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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Reptilia > shore snakes
Oriental whip snake
Ahaetulla prasina
Family Colubridae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This elegant snake is arboreal and lives in bushes and trees. It is common in many of our wild places, including urban gardens and coastal areas. But is it well camouflaged and often overlooked as a green vine. Indeed, it is also called the Green vine snake. It is active during the day as well as at night. It is found throughout Southeast Asia. It was previously known as Dryophis prasinus.

Features: To about 2m long. Considered the largest and longest of the whip snakes, it is nevertheless still quite a slender snake. It has a long thin tail that can take up nearly 40% of the length of the snake.

Adults are a fresh almost flourescent green, while juveniles may be yellow to pale brown. It has a broad but elegant head with small eyes. The groove infront of the eyes allows the snake stereoscopic vision for more accurate judgement of distance and thus a successful strike at prey.

According to Stuebing, it has interesting threat display of extending the tongue and leaving it extended as long as it feels disturbed.

It is mildly venomous but shy and will prefer to slide away into the undergrowth. If you want to take a closer look at it, avoid disturbing it. Its venom is too weak to affect humans. But sadly, it is often killed on sight by people who fear snakes.

A long thin tail.
Chek Jawa, Aug 03
What does it eat? It eats mainly lizards, but also frogs and small birds.

Whip babies: Mama snake gives birth to live young in litters of 4-10. The babies look just like their parents.

Tongue threat display?

Chek Jawa, Aug 03

Oriental whip snakes on Singapore shores

Photos of Oriental whip snakes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Apr 11
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Labrador, Jul 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Links References
  • Lim, Kelvin K. P. & Francis L K Lim, 1992. A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of SingaporeSingapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Baker, Nick and Kelvin Lim. 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore: A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
  • Stuebing, Robert B and Robert F. Inger. 1999. A Field Guide to the Snakes of Borneo Natural History Publications (Borneo). 254 pp.
  • Cox, Merel J., Peter Paul van Dijk, Jarujin Nabhitabhata and Kumthorn Thirakhupt. 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore New Holland. pp 144.
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