Acrochordus granulatus

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Acrochordus granulatus
File snake (Acrochordus granulatus).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Acrochordidae
Genus: Acrochordus
Species: A. granulatus
Binomial name
Acrochordus granulatus
(Schneider, 1799)
  • [Hydrus] Granulatus - Schneider, 1799
  • [Anguis] Granulatus vel Acrochordus - Scheider, 1801
  • [Anguis] Granulatus - Scheider, 1801
  • Acrochordus Fasciatus - Shaw, 1802
  • Pelamis granulatus - Daudin, 1803
  • Chersydrus [fasciatus] - Cuvier, 1817
  • [Chersydrus] granulatus - Merrem, 1820
  • C[hersydreas]. granulatus - Gray, 1825
  • Acrochordus granulatus - Cantor, 1847
  • Chersydrus annulatus - Gray, 1849
  • Potamophis fasciata - Schmidt, 1852
  • Chersydrus fasciatus - Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854
  • Acrochordus fasciatus - Schlegel, 1872
  • Chersydrus granulatus - Boulenger, 1893
  • [Chersydrus] g[ranulatus]. granulatus - Loveridge, 1938
  • Chersydrus granulatus luzonensis - Loveridge, 1938
  • Acrochordus granulatus - M.A. Smith, 1943
  • Acrochordus granulatus granulatus - Loveridge, 1948
  • Achrochordus granulatus granulatus - Mitchell, 1955
  • Acrochordus granulatus - McDowell, 1979[2]
Common names: little file snake, marine file snake,[3] little wart snake.[4]

Acrochordus granulatus is a snake species found from India through Southeast Asia to the Solomon Islands. It is completely aquatic and almost helpless on land. No subspecies are currently recognized.[5]


This species is completely aquatic and nearly helpless on land. Their thin skin rips easily, but has a very rough texture; hence their common name. They are sexually dimorphic, with males being much smaller (thinner and longer bodies), compared to the larger (short stocky) females. Most interesting is that this species varies between sexes in feeding habits, the males actively hunt prey whereas the females sit and wait as ambush predators (Shine, 1991). They are found mainly in small ponds, swamps and estuaries, but have also been found at sea.

In recent years, this species also entered the pet trade. Farmed animals usually used for skins are the primary source of importation. Animals from the Philippines are particularly blue, and rarely enter the pet trade since reptile exportation from the Philippines is strictly banned. This snake is a non-venomous constrictor unlike most fully aquatic Asian snakes which are rear fanged.

Geographic range[edit]

Found from both coasts of peninsular India though Southeast Asia, the Indo-Australian Archipelago and northern Australia to the Solomon Islands. This includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China (Hainan), the Philippines (Luzon, Cebu and Batayan), Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Flores, Timor, Sulawesi, Ternate, Ambon, and coastal Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands the coast along northern Australia (Northern Territory and eastern Queensland). No type locality was given with the original description, although Smith (1943) gives "India" and Saint-Girons (1972) gives "Inde."[2]


According to Shine (1991), 50% of the acrochords tested for stomach contents yielded either rainbow fish, grunters, cat fish or sleepy cod. There is no evidence suggesting that they feed on amphibians. Occasionally known to eat eels. Their rough skin is used for the purpose of underwater constriction, which is how they hold onto their prey. Females ambush predators while males forage actively.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sanders, K.; Murphy, J.; Lobo, A. & Gatus, J. (2010). "Acrochordus granulatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ Acrochordus granulatus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 16 August 2007.
  4. ^ Western Australian Reptile Species at Frank O'Connor's Birding Western Australia. Accessed 20 September 2007
  5. ^ "Acrochordus granulatus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 16 August 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Greer, A.E. 2006. Encyclopedia of Australian Reptiles. Australian Museum Online. Accessed 16 August 2007.
  • Shine, R. 1991. Australian Snakes, a Natural History. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943 The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Wall, Frank 1921 Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages

External links[edit]