Ahaetulla prasina

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Oriental whipsnake
Ahaetulla prasina.jpg
Oriental whipsnake, Ahaetulla prasina
Conservation status
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Ahaetulla
Species: A. prasina
Binomial name
Ahaetulla prasina
(Boie, 1827)[2]

Dryophis prasinus Boie, 1827

Ahaetulla prasina, commonly known as the Asian vine snake or the oriental whipsnake, is a widespread species of tree snake found in South Asia and Southeast Asia.


Snake scale identification guide from Malcolm A. Smith (1943)

ag – Anterior genials or Chin shields
pg – Posterior Genials or Chin shields
t – Anterior and Posterior Temporals
v – First Ventral

Snout acuminate, projecting, without dermal appendage, rather more than twice as long as the eye. Internasals usually in contact with the labials; one to four small loreals between the prefrontal and the labials ; frontal as long as its distance from the end of the snout or a little longer, a little longer than the parietals; one preocular, in contact with the frontal; two postoculars; temporals 2+2 or 3+3, rarely 1+2; upper labials 9, fourth, fifth, and sixth entering the eye; 4 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin-shields, which are shorter than the posterior. Scales in 15 rows, usually faintly keeled on sacral region. Ventrals 203-234; anal divided; subcaudals 167-203, Bright green, pale olive, or grey-brown, with a yellow line along each side of the lower parts; interstitial skin of the neck black and white.[3]

Adults may attain 1.8 m (6 feet) in total length, with a tail .6 m (2 feet) long.[4]

Its appearance is very much like those of South American vine snakes. It is a rear-fanged species and is mildly venomous but is not considered a threat to humans.


The Asian vine snake feeds on small reptiles and amphibians, particularly lizards and tree frogs.

In captivity[edit]

In recent years, it has entered the pet trade and has become quite popular among hobbyists.


Four subspecies are recognized, including the nominate race.


India (Sikkim, Assam; Arunachal Pradesh (Miao - Changlang district, Chimpu, Itanagar - Papum Pare district)), Bangladesh; Bhutan; Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand (including Phuket), Cambodia; Laos; Vietnam; China (Hong Kong, westward through Guizhou and Yunnan to SE Xizang = Tibet), Western Malaysia (including Pulau Tioman, Johor: Pulau Besar), Singapore, Indonesia (Borneo, Celebes = Sulawesi, Anamba Archipelago, Bali, Bangka, Belitung, Butung, Java, Kalimantan, Lombok, Mentawai Islands, Natuna Islands, Nias, Riau Archipelago, Sangihe Islands, Sebuku[disambiguation needed], Simeulue, Sula Archipelago, Sumatra, Sumbawa, Ternate, Lifou); Brunei Darussalam; Philippine Islands (including Palawan: Calamian Islands, Panay)


  1. ^ hy, N., Nguyen, T.Q., Golynsky, E., Demegillo, A., Diesmos, A.C. & Gonzalez, J.C. (2012). "Ahaetulla prasina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Dahms Tierleben. www.dahmstierleben.de
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia. British Museum. London. p. 369.
  4. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. London.


  • Boulenger, G.A. 1897 List of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Mr. Alfred Everett in Lombok, Flores, Sumba and Saru, with descriptions of new species.Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 19: 503-509
  • Shaw, G. 1802 General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History. Vol.3, part 1 + 2. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London: 313-615

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