Dog-faced Water Snake
Mildly Venomous
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Family: Colubridae
Genus: Cerberus
Common name: Dog-faced water snake, New Guinea bockadam,Bockadam, Australian Bockadam
Scientific name: Cerberus rynchops (Schneider, 1799)
Species: C. Rynchops
At birth: 150-250mm (6-10in)
Adults: 600mm (24in)
Maximum: 1270mm (50in)
Toxin: Neurotoxic
Region: This is a saltwater-tolerant species found in Australia (North Territory, Queensland, West Australia), New Guinea, Indonesia (Ambon, Babi, Bacan = Batjan, Bali, Bangka, Buru, Butung, Dolak, Enggano, Flores, Goram, Halmahera, Java, Kalimantan, Lombok, Mentawai Archipelago, Nako, Natuna Archipelago, Nias, Riau Archipelago, Roti, Sangihe Archipelago, Saparua, Seram, Simeulue, Singapore, Sulawesi, Sula Archipelago, Sumatra, Sumba, Sumbawa, Talaud Archipelago, Ternate, Timor, We, Western New Guinea, Wetar); Bangladesh, Cambodia, India (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Malaysia (Malaya and East Malaysia, including Pulau Tioman), Burma (Myanmar), Philippine Islands (including Palawan, Panay, Luzon), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Race novaeguinea is found in Indonesia (western New Guinea). Type locality: "Ganjam" (Orissa State, SE India)
Description: Dog-faced water snake is commonly found in mangroves, mudflats, streams, ponds, tidal pools, on algae patches, and has even been found burrowing into the mud. Dog-faced water snake is rear-fanged and is mildly venomous. An aquatic and nocturnal snake, it feeds mainly on fish and is known to consume eels.
In captivity, it is observed to move in a sidewinding direction on land. It also has a prehensile tail that would suggest it could climb mangrove trees. It is now known to give birth to live young, numbering from 8 to 30, either in water or on land.
It is a quite docile, mild-tempered and a hardy snake; in recent years it has become a welcome addition to snake hobbyists in the Philippines. It also owes its popularity to its bright yellow to orange belly coloring, mostly of females.
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