Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Oriental whip snake

Ahaetulla prasina

Heinrich Boie, 1827

In Thai: งูเขียวหัวจิ้งจก, ngu khieow hua jingjok

Ahaetulla prasina is an arboreal, moderately venomous species of opisthoglyphous snake in the family Colubridae to southern and Southeast Asia. Its common names include the Asian vine snake, Boie's whip snake, Gunther's whip snake, and the Oriental whip snake (Tagalog: puno ng ubas ahas; Thai: งูเขียวหัวจิ้งจก; Indonesian: ular anggur).


The body form is extremely slender with a long, pointed, projecting snout which is rather more than twice as long as the eye. Adult colouration varies from light brown to dull yellow-green and often a startling fluorescent green.

The type and number of scales is used to identify the snakes. In this species the internasals are usually in contact with the labial or lip scales. There are one to four small loreals between the prefrontal and the labial scales. The frontal is as long as its distance from the end of the snout or a little longer and a little longer than the parietal scales. There is one preocular scale in front of the eye, which is in contact with the frontal scale. There two postocular scales (behind the eyes). The temporal scales come in patterns of 2+2 or 3+3, rarely 1+2. Of the upper labial scales, the ninth, fourth, fifth, and sixth enter the eye while the 4 lower labials are in contact with the anterior chin-shields, which are shorter than the posterior chin-shields. The scales in 15 rows and are usually faintly keeled on the sacral region.

There are 203-234 Ventral scales which are anal divided. There are 167 to 203 subcaudals which are bright green, pale olive, or grey-brown, with a yellow line along each side of the lower parts. The interstitial skin of the neck is black and white.

Adults may attain 1.8 m (6 feet) in total length, with a tail 0.6 m (2 feet) long.

Its appearance is very much like those of South American vine snakes. This is due to convergent evolution. It is a rear-fanged species and is mildly venomous but is not considered a threat to humans.


This snake has a wide distribution in Asia, where it occurs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.


The Asian vine snake feeds on small reptiles and amphibians, particularly lizards and tree frogs.

In captivity

In recent years, it has entered the pet trade and has become quite popular among hobbyists.


Four subspecies are recognized, including the nominate race.

  • Ahaetulla prasina medioxima Lazell, 2002
  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis (Taylor, 1922): Philippine Islands, including Sulu Archipelago, Panay, Luzon.
  • Ahaetulla prasina prasina (Boie, 1827)
  • Ahaetulla prasina suluensis Gaulke, 1994: Philippine Islands, Sulu Archipelago

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Scientific classification

Ahaetulla prasina

Common names

  • Chinese: 绿瘦蛇
  • German: Grüne peitschennatter
  • English:
    • Oriental whip snake
    • Gunther’s whip snake
    • Asian vine snake
    • Jade vine snake
    • Boie's whip snake
  • Thai:
    • งูเขียวหัวจิ้งจก, ngu khieow hua jingjok
    • งูเขียวปากจิ้งจก, ngu khiaow pak jingjok


  • Ahaetulla prasina medioxima, James Draper Lazell, 2002

  • Ahaetulla prasina prasina, Friedrich Boie, 1827

  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis, Edward Harrison Taylor, 1922

  • Ahaetulla prasina suluensis, Maren Gaulke, 1994


  • Ahaetulla prasina, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis, Rafe Marion Brown et al. (2013)
  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis, Anne Devan-Song & Rafe Marion Brown (2012)
  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis, David S. McLeod et al. (2011)
  • Ahaetula sic prasina, R. Woning (2004)
  • Ahaetula prasina, R. Woning (2004)
  • Ahaetulla prasinus, R.C. Sharma (2004)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Maren Gaulke (1999)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Ahaetulla prasina - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (green morph) - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (yellow morph) - Phu Suan Sai National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (yellow morph) - Khao Khitchakut District, Chanthaburi
Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, adult) - Tat Mok National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, juvenile) - Tat Mok National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (creamy/white morph) - Khao Yai National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph) - Khao Yai National Park
Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph) - Khao Yai National Park
Ahaetulla prasina feeding on an Acanthosaura crucigera - Kaeng Krachan National Park
Ahaetulla prasina feeding on a Sphenomorphus maculatus - Sai Yok National Park

Range Map

Distribution map of Oriental whip snake, Ahaetulla prasina in Thailand
  • Ban Rai District, Uthai Thani
  • Bang Khan District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Bang Lamung District, Chonburi
  • Bang Saphan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Bannang Sata District, Yala
  • Betong District, Yala
  • Bo Kluea District, Nan
  • Bo Rai District, Trat
  • Bueng Khong Long District, Bueng Kan
  • Cha-uat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Chana District, Songkhla
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Klang District, Nan
  • Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Doi Wiang La Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Erawan National Park
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Hua Sai District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Nam Dang National Park
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kathu District, Phuket
  • Khanom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Banthat Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Chong
  • Khao Dinsor (Chumphon Raptor Center)
  • Khao Khitchakut District, Chanthaburi
  • Khao Kho District, Phetchabun
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Tha Petch Wildlife Conservation and Developme
  • Khao Yai Da
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khlong Hoi Khong District, Songkhla
  • Khlong Kaeo Waterfall National Park
  • Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khlong Yan Wildlife Sanctuary (s/e)
  • Khlung District, Chanthaburi
  • Khun Phra Wo National Park
  • Ko Chang District, Trat
  • Ko Chang National Park
  • Ko Lanta District, Krabi
  • Ko Pha Ngan
  • Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Tao
  • Kui Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Lom Kao District, Phetchabun
  • Mae Moei National Park
  • Mae On District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Ramat District, Tak
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wang National Park
  • Mae Yom National Park
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Mueang Pan District, Lampang
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Phichit District, Phichit
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Mueang Rayong District, Rayong
  • Mueang Satun District, Satun
  • Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Na Haeo District, Loei
  • Na Thawi District, Songkhla
  • Na Yong District, Trang
  • Na Yung - Nam Som National Park
  • Nam Nao District, Phetchabun
  • Namtok Phlio National Park
  • Namtok Sam Lan National Park
  • Ngao District, Lampang
  • Ngao Waterfall National Park
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Pathio District, Chumphon
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Phra Phrom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Phrasaeng District, Surat Thani
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Kradueng National Park
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Ruea District, Loei
  • Phu Sing District, Sisaket
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phuket Province
  • Pla Pak District, Nakhon Phanom
  • Pong District, Phayao
  • Pong Nam Ron District, Chanthaburi
  • Pua District, Nan
  • Ron Phibun District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Saba Yoi District, Songkhla
  • Sadao District, Songkhla
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Sathing Phra District, Songkhla
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Sawi District, Chumphon
  • Si Banphot District, Phatthalung
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • Si Satchanalai National Park
  • Sri Nakarin Dam National Park
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Tat Mok National Park
  • Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Tha Song Yang District, Tak
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thai Mueang District, Phang Nga
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Than To District, Yala
  • Thap Sakae District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Thepha District, Songkhla
  • Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi
  • Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ton Nga-Chang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Umphang District, Tak
  • Waeng District, Narathiwat
  • Wang Nam Khiao District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Wang Wiset District, Trang
  • Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai
  • Wiang Pa Pao District, Chiang Rai
  • Yan Ta Khao District, Trang
  • Yong Waterfall National Park
Range map of Ahaetulla prasina in Thailand