Tentacled Snake

Tentacled Snake               Erpeton tentaculatum

Type of Animal:

Stagnant/slow-moving murky water w/ emergent-submergent vegetation in lakes, rice paddies/fields, streams, canals, & ponds, prefers fresh/brackish water but sometimes found in saltwater, almost always in slightly acidic, shallow areas

Thailand, Cambodia, & Vietnam

2 color phases: striped/blotched-both range from dark grey or brown to light tan, named for twin “tentacles” on front of head, trapezoid shaped head, prehensile tail

Fish & tadpoles

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & private breeders.

Usually found in groups of 4-7

Additional Info:


Adult-4.93-7 oz
Young-1 oz

1 month 

Life Span:
10-20 years

Body Length:
1.67-2.5 ft

Tail Length:
5-7.5 in

Main predators are crocodilians, larger snakes, monitor lizards, wading birds, fishing cats, otters, & tigers.

They’re ambush predators & often lie in wait together, attaching to weeds/underwater roots w/ tails. Often lie in “J” position.

Spend their entire life in water & never come to land.

They give birth to 5-15 live young underwater.

They’re active at night (nocturnal).

Sometimes kept as pets.

Discovered by Western science in 1800’s.

Sometimes considered pests due to frequent visits to fish farms.

Fun Fact(s):
“Tentacles” can be used to “see” in dark.

“Tentacles” actually mechanoreceptors that detect prey movement.

They’ll retract their eyes when they begin their strike.

They can be great escape artists & they can die after only a few hours on dry land.

They can spend 30 minutes submerged before returning to surface to refill lungs.

While they’re mildly venomous, fangs are small, only partially grooved, & deep in the rear of mouth. It is specific for fish & tadpoles they eat.

They’re very docile snakes, though they’re very sensitive & don’t like handling.

1 thought on “Tentacled Snake

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