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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2017
   

 

   
   
 
White-spotted Slug Snake
   
   
Fig 1
 
ゥ  Leong Tzi Ming
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Leong Tzi Ming

 




 

Family : PAREATIDAE
Species : Pareas margaritophorus
Maximum Size : 47 cm

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.


References : H10, H12