Slug snakes are small to
medium sized forest-dwellers which specialize in feeding on snails,
slugs and other soft-bodied invertebrates such as earthworms. They have
specialised fangs on the lower jaw with which they are able to extract
snails from their shells. Their heads are blunt, and somewhat wider than
their moderately thick bodies.
The White-spotted Slug Snake is one of the smaller species, reaching 47 cm
in total length. It is easily identified by the yellow or orange collar, and
the grey or brown body which is adorned with scattered black scales, most of
which have a white spot anteriorally, and which can form narrow, irregular
bars. The underside is pale with dark spots.
This snake is nocturnal in habits and is active on the forest floor or on
low vegetation. They are found in lowland and lower montane forests to
elevations of around 1500 metres.
The species is widely distributed in Burma, Thailand, Indochina (Laos,
Cambodia, Vietnam) and the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia. In recent
years the species has been found at a few places in Singapore, where it is
considered to be accidentally introduced, however there are no breeding
records to suggest the establishment of a self-sustaining population.
Figs 1 and 2 : White-spotted Slug Snake in a rocky stream passing
through hill forest (around 600 metres elevation) at Khao Yai National Park,
Thailand. Photos by Leong Tzi Ming.
Family : PAREATIDAE
Species : Pareas margaritophorus
Maximum Size : 47 cm
References : H10, H12