs and frogs

The key identification characters are modified maxillary teeth and scale characteristics. The third and fourth upper lip scales touch the eye. The mental scale does not touch the anterior chin shields. The nasal scales are oriented laterally. There is considerable geographic variation. Preocular scales are present in snakes from Singapore and Malaya but absent in those from Java and sometimes present on those from Borneo and Sumatra.

It has a characteristic pink head and glossy sheen on the body. Often confused with the Blue Malayan Coral Snake Calliophis bivirgatus.

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Scientific classification

Calamaria schlegeli

Common names

  • German: Schlegels Riednatter
  • English:
    • Pink-headed reed snake
    • Red-headed reed snake
    • White-headed reed snake
  • Thai: งูพงอ้อหัวแดง, ngu pong ao hua daeng


  • Calamaria schlegeli cuvieri, Giorgio Jan, 1862

  • Calamaria schlegeli schlegeli, André Marie Constant Duméril, Gabriel Bibron & Auguste Duméril, 1854


  • Calamaria schlegeli, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Calamaria schegeli, Samuel D. Howard & Graeme R. Gillespie (2007)
  • Calamaria schlegelii, Robert Frederick Inger & Harold Knight Voris (2001)
  • Calamaria schlegelii, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Calamaria schlegeli cuvieri, Robert Frederick Inger & Hymen Marx (1965)
  • Calamaria schegeli, Robert Frederick Inger & Hymen Marx (1965)
  • Keiometopon booliati, Edward Harrison Taylor (1962)
  • Calamaria leucocephala, Michael Wilmer Forbes Tweedie (1954)
  • Calamaria leucocephala, Robert Mertens (1930)
  • Calamaria agamensis, George Albert Boulenger (1894)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Calamaria schlegeli
Calamaria schlegeli
Calamaria schlegeli
Calamaria schlegeli global range

Range Map

Distribution map of Pink-headed reed snake, Calamaria schlegeli in Thailand
  • Betong District, Yala
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khok Pho District, Pattani
Range map of Calamaria schlegeli in Thailand