- A-Z Animals
The tentacled snake is easily recognizable from its two prong-like scaly appendages or tentacles at the top of its head, giving it its name. Endemic to Southeast Asia, these snakes have venomous fangs positioned at the back of the mouth that they use while preying upon fish that they mainly consume. However, they generally do not harm humans.
It is the sole species found in its genus Erpeton, named by French naturalist Bernard-Germain-Étienne de La Ville-sur-Illon, comte de Lacépède in 1800.
Size: Length: 20 to 35 in (50 to 90 cm) Weight: 0.31 to 0.44 pounds (140 to 200 g)
Body and coloration: Its entire body and head are flat, with rough scales that feel like sandpaper. The twin tentacles that they are known for protrude from their snout.
There are two phases of coloring seen in these snakes – striped or mottled. Both variations range from light tan to dark brown or gray, resembling a tree branch or a twig.
Tentacled snakes are found in Southeast Asia, inhabiting parts of Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
They primarily live in the murky waters of rice paddies, lakes, and stagnant streams, though they can also dwell in the fresh, sea, and brackish water as well.
The diet of the tentacled snake consists mainly of fish but has even been observed consuming frogs and crabs.
It lives for approximately 14 years.
Larger reptiles like crocodiles may hunt them.
They are viviparous, giving birth to live young underwater. Around 10 of them are born at a time.
The newborn snakes are fully developed and become independent from birth. They develop natural instincts for hunting and anchoring on tree branches using their tail. The juveniles roughly grow twice their size in two months.
The IUCN lists the tentacled snake as “LC” or “Least Concern”.