Laotian Owl by Asienreisender

Asians love to keep birds in captivity. Here a buffy fish owl on Don Det, 4000 Islands, Laos. Image by Asienreisender, 4/2013

Asienreisender - Ginko

This little dragon is called a 'Ginko' in Thailand. They have a row of pointed little teeth. Their length without tail is about 20 centimeters. Image by Asienreisender, Chiang Khong, 2012

Thumbnail 'Photocomposition Dusky Leaf Monkeys' by Asienreisender

The dusky leaf monkeys or spectacled langures are a particularly nice and gentle species, which lives on the Malay Peninsula only. The photocomposition shows a colony in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Asienreisender - Leaf Insect

One of the very smart insects using a sophisticated mimicry. Seen in Khao Luang National Park, south Thailand. Image: Asienreisender, 2005

A Parakeet by Asienreisender

A parakeet in one of the restaurants in Don Khone, 4000 Islands, Laos. Image by Asienreisender, 2013

Tokay Gecko under an Icebox by Asienreisender

A small tokay gecko, hidden under an icebox. Seen in a street restaurant between Pakse and Champasak, Laos. Image by Asienreisender, 2013

Blowfly by Asienreisender

A blowfly, seen in Cambodia. Flies, appearing in masses, are an indicator for a low hygienic standard. Where food remains are thrown or spit on the floor, these animals thrive. That's the case in many rural places in restaurants and fresh markets. Dogshit is another agars for these insects.

When going on food they serve as a vector for countless diseases. Their larvaes thrive in meat, milk, fish. Excrements of blowfly larvaes are very poisonous for humans and after they attaint food it's no more edible.

The high child mortality in Cambodia has partially to do with the lack of hygiene. Sketch by Asienreisender, 2013

Pig on a Motorbike in Cambodia by Asienreisender

The 'thing' at the back of the motorbike is a pig. Despite to it's hefty resistance and terrible crying and screaming it was forced into the tight bondage and loaded up. A not seldom to see event in Cambodia. Image by Asienreisender, 2014

Beetle by Asienreisender

A beetle of about 2cm in size. Seen in Nong Khiaw, Laos. Image by Asienreisender, 2011

Mysterious Spiderkind Animal by Asienreisender

I have no idea what for an animal this spiderlike one is. It's living deep inside a cave in Phnom Kbal Romeas, Cambodia. Image by Asienreisender, 2014

Crocodile by Asienreisender

A crocodile in a trench in 'Snake House', Sihanoukville. Image by Asienreisender, 2014

'The Bird Market in Yogyakarta' by Asienreisender

Animal markets appear like a variation of slave markets. Animals are bought for various reasons, e.g. as guards or vermine hunters, as status symbol, as food, as magic medicine or, in the better cases, as company. Southeast Asia's animal markets are notorious. Many protected animals are for sale, and the revenues make it attractiv to rape the remaining nature, including the national parks, to gain the merchandise. The bird market of Yogyakarta is just one example; the biggest animal market in Southeast Asia is in Jakarta. Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 2012, 2015

'Dusit Zoo' by Asienreisender

Dusit Zoo in Bangkok is Southeast Asia's largest zoopark. Roughly 1,500 different species are living here.

'The Animals of Kampot Zoo' by Asienreisender

Here a small choice of the 'Animals of Kampot Zoo' (Teuk Chhou Zoo). Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 2013 and 2014

Animals of Southeast Asia


A Malayan flying lemur with it's baby. They slide from one tree to another, overcoming distances between 50-70 meters. Image by Mr. Ona, an official in the Pananjung Pangandaran nature reserve, Java, Indonesia.

Thumbnail 'Photocomposition Marine Life in the Gulf of Thailand' by Asienreisender

The aquarium in Prachuap Khiri Khan houses a variety of the animals who live in the Gulf of Thailand. Have a look for the 'Marine Life in the Gulf of Thailand'.

Slow Loris by Asienreisender

A slow loris. Image by Asienreisender, Sihanoukville, 2014

Gibbon Monkey by Asienreisender

A gibbon monkey, kept in a cage on Don Khone, 4000 Islands, Laos. Image by Asienreisender, 2013

Thumbnail 'Lar Gibbon in Ranong' by Asienreisender

Another lar gibbon, kept in a cage in Ranong.

Cobra by Asienreisender

An errected and pretty excited cobra snake in 'Snake House', Sihanoukville. Image by Asienreisender, 2014

Common Spider in Thailand by Asienreisender

A common spider. Diameter up to ten centimeters. They are hunting on the ground, in trees and sitting on walls, but don't build nets. A completely harmless species, widely to see in Indochina. Image by Asienreisender, Chiang Khong, 2013

A Bamboo Rat by Asienreisender

A bamboo rat for sale on the fresh market in Xam Neua. All animals suffer a cruel fate when getting caught by people. Image by Asienreisender, 2006

'Cockfight in Southeast Asia' by Asienreisender

Cockfights are an ancient custom in whole Southeast Asia.

'The Sweetwater Aquarium in Nakhon Phanom' by Asienreisender

There are some fine sweetwater aquariums in Isan. The aquarium of Nakhon Phanom is home for a number of fishes of the Mekong River. That of Roi Et shows other fishes who live in the rivers of northeast Thailand.

Naga's Head by Asienreisender

A river naga, as they appear in so many paintings in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. As I see it the model for this fable animal is partially the cobra, partially the giant oarfish. Image by Asienreisender around Toeng, north Thailand in 2012

Firefly, Sketch by Asienreisender

Fireflies or 'lightning bugs' are always a fascinating appearance, particularly when they come in swarms. They have a light-producing organ at their abdomen. This bioluminiscent light has the function to attract mates or prey as well as to warn predators. Fireflies appear in the tropes, particularly in marshland and tropical rainforests, but as well in moderate climate zones.

The sketch is made after a firefly seen in Kampot, Cambodia. Length below 1cm.

Water Buffalo by Asienreisender

One of the good, old water buffalos. They are everywhere around in Southeast Asian countries. Image by Asienreisender, Si Phan Don, 2013

'The Zoo of Lopburi' by Asienreisender

Pay a visit to Lopburi Zoo...

'Scorpion' by Asienreisender

A scorpion, seen in Umphang, Thailand. Length about 7cm to 8cm. The sting has been removed by a local. Image by Asienreisender, 2/2007

'Photocomposition Saigon Zoo' by Asienreisender

Pay a visit for the animals of Saigon Zoo.

Southeast Asian Wildlife

The huge rainforests, swamps, rivers, mangrove coasts together with the hot climate, plenty of rain and the fact, that there is no vegetation break like it is in Europe in the five months from mid-November to mid-April (north-middle Europe) host a great and phantastic biodiversity. Southeast Asia, and particularly the equatorial area around Malaysia, great parts of Indonesia and the Mekong River with it's tributaries are among the world regions with the most species on earth, in that only competing with the surroundings of the Amazon river in South America.

All these biodiverse environments are nowadays under severe threat. Mankind's technical potentials are as huge as it's hunger for profit. For this purpose, earth has to be exploited everywhere and thoroughly. Less and less space is left for animals and plants. The list of endangered animals is long, and the list of already extinct animals is longer and increasingly fast growing. Nature- and national parks mean little protection for animals. Bribing money is stronger than the laws are. The extinction rate in Southeast Asia is double as high as in the world's average. In the last twenty years, 50% of Southeast Asia's species got extinct. It's getting lonesome around homo sapiens.

'Lizard' by Asienreisender

Lizards appear in Southeast Asia in all sizes from saltwater crocodiles down to tiny geckos. Image by Asienreisender, 2015

Regrettably, the people of Southeast Asia do not show much respect for animals and wildlife. In their eyes there are basically only two kinds of animals: 'can eat' and 'no can eat'. The 'can eat' category is treated as a soulless merchandise, while the 'no can eat' animals are widely seen as vermin. Except they can be sold as pets.

It's, of course, very difficult to see certain, very shy and human avoiding animals in the wild. One has to go to the animal parks to find them. It's always poor to see intelligent, sensitive animals living under such long-term deprived conditions as most zoos provide. That is not their live here, in the cages, often poorly treated and forced to live in the filth...

On this page you find a small selection of the huge variety of animals living in Southeast Asia.

Here you find a (rudimentary) list of endangered and here a list of extinct animals of Southeast Asia.

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Bat

In every bigger cave, especially in the South of Thailand, are usually hundreds of bats hanging upside down from the cave's ceiling.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Banded Krait

'Face of a Banded Krait' by Asienreisender

Kraits are from the viper family, and belong to the venomous and highly dangerous snakes. The banded krait is the most widespread krait in Southeast Asia.

Read more on the banded krait...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Cat, Housecat

Asienreisender - Cat, Stamp

It's said that housecats live together with humans since a long, long time. Almost since 10,000 years already. That's about since the end of the last ice age.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Centipede / Millipede

'Centipede' by Asienreisender

Centipedes and millipedes get sometimes mixed up with each other. They are of about the same size and live in similar habitates. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between the two species. Centipedes are carnivorous and feed from other animals, mostly insects. They have a strong pair of venomous claws and can cause severe pain when biting humans. Besides, they are pretty aggressive. Millipedes, on the contrary, are completely harmless vegetarians.


'Millipede' by Asienreisender

A harmless millipede, about 20cm in length. Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, Phetchabun, 5/2017. The centipede above appeared in Kampot, 1/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Large Indian Civet

'Large Indian Civet Cat' by Asienreisender

Civets live in all Indochinese countries and partly in neighbouring regions. They are wildcats who have some interesting peculiarities. Besides, there are reports that they 'make good pets', as it's said.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Cobra Snake's Head

Cobras live on the ground and hide in holes of rats, mice etc. or in hollow trees, rock cracks and so on. They are day active...


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Common Myna

Common Myna by Asienreisender

The common myna, also called Indian myna, is a starling bird species originally home in wide parts of south Asia as India and the countries west and east of it, including the Malay Peninsula and parts of, if not the whole of Indochina.

Read more on the common myna...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Crocodile Face by Asienreisender

Crocodiles lived all over Southeast Asia until just a few decades ago. They inhabited rivers, lakes, ponds, seashores and some of them can swim over far distances reaching the many islands of the Malay Archipelago. The two most remarkable kinds of crocodiles in Southeast Asia are the Saltwater Crocodile and the Siamese Crocodile

Read more on crocodiles...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Cat, Stamp

In most parts of Indochina (mainland Southeast Asia) there are masses of dogs living. Since many people are still living as farmers or are coming from farmers families, they are used to live with dogs. Though, dogs cause a number of problems...

Read more on dogs...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Dugong / Seacow

Dugong by Asienreisender

These lovely and shy animals once lived along all the coastlines of Southeast Asia. Although they normally flee people and boats, there are cases in which they come curiously close to divers or swimmers to have a look for them. There are reports that dugongs played with divers for hours. Nowadays are few individuals left. Most of them are living in the waters of the Andaman Coast in the relative remote Trang Province, south Thailand.

Read more on Dugongs...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Dusky Leaf Monkey

'A Dusky Leaf Monkey | Spectacled Langur' by Asienreisender

The dusky leaf monkey, also spectacled langur, is endemic on the Malay Peninsula. These animals show very gently manners and are seldom to see in the wild. Their habitat is the tropical rainforest, and they love to stay high up in the trees. However, there is a rocky limestone mountain south or Prachuap Khiri Khan / south Thailand, where a group of these lovely animals live under protection. They are used to humans and come very close.

Read the article on the charming little fellows...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Elephant

The Asian Elephant was once living in the whole southern part of Asia, from Syria to the east of China...


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Buffy | Tawny Fish Owl

The buffy fish owl lives all over Southeast Asia northwest of the Wallace Line. Gaining a length of around 45cm with a weight between one and two kilogrammes, they live in dense forests close to water and in mangroves. In daytime these birds are resting in the dense green, at nighttime they go hunting for prey as fish, amphibia, rodents and reptiles. It happens they catch mice, rats, snakes, centipedes or sometimes fruit bats. They use rock caves and trees to build their nests; occasionally they occupy the nest of another big bird. The buffy fish owls use a variety of vocalizations for communication. In the past, the buffy and the tawny fish owl have been considered being the same species, but nowadays, due to a number of certain differences, there is made a distinction between them.

Buffy | Tawny Fish Owl
'Buffy / Tawny Fish Owl' by Asienreisender

Bubo ketupu, respectively Ketupa ketupu. The photo has been made on Si Phan Don (The 4000 Islands) in south Laos. The background painting depicts the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 4/2013, 5/2012, 2017

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Garden Fence Lizard
(Calotes versicolor)

'Calotes Versicolor' by Asienreisender

These guys are a common appearance in gardens, parks, roadsides, agricultural areas, wasteland and open forests. They like to hide in grass, bushes or leavy underground. Sometimes one sees them on fences having a look around. Garden Fence lizards appear all over from India to south China northwest of the Wallace Line. They grow as large as up to 38cm including tails, smaller specimens are as small as only ten centimeters. They feed from small insects like flies, mosquitoes and more. The males have a reddish head to impress females and to scare other males off while mating. They generally can change colour quickly and dramatically from tan to a variety of colours. Females lay up to twelve eggs into a self-dug hole in the ground at early rainy season. After roughly six weeks the hatchlings emerge and need about a year to grow completely up.

Juvenile Garden Fence Lizard
'Garden Fence Lizard | Calotes Versicolor' by Asienreisender

This young fellow has by any cause lost his left foreleg. This will cut his life expectency dramatically short. Image by Asienreisender, Phetchabun Province, Thailand, 5/2017

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Gecko Face by Asienreisender

Geckos live in great numbers all over Southeast Asia. There are altogether 1,500 different kinds of geckos worldwide. Some kinds of the little animals prefer to live in human housings and it's practically impossible to keep them outside. Therefore they do a good job in eating insects like mosquitoes and they are completely harmless.

Have a closer look for the omnipresent geckos...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Giant Mekong Catfish

Asienreisender - Giant Catfish

In the old days, what is here not so long ago, some decades only, the Giant Catfish lived into the whole of the 4,800km long Mekong River, in some of it's tributaries and in the Tonle Sap River and Tonle Sap Lake. Now, it's a critically endangered species and will presumably extinct in the wild, although there may be artificially bred individuals left.

Read the article on the Giant Mekong Catfish...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Giant Oarfish

Giant Oarfish

The Giant Oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world and the source of countless myths on sea serpents. One of the famous pictures in Laos and north Thailand show a Giant Oarfish, called the 'Queen of Nagas', allegedly caught in an US Navy base at the Mekong River in Laos, 1973. But the picture is a hoax...

Read about the Giant Oarfish...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


'Face of a Gibbon' by Asienreisender

Gibbons represent the family of the lesser apes and are relatively closely related to humans. They are endemic in Southeast Asia and fall into a number of subspecies.

Read the article on gibbons...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Greater Coucal

'Face of a Greater Coucal' by Asienreisender

Greater coucals are birds of the family of cuckoos. They live all over Southeast Asia, except east of the Wallace Line. In difference to other cuckoos, they don't breed parasitic...

Read the article on 'Greater Coucals'...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Greater Mouse Deer

The greater mouse deer is a small deer species which is home in the tropical rainforests and mangrove forests of south Vietnam, south Cambodia, the Malay Peninsula and in Sumatra and Borneo. They grow up to 75cm long, 35cm tall and weight as adults between 5kg to 8kg. They don't have horns, but their upper corner teeths are prolonged. These mammals are shy and nocturnal. They are solitarily living, territorial animals, who mark their claim's borders with faeces or the secretion of a gland at their lower jar. They use small trails through thick bushes, and feed mostly from plants like grass, leaves and fallen fruits; additionally, in a small amount, they eat also insects.

Greater mouse deers are very reproductive and insofar still relatively little endangered. They reach a livespan of up to sixteen years. These deer are part of the human diet. They are also made pets sometimes.

The Greater Mouse Deer
'Painting of Greater Mouse Deers | Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of greater mouse deers at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Green Peafowl

This chicken-related bird is endemic to Southeast Asia. There are three species among the green peafowl who differ in colour. Big males reach a weight of up to 5kg, while females are lighter. When spreading out, the animal looks impressingly large. The tailfeathers alone reach a length of up to 150cm. A males total length can reach up to 3m.

'Green Peafowl in Lopburi Zoo | Thailand' by Asienreisender

A green peafowl in Lopburi Zoo. Image by Asienreisender, 2/2007

The habitat of the green peafowl are light forests, forest edges and glades. Closeness to water is vital for them. They live supposedly polygamous, but this theory is not well confirmed and contradicting observations of specimens in captivity. According to the polygamous theory, a male keeps up to five females.

Their diet consists mostly on fruits, invertebrates, small reptiles and rodents. They also prey on venomous snakes.

The green peafowl is nowadays under a huge pressure. Seen as a crop pest, he is getting hunted by farmers. Habitat destruction and urbanization do also a great harm. On the Malay Peninsula the birds have been extinct already in the mid-1960s. The general conservation status is classified as 'endangered'.

Green Peafowl (Pavo Muticus)
'Painting of a Green Peafowl | Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Hard to see in the wild nowadays, but easy to see at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 5/2012

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Green Tree Python

Morelia viridis, the green tree python, is a small constrictor snake which lives in the tropical rainforests of Indonesian islands southeast of the Wallace Line (particularly New Guinea), down to Cape York Peninsula in Australia. These pythons are slim and triangle-shaped, males reach a length of 180cm, females are larger and grow up to 200cm. Their weight varies between 1,100 grammes to 2,200 grammes, depending on how much food they gained.

Green tree pythons are not poisonous and are not dangerous for humans. On the contrary, they are part of the diet of local people. The species is popular in the pet trade.

Their colour is basically a saturated green, but varies considerably. Seldom, they are blue. Hatchlings and youngsters are tinted in a shining yellow, red or red-brown, changing their colour in their first ten months.

The green tree python spends most of her time in trees, waiting for prey. The position seen on the image below is typical for this snake. They are both, day- and nightactive. Their diet consists of small mammals and lizards, also birds and insects.

They lay their eggs, who are up to 35, into tree holes or other protected spots in higher positions. The mother is breeding the eggs with her body who she contracts to create a constant temperature. Specimens in captivity reached an age of 15 to 20 years.

Morelia Viridis
'Green Tree Python | Painting at the Outer Walls of Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of a green tree python at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Palawan Hornbill

There are few occations that one can come very close to wild and rare animals, especially if they are birds. One of those, concerning Oriental pied hornbills, is on Pangkor Island, west Malaysia...

Read the article on hornbills in Southeast Asia...

Hornbills in the Wild
'Painting of Two Hornbills at the Outer Walls of Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of two hornbills at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Indian Muntjac | Barking Deer

The indian muntjac is also called 'barking deer'. This small deer species lives over most of Southeast Asia northwest of the Wallace Line up to south China and in the west deep into India and Nepal. The animals reach a length between 100cm and 120cm, a shoulder height of 50cm to 70cm and a weight up to 40kg, often much less. Males are bigger than females. Males have very short, unbranched antlers.

Indian muntjacs live in dense forests, hills and mountains up to 4,000m altitude. They feed from grass, leaves, fruits, sometimes small animals and, if they find some, birds eggs. Males mark their territory with a secretion which comes out of a gland at their throat. They will fight fiercely to protect their territory against other males. They can even fight dogs off. Their notation as 'barking deer' comes from a certain sound, close to barking, which they utter when seeing an enemy. This barking can last for more than an hour then. These muntjacs are living solitary and are both, day- and night active. Apart from homo sapiens, their natural enemies are tigers and leopards.

Of the ten subspecies of muntjacs (Muntiacus muntjak) is the Southeast Asian kind, Muntiacus muntjak vaginalis a distinctive one.

Their reproduction rate is high and they are well adaptable to the changing landscapes after the destruction of the tropical rainforests. Therefore they are classified as of 'least concern' by the IUCN.

Asienreisender - Back to the Top
Barking Deer | Indian Muntjac
'Painting of Barking Deer | Indian Muntjac' by Asienreisender

Painting of a couple of barking deer at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Here it's albinos. Image by Asienreisender, 5/2012

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Indochinese Leopard

Leopards lived once all over great parts of Asia and Africa. The Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) is a subspecies, endemic in Indochina and south China. Nowadays, due to habitat loss and legal and illegal poaching, in most countries the Indochinese leopard is extinct or threatened.

'Black Indochinese Leopard' by Asienreisender

A black Indochinese leopard in Songkhla Zoo. The spotted pattern is still to see 'under' the black. Image by Asienreisender, 3/2005

Interestingly, there are two kinds of the leopards appearing in Indochina: the 'usual', spotted one and a black one. Both are of the same kind, only the appearance is different. The black ones appear mostly south of the Isthmus of Kra. Anyway, most of the remaining population is concentrated on the Malay Peninsula, either in the border regions between Thailand and Burma/Myanmar in the Tenasserim Mountain Range, or in the last remaining rainforests of peninsular Malaysia.

The rare animals are particularly under threat due to the destruction of the tropical rainforests and wildlife trade. After the number of tigers has been drastically reduced, leopards are seen as a substitute by many Asians, namely Chinese, for alleged (false) medical reasons, e.g. as an aphrodisiac.

Spotted Indochinese Leopard
'Indochinese Leopard in Kampot Zoo' by Asienreisender

The leopard in Kampot Zoo. Image by Asienreisender, 6/2013

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Irrawaddy Dolphin

Irrawaddy Dolphin

Originally the Irrawaddy Dolphin lived all along the coastlines of Southeast Asia. Although he is called after the Irrawaddy River, it's not only a river dolphin. The most sub-populations prefer bays and mouthes of rivers and swim occacionally riverupwards. Others live permanently in rivers, as the population in the Mekong River does. In the Mekong the dolphins come that far riverupwards that they appear in the south of Laos at Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands).

Read more about the Irrawaddy Dolphin

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

King Cobra

Asienreisender - Kingcobra

The King Cobra, the largest poisonous snake in the world (up to six meters), appears in large parts of South and Southeast Asia). It's mostly living in forests (near waterplaces)...


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Komodo Dragon

This varan is the largest lizard on earth. It can reach a length of three meters and extend a weight of far more than 70kg. Males are larger than females. Their habitat is limited to some of the lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia, mainly Komodo, but they live also on Flores and Rinca.

Their preferred landscapes are savannahs, grassland and tropical rainforests. They also appear at beaches with rich vegetation and partially in mangrove forests. Young Komodo dragons are excellent climbers and spend most of their time in trees. Even at a length of 150cm they are still able to climb up 10m into the trees.

Adults may walk several kilometers per day in a slow speed. They can run faster, 18km/h for a few hundred meters, either attacking or fleeing danger. The Komodo dragon is a mediocre swimmer.

The lizards diet consists of a great variety of animals and changes during their development and size. Starting with insects, they can prey on animals as big as deer and wild boars. They eat macaques, dogs and goats, different kinds of snakes, among them poisonous ones, birds and eggs, calfs of water buffalos and more. It also happens that large Komodo dragons kill and eat younger and considerably smaller ones. Like monitor lizards they prefer to scavenge on carrion. Besides, the Komodo dragon's bite is poisonous. A venomous bite can lead to death still days after being bitten.

Komodo monitors have a rather poor eye sight. Therefore their tongue is a developed organ which allows them to smell, taste and detect their surroundings. They are mostly day-active.

The dragons avoid humans and usually run away if they are approached. Being cornered, they most probably react aggressive. Komodo dragons are intelligent animals. In captivity they learn and recognize people who care for them. They also show playing behaviour.

A female lays about 20 eggs in dry season into breeding hills or self-made pits. An egg weights about 125 grammes. Incubation time lasts long eight months, while some but not all of the mothers guard the nests at least over times. The life expectation of Komodo varans is not clearly known, but it's estimated that they exceed 30 years.

Habitat fragmentation and destruction together with the disappearance of their prey, poaching and arson mean a severe threat for the large lizards. On the IUCN list they are classified as 'vulnerable'.

Komodo Monitor
'Painting of a Komodo Dragon | Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of a varanus komodoensis. Image by Asienreisender, at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Lesser Adjutant

The large lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) is a stork who reaches a length of 120cm and a wingspan of 210cm. Once the species lived in most of Southeast Asia northwest of the Wallace Line up to south China and India. Now, the population is classified as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN. In Vietnam are less than estimated 50 individuals left; about 1,000 live along the long east coast of Sumatra, what makes 50% of the Indonesian population. Lesser adjutants live in mangrove forests, along lakes like Thale Songkhla and salt swamps. They are 'shy' and avoid vicinity to humans.

'Lesser Adjutant | Saigon Zoo' by Asienreisender

A lesser adjutant in Saigon Zoo. Image by Asienreisender, 3/2017

These storks diet consists of mudskippers, crabs, locusts and small rodents. They walk slowly through muddy areas at shorelines and search the ground with their long beak. Seldom they scavange on carrion.

They build nests of a diameter of 150cm in trees up at between 12m and 30m. Together with others of their kind and sometimes mixed with other stork species, they form colonies. Breeding two to four eggs, the chicks hatch practically naked, but develop fast then. After two months they can fly already.

Leptoptilos javanicus
'Lesser Adjutant | Painting on the Outer Walls of Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of a group of lesser adjutants at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Usually, these large storks live solitary. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Kingcobra

Macaques don't fear humans and plunder dustbins and shops. I have seen macaques stealing bags of cookies and crisps from shops, I have seen macaques in kitchens opening fridges and taking eggs out. They go sometimes on freshmarkets to pick food from the stalls.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Malayan Sun Bear

'Face of an Malayan Sun Bear' by Asienreisender

This smallest of the bears lived once almost all over Southeast Asia. Due to habitat destruction, the species has been severly reduced and is under growing pressure. It's an interesting animal which feeds mostly from fruit and insects.

Read more on the Malayan Sun Bear...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Malayan Tapir | Asian Tapir

'Face of a Malayan Tapir' by Asienreisender

TThese large animals weight up to 400kg, even extending 500kg by far. They are unique for Southeast Asia, and the other four kinds of tapirs live in tropical South America. Once, their range stretched over all of Southeast Asia northwest of the Wallace Line, now their habitats are shrunk to merely remotest spots on the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.

Read the article on the Malayan tapirs...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Monitor Lizard (Varan)

Asienreisender - Varan

These big lizards can be seen quite often, particularly in urban sites in Malaysia, where they are pretty well adapted to canalization systems...


Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Mosquito

Everybody made already the experience, that some people attract mosquitoes more than others do. That has to do with the human smell, which attracts the animals.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Orangutan

There are few opportunities to watch orangutans in wildlife. But there are a few places where they are living under human protection. One of these places is Bukit Lawang on Sumatra...

Read the article on orangutans...

Oriental Small-Clawed Otter

'Face of an Oriental Small-Clawed Otter' by Asienreisender

Surprisingly, there are otters living in the tropes. The smallest otter species, in the world, the small-clawed otter, lives almost all over Southeast Asia.

Read the article on Small-Clawed Otters...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top
Asienreisender - Back to the Top


'Face of a Porcupine | Lopburi Zoo' by Asienreisender

Porcupines live in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and appear partially in south Europe. Most subkinds of the species are endemic in Southeast Asia, that is the Malayan porcupine, the Sunda porcupine, the Indonesian porcupine, the long-tailed porcupine and the Sumatran porcupine.

Porcupines are larger rodents. They live on the ground of forests and feed mostly from plants. The Sumatra porcupine reaches a length up to 56cm without tail who makes another ten centimeter. Characterisic for the porcupines are their long spines who give the animals a certain protection. They are well adaptable to cultivated landscapes. Porcupines can swim and are usually nocturnal.

Porcupine / Hystricidae
'Porcupine in Teuk Chhou Zoo | Kampot' by Asienreisender

A porcupine in Teuk Chhou Zoo, Kampot, Cambodia. Image by Asienreisender, 12/2016

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Reticulated Python

Malayopython reticulatus, the reticulated python, is one of the largest and heaviest snakes on earth. They inhabit most of Southeast Asia and appear, thanks to their ability to overcome large distances on sea by swimming, also on many islands southeast of the Wallace Line.

'A Reticulated Python in Teuk Chhou Zoo | Kampot | Cambodia' by Asienreisender

A reticulated python in Teuk Chhou Zoo, Kampot, Cambodia. Image by Asienreisender, 12/2016

The natural habitats of these pythons are the tropical rainforests, swamps and mangroves. They are, however, very adaptable to urbanized areas, living in plantations and rice fields and also entering human settlements where they feed from chickens, dogs, cats and more. They may become a threat for children. Reticulated pythons appear in Bangkok and in Jakarta, and certainly in many other densly populated places as well. Wherever they live, they live in close vicinity to water.

A research in south Sumatra found male specimens of a length up to 4,25m, while females, who grow bigger, reached over six meters and a weight of 75kg. On smaller islands they grow considerably smaller.

Reticulated pythons are nocturnal and move inconspiciously through dense vegetation. In daytime they stay hidden.

'Head of a Reticulated Python | Saigon Zoo' by Asienreisender

Head of a reticulated python. Image by Asienreisender, Saigon Zoo, 3/2017

The pythons diet consists mostly of mammals and birds. Here and there a varan is caught and eaten. A favourite prey are rats, particularly ricefield rats. Bigger individuals also feed from monkeys, porcupines, pangolins, wild boars and mouse deers. There is a witnessed case of a python who caught a 24kg heavy Malayan sunbear. Also preying on humans is prooved, but seldom. Pythons are not venomous.

For reproduction the females lays about 25 eggs and breed them for 80 to 90 days. Each egg weights between 200 to 300 grammes. In captivity, these pythons can reach an age extending 25 years.

Reticulated pythons are getting hunted by humans, not only because they are a threat but also for food and for their leather. The number of killed individuals for the purpose of leather production is numbered to 500,000 per year, what happens mostly in Sumatra and Borneo. Due to the species high reproduction rate they are not threatened yet in their existence, although really big individuals become increasingly rare.

Malayopython Reticulatus
'Painting of a Reticulated Python at the Outer Walls of Dusit Zoo | Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of a reticulated python at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Scorpion

Scorpions consist of some 1,400 different kinds. They belong to the family of spiders. That means that they are, in fact, no insects.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Skinks / Scincidae

'Sun Skink | Face | Borobodur' by Asienreisender

Skink is a common term for a variety of smaller to middle-sized lizards. There are up to 1,500 differend kinds of skinks who live in tropical areas all over the world. Most frequently they live in Southeast Asia.

Skinks live on the ground or on trees. Often they appear in leave-litter and loose soil. Many dig tunnels and hide in the ground.

'Skink | Borobodur | Java' by Asienreisender

Image by Asienreisender, Borobodur, Java, 5/2012

Some are adapted to a completely underground live. Skinks are usually diurnal. Their size varies between seven to fifteen, or up to thirtyfive centimeters; in exceptions some grow much bigger. However, nowadays, since the biggest fall easiest victim to prey for humans, bigger specimens are rare.

These lizards feed mostly from insects like flies, beetles, crickets and the kind. They also feed from centipedes as well as from small rodents. Additionally they eat leaves, fruit and vegetables.

One the other hand they fall prey to a number of snakes, birds, dogs, cats and other lizards.

Lizards are generally old species under an evolutionary view. Fossil records show that skink-like lizards lived already roughly 140 million years ago.

Sun Skink
'Skink | Phetchabun | Thailand' by Asienreisender

A common appearance in the Countries of Southeast Asia. Image by Asienreisender, Phetchabun, Thailand, 4/2017

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Sumatran Rhinoceros

The Sumatran Rhinoceros weights around 700kg, gets 3m long and about 1.30m tall. It's the smallest in the family of the rhinos, who count nowadays only five different kinds anymore. In the past they were living in the huge corridor from Buthan at the slopes of the western Himalayas down to Sumatra and Borneo; nowadays there are only four or five pockets left where the last remaining, not more than 300 individuals in total, have their last, dwindling refuges.

Read the article on the Sumatran Rhinoceros...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top


Asienreisender - Tiger

Although very view individuals are still living in freedom, people in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia scare the big cats.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Tokay Gecko

Asienreisender - Tokay Gecko

The Tokay Gecko appears in many simple accommodations in Southeast Asia, especially in remoter places surrounded by much nature.


Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Water Buffalo

Face of a Water Buffalo by Asienreisender

Water buffalos are a species endemic in Southeast Asia. The archaic looking animals are domesticated since thousands of years and used for field works, pulling carts and more. Despite their size they are usually completely harmless for humans.

Read more about water buffalos...

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

Western Swamphen

'Western Swamphen at Thale Songkhla Lake | Phattalung' by Asienreisender

A western swamphen or moorhen in Thale Songkhla Lake near Phattalung. Image by Asienreisender, 12/2012

Although their weight does not extend much over merely 700 grammes, the western swamphen reaches a body length of up to 50cm and a wingspan of up to 100cm. They live in the dense vegetation along lakeshores, in swamps and slowly moving waters.

The species was once widespread over Southeast Asia, and appears as well in western parts of Asia, north Africa and south Europe.

The western swamphen's diet consists mainly of leaves, blossoms, sprouts and seeds of water plants. Sometimes it feeds from vertebrates and eggs.

This chicken kind of bird calls at nighttime often long and noisy sounds.

This bird is active all around the clock and seems to sleep infrequently at different times. The kind lives usually in larger colonies of up to 300 individuals. During breeding time the couples claim a territory. After breeding time, the couple will usually separate again.

Porphyrio Porphyrio
'Painting of a Western Swamphen | Dusit Zoo | Bankgok' by Asienreisender

The western swamphen is a subspecies of the purple moorhen. The painting depicts the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015

Asienreisender - Back to the Top

White-Lipped Pit Viper

'Pit Viper' by Asienreisender

Vipers and other snakes are common in the tropical countries of Southeast Asia. Less spectacular than cobras, the vipers live in many habitats like forests, bushes and open grasslands. Some, like the White-Lipped Pit Viper, also enters urban areas.

Check the article on White-Lipped Pit Vipers...

Asienreisender Up to the top!

Published on June 8th, 2012

Last update on May 30th, 2017