Erpeton tentaculatum (Lacepede, 1800)
Range: Coastal Southeast Asia
Habitat: Stagnant/Slow Bodies of Moving Fresh or Brackish Water, Ditches, Rice Paddies
Diet: Small Fish
Social Grouping: Solitary
Reproduction: Ovivioparous (eggs hatch inside body of the mother, young born live). Up to 10 young are produced in a litter, which is delivered underwater.
Lifespan: 12 Years
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
- Average size 50-75 centimeters, but up to 90 centimeters long, and weigh up to 150 grams
- Body coloration varies from dark brown to pale gray or tan. Specimens often have contrasting stripes or blotches.
- The species name refers to the two small "tentacles", up to 2 centimeters long, on the snout. These are believed to be used for the detection of prey. They are the only snake species to possess tentacles
- Capable of staying underwater for up to 30 minutes without coming up for air. They are highly aquatic and move very awkwardly on land
- During the dry season, they may bury themselves in the mud until the rains replenish their water sources
- Hunt by resting motionlessly in the water, their bodies curved into a "J" shape ready to strike. When a fish approaches, the snake twitches part of its body, startling the fish into swimming closer to the mouth.
- Tentacled snakes are very mildly venomous - their venom is specialized for the fish that they prey upon, and has no impact on humans except for - in some cases - mild itching. The small fangs are located in the back of the mouth