Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Marine wart snake

In Thai: งูผ้าขี้ริ้ว, ngu pakiliew

Binomial name: Acrochordus granulatus, Johann Gottlob Schneider, 1799

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.


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

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."


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.

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Scientific classification

Acrochordus granulatus

Common names

  • German:
    • Warzenschlange
    • Südostasiatische Warzenschlange
  • English:
    • Marine wart snake
    • Marine file snake
    • Wart snake
    • Little filesnake
  • Thai:
    • งูผ้าขี้ริ้ว, ngu pakiliew
    • งูม้าลาย, ngu malai


  • Acrochordus granulatus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, T.S.N. Murthy (2010)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, R.C. Sharma (2004)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Roy W. McDiarmid, Jonathan A. Campbell & T'Shaka A. Touré (1999)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Maren Gaulke (1999)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Samuel Booker McDowell (1979)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, Alice Georgie Cruickshank Grandison (1978)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, Gruber in Bernard Grzimek (1970)
  • Achrochordus granulatus granulatus, Mitchell (1955)
  • Acrochordus granulatus granulatus, Georg Haas (1950)
  • Acrochordus granulatus granulatus, Arthur Loveridge (1948)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Chersydrus granulatus granulatus, Arthur Loveridge (1938)
  • Chersydrus granulatus luzonensis, Arthur Loveridge (1938)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, Frank Wall (1921)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, Nelly de Rooij (1917)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, George Albert Boulenger (1893)
  • Acrochordus fasciatus, Hermann Schlegel (1872)
  • Chersydrus fasciatus, Giorgio Jan (1863)
  • Chersydrus fasciatus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Chersydrus fasciatus, André Marie Constant Duméril, Gabriel Bibron & Auguste Duméril (1854)
  • Potamophis fasciata, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1852)
  • Chersydrus annulatus, John Edward Gray (1849)
  • Acrochordus granulatus, Theodore Edward Cantor (1847)
  • Chersydreas granulatus, John Edward Gray (1825)
  • Hydrus granulatus, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1822)
  • Acrochordus fasciatus, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1822)
  • Chersydrus granulatus, Blasius Merrem (1820)
  • Chersydrus fasciatus, Georges-Frédéric Cuvier (1817)
  • Pelamis granulatus, François Marie Daudin (1803)
  • Acrochordus fasciatus, George Shaw (1802)
  • Anguis granulatus, Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider (1801)
  • Anguis granulatus vel acrochordus, Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider (1801)
  • Hydrus granulatus, Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider (1799)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Marine wart snake, Acrochordus granulatus in Thailand
  • Ko Phayam
  • Phuket Coast
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan Coast
Range map of Acrochordus granulatus in Thailand