Elephant trunk snake
|Elephant trunk snake|
Acrochordus javanicus, commonly known as the Elephant Trunk Snake, belongs to the Acrochordidae family which represents a group of primitive non-venomous aquatic snakes. It is also kept as an exotic pet.
Acrochordus javanicus possesses a wide and flat head, nostrils situated on the top of the snout. Those head's particularities confer to Acrochordus javanicus a certain resemblance with boas. However, its head is also wide as the body.Females are bigger than males and the maximal size of an individual is 240 cms. The dorsal side of the snake's body is brown and its ventral side is pale yellow.
The skin is baggy and loose giving the impression that it is too big for the animal. The skin is covered with small rough adjacent scales. The skin is also used in the tannery industry and its leather is called Karung.
Acrochordus javanicus is usually met in the central tropical Indo-Pacific waters. In Indonesia like in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java and may occur in Bali; in the west coast of Malaysia and also in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam but not east of the Wallace Line.
Acrochordus javanicus is an ambush predator that likes to capture fishes and amphibians. It usually catch its preys by folding firmly its body around it. Its loose, baggy skin and its sharp scales find their utility by limiting any risk of escape of the prey, in particular fishes which body is covered with a viscous protective mucus.
Acrochordus javanicus is active at night. It spends most of its life under water and rarely goes on land. It can stay under water up to 40 minutes.
- Hornstedt.Beschryving van een nieuwe slang van Java.. Kungliga Svenska vetenskapsakademiens handlingar,1787,vol.4, p. 307.
- Javan Filesnakes at Life is Short but Snakes are Long