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Banded File Snake
   
   

Family : ACROCHORDIDAE
Species : Acrochordus granulatus
Maximum Size : up to 120 cm

The family Acrochordidae comprise just three species in the genus Acrochordus, two of which occur in Southeast Asia, and the third occurs in New Guinea. The Banded File Snake, also called the Little Wart Snake, is the smallest of the three  species measuring up to 1.2 metres total length, although most examples are half this length.

This unusual snake inhabits intertidal habitats including mangrove and river estuaries. In New Guinea the species also occurs in inland, freshwater, grass swamps (O'Shea, 1996). It can remain submerged for over two hours.

The most obvious identifying features of Acrochordus snakes is the loose, baggy, 'warty' rough skin. The skin of the Banded File Snake is grey, grey brown or black, with irregular, thick, buff or orange transverse bands around the body. Its scales are extremely small and granular. Its head is only slightly wider than its thickset body, and its small eyes and nostrils are situated on top of the snout : the latter have valves to prevent ingress of water.

This snake is nocturnal in habits and feeds on small fish and crabs. It is typically encountered at low tide, resting on the substrate.

The Banded File Snake is wide-ranging, and occurs in coastal Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, most islands of eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia.


Figs 1 to 3 : Specimen from mangrove habitat in Singapore. Photos thanks to Serin Subaraj.


References : H6, H12


 

Fig 1
 
 
ゥ  Serin Subaraj
  
Fig 2
   
ゥ  Serin Subaraj
 

Fig 3
 
 
ゥ  Serin Subaraj