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Gonionotus plumbeus (Discoveries in Australia).jpg
Gonionotus plumbeus (syn. Xenodermus javanicus) from John Lort Stokes' 1846 Discoveries in Australia
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Xenodermus
X. javanicus
Binomial name
Xenodermus javanicus
Reinhardt, 1836

Xenodermus is a genus of caenophidian snakes. It is a monotypic genus, containing only Xenodermus javanicus, also known as the dragonsnake, Javan tubercle snake, Javan mudsnake, or rough-backed litter snake.[2] It is considered to be rare,[3] though no conservation efforts are currently active.[4] Xenodermus javanicus is the single representative of the genus Xenodermus and demonstrates unique external morphology, e.g. characteristic dorsal scales, among xenodermatid snakes, which facilitates their distinguishing from different species. The snake is fully nocturnal and subsists on a diet of frogs. Xenodermus javanicus is a small non-venomous, semi-fossorial reptile.[5] Dragonsnakes lay several clutches of 2-4 eggs each year in the rainy season (October–February).


The dragonsnake's natural range is Thailand, Burma, and Indonesia.[6] Dragonsnakes have been known to occur, at extremes, from southern Myanmar, southward to Sundaland (Sumatra, Java, and Borneo). (Although dragonsnakes only exist in Myanmar in marginal numbers.[4])



Dragonsnakes undergo reproduction by egg.[7] The dragonsnake is not considered to be a particularly prolific breeder.[4]


Dragonsnakes are nocturnal.[8]


Dragonsnakes subsist mainly on frogs.[8]

Human interaction[edit]

Dragonsnakes exhibit a peculiar property when encountering perceived threats. This action involves stiffening its entire body and straightening into a line.[8] Dragonsnakes are known to die when placed into captivity.[8]

Conservation status[edit]

Dragonsnakes are not the object of any conservation endeavours at this time.[9]


  1. ^ "Dragon Snake". The Reptile Report.
  2. ^ Genus Xenodermus at The Reptile Database. Accessed 13 January 2008.
  3. ^ Rooij, Nelly de. The Reptiles of the Indo-australian Archipelago. Ii Ophidia with 117 Illustrations. Brill Archive. p. 45. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  4. ^ a b c [1], Conservation database.
  5. ^ Various (1936). Bulletin of the Raffles Museum, Issues 12-14. University of Michigan. pp. 172–173. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  6. ^ "Xenodermus javanicus REINHARDT, 1836". The Reptile Database. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Xenodermus javanicus".
  8. ^ a b c d "Dragon Snake". www.reptilesmagazine.com.
  9. ^ "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN.


External links[edit]