Enhydris chinensis (Gray, 1842)
Chinese Water Snake 中國水蛇
(Mildly venomous)

Enhydris chinensis
* Photos taken from Guangdong China
Squamata 有鱗目
Serpentes 蛇亞目
Family Colubridae 游蛇科
Genus Enhydris 水蛇屬
Species Enhydris chinensis
Other name Chinese Rice Paddy Snake
Chinese name 泥蛇
Total length Average 40 - 60 cm, can grow up to 80 cm.
Description Back brown with small irregularly scattered black spots from neck to tail.
Black spots may be absent in some individuals.
Ventrals yellowish white, each scale with brown margin.
Head rounded, distinct from neck.
Nostrils open on top of head. Two short fangs at the back of upper jaw.
Dorsal scales smooth.
Mildly venomous with rear fangs.

Aquatic. Can live in freshwater or brackish water.
Lowland species; Found in cultivated areas, slow streams and particularly in fish ponds, where it may occur in large number.
Often hides under boards or other debris on banks of drying ponds.

Behaviour Primarily nocturnal. Occasionally seen in day time, with only its snout out of the water surface to take in air.
Like Plumbeous Water Snake (Enhydris plumbea), wanders onto land on rainy night.
When disturbed, flattens the body and bends the neck into a S-shape as a threat display.
May snap viciously. Snakebite by this snake is rare locally.
Mildly venomous, snakebite symptoms include swelling of wound, headache and nausea.
Symptoms subsequently disappear without treatment.
Diet Entirely on fishes. Sometimes preys on frogs.
Reproduction Viviparous, bearing up to 13 young. Young snakes abundant in August.
Hatchling 10 - 13 cm in total length.
Distribution In Hong Kong, uncommon and restricted in distribution.
Widely distributed over northern and central New Territories.
Absent from small islands. Because of dietary and habitat preferences, is rarely sympatric with Enhydris plumbea.
Occurs in central and southern China, Taiwan, and northern Vietnam
Conservation Status IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)
Enhydris chinensis Enhydris chinensis
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