Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Javan wart snake

In Thai: งูงวงช้าง (ngu nguang chang)

Binomial name: Acrochordus javanicus, Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, 1787

Acrochordus javanicus, commonly known as the elephant trunk snake, belongs to the Acrochordidae family which represents a group of primitive non-venomous aquatic snakes. It is also kept as an exotic pet.


Acrochordus javanicus possesses a wide and flat head, nostrils situated on the top of the snout. Those head's particularities confer to Acrochordus javanicus a certain resemblance with boas. However, its head is also wide as the body.Females are bigger than males and the maximal size of an individual is 240 cms. The dorsal side of the snake's body is brown and its ventral side is pale yellow.

The skin is baggy and loose giving the impression that it is too big for the animal. The skin is covered with small rough adjacent scales. The skin is also used in the tannery industry and its leather is called Karung.

Those aquatics snakes are ovoviviparous, the incubation lasts 5 in 6 months and the female expels from 6 to 17 young.


Acrochordus javanicus is usually met in the central tropical Indo-Pacific waters.

In Indonesia like in Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and may occur in Bali; in the west coast of Malaysia and also in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam but not east of the Wallace Line.


Acrochordus javanicus has a costal living habitat like rivers, estuaries and lagoons.

But it prefers freshwater and brackish environments.


Acrochordus javanicus is an ambush predator that likes to capture fishes and amphibians. It usually catch its preys by folding firmly its body around it. Its loose, baggy skin and its sharp scales find their utility by limiting any risk of escape of the prey, in particular fishes which body is covered with a viscous protective mucus.


Acrochordus javanicus is active at night. It spends most of its life under water and rarely goes on land. It can stay under water up to 40 minutes.

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Scientific classification

Acrochordus javanicus

Common names

  • German: Java-Warzenschlange
  • English:
    • Javan wart snake
    • Javan file snake
    • Elephant trunk snake
  • Thai: งูงวงช้าง (ngu nguang chang)


  • Acrochordus javanicus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Nguyen Van Sang et al. (2009)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Roy W. McDiarmid, Jonathan A. Campbell & T'Shaka A. Touré (1999)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, George Albert Boulenger (1893)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Potamophis javanica, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1852)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Heinrich Kuhl (1824)
  • Acrochordus javensis (sic), François Marie Daudin (1803)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, George Shaw & Frederick Polydore Nodder (1793)
  • Acrochordus javanicus, Clas Fredrik Hornstedt (1787)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


Elephant trunk snake

Range Map

Distribution map of Javan wart snake, Acrochordus javanicus in Thailand
  • Bang Khen District, Bangkok
  • Bangkok Province
  • Pathum Wan District, Bangkok
  • Prachantakham District, Prachinburi
  • Su-ngai Kolok District, Narathiwat
Range map of Acrochordus javanicus in Thailand