Despite being an urban forest surrounded by development, Bukit Kiara holds an exceptional herpetofaunal diversity. The hill provides a variety of micro-habitats to support a diverse herpetofauna — the clear streams, ponds and waterlogged patches in particular being excellent habitats for frogs and toads.

Herpetofauna are a group of animals that include reptiles and amphibians. Despite being distantly related, they are often grouped and studied together, because they share the same habitats and fill similar roles in the ecosystem as secondary or tertiary consumers.

As such, a number of wondrous reptiles and amphibians with unique natural histories and striking colours can be found here, if one were to look hard enough. The species richness is testament to the key role that urban forests play in enabling herpetofauna populations to persist through, and recover from habitat loss.

One of the snakes most often seen at Bukit Kiara is the Oriental Vine Snake (Ahaetulla prasina). This elegant snake averages one metre in length (females can grow up to 2 metres) though its thickness rarely exceeds that of a thumb. Juveniles may range from green to yellow or brown, but the adults are always bright green in colour. It relies on camouflage and its excellent vision to prey on lizards and frogs. As the name suggests, it mimics vines, and even sways back and forth like vines in the wind.

The Blue Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis
cyanochloris) is diurnal and arboreal,
often climbing low brushes in search of
lizards and frogs. It puffs up when
threatened, exposing its vivid blue
interstitial skin (the skin between its
scales) as a warning to would-be

Keeled Rat Snakes (Ptyas carinata) are
also commonly seen at Bukit Kiara. They
have thick, robust bodies and can grow
up to 3 metres long. They are often
mistaken for King Cobras (Ophiophagus
hannah), but can be easily distinguished
from the latter by the patterning on their
bodies. Though they are non-venomous,
this species can become aggressive and
bite when agitated.
Many of the lizards present at Bukit
Kiara are commonly found in the vicinity
of human habitation. This includes the
Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
which is so-named because the throat of
the male turns red and black in the
breeding season.
The Many-lined Sun Skink (Eutropis
multifasciata) is a terrestrial lizard that is
often seen scuttling on leaf litter in search
of insects, especially on hot afternoons. It
has a torpedo-like body shape and
dense, smooth scales that have an
iridescent sheen in bright sunlight.
The Green-crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) mainly inhabits forests, but can
also survive in plantations, parks and gardens. This agamid species has a light
green body, a bluish-coloured head and a very long tail. When excited, their lips
may turn a shade of blue, and their chin, yellow. They turn a dark brown colour
when really stressed.

Herpetofauna species recorded as of 2022

27 snake species 15 lizard species 5 turtle species 18 frog & toad species