Ahaetulla prasina (Reinwardt, 1827)
Jade Vine Snake 綠瘦蛇
(Mildly venomous)

Ahaetulla prasina
* Photos taken in the Philippines
Squamata 有鱗目
Serpentes 蛇亞目
Family Colubridae 游蛇科
Genus Ahaetulla 瘦蛇屬
Species Ahaetulla prasina
Other name Oriental Whip Snake
Chinese name 藍鞭蛇, 菱頭蛇
Total length Average 90 - 120 cm, can grow up to 180 cm.
Description Back grass green without markings.
Ventrals light green and notched.
A pale yellow stripe on either side of belly.
Head leaf-shaped with long pointed snout. Eye pupil horizontal, with binocular vision.
Tail prehensile (adapted for grasping) and very long, accounting for about one-third of total length.

Tropical Forest; Arboreal, perching on trees or bushes.
Vine-like body and green colouration make it invisible in thick vegetation.

Behaviour Diurnal.
Excellent climber; Prehensile tail allows a firm grip.
Sometime sway from side to side to mimic a twig in the wind.
Can move swiftly among branches to escape.
When alarmed, inflates the forepart of the body, showing the bluish and black skin for a threat display.
Will strike, but sometimes with the mouth closed.
Binocular vision enables the snake to judge the distance accurately, and strike on preys more effectively.
Diet Lizards, frog and birds.
Reproduction Viviparous. Is reported to give birth to 7-10 young at a time. New born snake about 24 cm.

Status in Hong Kong is uncertain.
Only known from two old preserved specimens from Shek Kwu Chau Medical Centre in 1988, with no data.
The scale count of the Shek Kwu Chau specimens is much higher that of Chinese populations of this species, but is within the range of Southeast Asian populations.
Lazell (2002) published a new subspecies Ahaetulla prasina medioxima based on this single specimen.
No further specimen has been found in Hong Kong. Further records are required to clarify its status.
Occurs in central and southern China, south and southeast Asia to Indonesia.

Reference: Lazell, J.D. 2002. The herpetofauna of Shek Kwu Chau, South Chinese Sea, with descriptions of two new colubrid snakes. Memoirs of the Hong Kong Natural History Society 25: 82

Conservation Status IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)
Ahaetulla prasina
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