Top 12 Species of Indian Non-Poisonous Snakes

Non-Poisonous Snakes? How is that possible? If you are like most people then at any moment that you encounter a snake, you wreak panic in your neighbourhood.

And why wouldn’t you? We all get creepy feel if we see any reptile around us.

Snakes are dangerous and life-threatening!

Well, I have an enlightening fact about it. Not all snakes are venomous. For those of you, who are puzzled regarding the difference between poisonous and venomous- poisonous snakes are those which are harmful if you touch or eat while venomous are those who inject a toxin directly into their prey. Hence, all the venomous snakes are poisonous but not all the poisonous snakes are venomous.

Out of the 270 total different species of snake found in India, only 60 are venomous, the rest are benign. Veritably, Indian forests, mountains, swamps, deserts, lakes and distant living habitat, anchor a home for 10% of the total population of snakes found in the world. Additionally, Indian diversity is also favourable for various Wild animals and Reptiles.

Details of some of the famous non-venomous (non poisonous as well) snakes are given below:


1. Indian Rat Snake or Dhaman Snake


Image Credit: Wikipedia


Indian rat snake also termed as “Oriental rat snake” belongs to the colubrid snake species.  This snake can thrive in almost any environment though they prefer urban areas, where their most desired prey “rat” is easily available. Locals also call them Dhaman Snake.

Dhaman snakes are one of the longest and fast-moving snakes found in India. Dhaman snake is non-poisonous.

Size Description

Newborn- 32-47cm.
Average length- 210cm (7ft).
Maximum length- 350cm (11ft & 6inch)


2. Common Cat Snake


Image Credit: calphotos


Cat snakes can be easily identified due to their triangular head structure which is broader than their neck. Being a nocturnal species, they showcase activity from early night to early morning. They are also known as Indian gamma snake.

This colubrid snake is mostly found in high altitudes, near the Himalayas and some areas of Maharashtra. Additionally, it is easy to spot them in undisturbed gardens, rocky hills and scrubs.

Cat snakes mostly feed on lizards, frogs, rodents as well as other snakes but they are not poisonous.

Size Description:

Average length- 70cm.
Maximum length- 125cm.


3. Checkered Keelback


Image Credit: wikimedia

Found near freshwater lakes or rivers, Checkered Keelback is found at a height of 3000 meters. They have a blackish patched surface on brown, greenish or yellow ground colour. Be extra careful if you encounter them, they are not venomous, but they are highly aggressive if they sense danger.

Checkered Keelback feeds on fishes, frogs, toads and rejected meat pieces.

Size Description:

Average length- 90cm.
Maximum length- 175cm.


4. Indian Rock Python

Image Credit: zoobarcelona

Broadly known as ‘Ajgar’, Indian Rock Python can be found on grasslands, swamps as well as rocky places. Their natural habitat is from the eastern Himalayas to the mangrove forests of Sunderbans. They are excellent swimmers and water is their second home.

The Indian python is also known to crush their victims, which includes warm-blooded mammals, birds and reptiles.

Size Description:

Newborn- 40-45cm.
Average length- 210-360cm (7ft-12).
Maximum length- 750cm (25ft).


5. Common Wolf Snake

Image Credit: blogpost

Another species of colubrid snakes, Common wolf snakes are mostly found in the Andaman Islands. They prefer hiding in narrow cracks or under heavy objects during the daytime and rocky terrain is their natural habitat.

Common wolf snake is often confused with the venomous common Krait but they are not poisonous. Due to this misidentification, their survival is in danger.

They feed on geckos, rodents and skinks.

Size Description:

Newborn- 14cm.
Average length-50cm.
Maximum length- 84cm.


6. Common Sand Boa

Image Credit: .wikipedia

Belonging to Boa species, Sand Boa is referred to as ‘do-muha’ snake in Hindi due to the resemblance of its tail to its head. They are mostly found in agricultural lands, garden, rat holes, brick piles and rock piles. Their diet consists of rodents, small mammals, birds and geckos. Their bite is not venomous.

Size Description:

Newborn- 12.5cm.
Average length-50cm.


7. Banded Racer


Image Credit: indiansnakes.org

Banded racer is a small sized snake that lives in between bushes, tall grass and foliage. Another colubrid species, this snake is small in size as compared to the other non-venomous snakes. They can easily climb to good heights in search of shelter and prey.

Banded racer feed on lizards, rodents, frogs and bird chicks.

Size Description:

Newborn- 90cm.
Average length-134cm.


8. Banded Kukri Snake

Image Credit: wikimediacommons


Colubrid is the largest snake family and Banded Kukri belongs to it. This snake predominantly inhabits in the Himalayan region of India, though, they can also be spotted in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Different species of insects, larvae, reptile eggs and rodents are its usual food.

Size Description:

Newborn- 8cm.
Average length- 50cm.
Maximum length- 70cm.


 9. Common Trinket Snake

Image Credit: indiananimals

Found mostly in Vishakhapatnam, Common Trinket is quite aggressive if threat poses to them.  They feed on rodents, lizards and small mammals on a regular basis. Medium in size, this snake can also be found at higher altitudes of Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Size Description:

Newborn- 25cm.
Average length- 70cm.
Maximum length- 150cm.


 10. Black Headed Royal Snake

Image Credit: Reptile Research Trust India


Black-headed Royal Snake is particularly found in deserts and semi-deserts in India, precisely from Kutch to non-Himalayan parts of Jammu. Being a nocturnal species, they hunt their prey in the dark. If threatened, they hiss loudly like a pressure cooker otherwise their innate nature is calm, composed and non venomous.

They feed on rodents, birds, lizards and small mammals.

Size Description:

Newborn- 25-47cm.
Average length- 150cm. (5ft).
Maximum length- 200m.


11. Common Bronzeback Tree Snake


Image Credit: superstock


Found at a height of 2000 meters, Common Bronzeback Tree snakes usual preference is treetops rather than grounds. With its quick movement both on ground and trees, bronzeback snakes are hard to catch.  They are usually found in southern India and Himalayan foothills and they predominantly feed on lizards and frogs.

Size Description:

New born- 15cm.
Average length- 100cm.
Maximum length- 169cm.


12. Dog-faced Water Snake


Image Credit: walkthroughindia

Another Colubrid species, Dog-faced water snake inhabits mangrove forests, marine coastlines, salt pans, abandoned creeks, and estuaries. With its quick movement, they exhibit prone activity in mud and water both. Fishes, eels, tadpoles and frogs are their usual food.

Size Description:

Newborn- 15-25cm.
Average length- 60cm.
Maximum length- 100cm.

Wondering what the fear was all about??

Another angle to consider is snakes are in fact more scared of you than you are of them. Think about it, what will a creature, which is 10 times smaller in size, gain by attacking you??

Convinced to observe some of these species closely?

You can indeed visit Katraj snake park to analyse thoroughly.

PS- Do not try to engage them without thorough knowledge.

Related Featured Articles

Next Post

Top 10 BBA Colleges in India

Previous Post

Top 10 Highest Waterfalls In India