Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Asian vine snake

Thai: งูเขียวหัวจิ้งจก, ngu khieow hua jingjok

Binomial name: Ahaetulla prasina, Friedrich Boie, 1827

Ahaetulla prasina is a species of snake in the family Colubridae native to southern Asia. Its common names include Asian vine snake, Boie's whip snake, Gunther's whip snake, and Oriental whip snake.

Description

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 patters 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. It is a rear-fanged species and is mildly venomous but is not considered a threat to humans.

Distribution

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.

Diet

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.

Subspecies

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

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Ahaetulla
Species
Ahaetulla prasina

Common names

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

Subspecies

  • 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

Synonyms

  • 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)
  • Ahaetulla prasinus, R.C. Sharma (2004)
  • Ahaetula prasina, R. Woning (2004)
  • Ahaetula sic prasina, R. Woning (2004)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Maren Gaulke (1999)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Dryophis prasinus, John Roscoe Hendrickson (1966)
  • Dryophis prasinus, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Ahaetulla prasina, Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1933)
  • Passerita prasina, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1930)
  • Passerita prasina, Robert Mertens (1930)
  • Dryophis prasinus chinensis, R. Mell (1930)
  • Passerita prasina, Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1923)
  • Dryophis preocularis, Edward Harrison Taylor (1922)
  • Ahaetulla prasina preocularis, Edward Harrison Taylor (1922)
  • Dryophis xanthozona, Hans Holtzinger-Tenever (1919)
  • Dryophis prasinus flavescens, Frank Wall (1910)
  • Dryophis prasinus, George Albert Boulenger (1897)
  • Tragops prasinus, Johann Gustav Fischer (1885)
  • Tragops prasinus, John Anderson (1871)
  • Tragops xanthozonius, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Tragops prasinus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Drynius prasinus, Edward Frederick Kelaart (1854)
  • Drynius sic prasinus, Edward Frederick Kelaart (1854)
  • Dryinus prasinus, Theodore Edward Cantor (1847)
  • Tragops prasinus, Johann Georg Wagler (1830)
  • Dryophis prasinus, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Dryophis prasina, Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt in Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Dryinus prasinus, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Passerita prasina, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Tragops prasinus, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Coluber mycterizans, Thomas Stamford Raffles (1822)
  • Coluber nasutus, George Shaw (1802)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Ahaetulla prasina (green morph)

Ahaetulla prasina (green morph)

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Ahaetulla prasina (yellow morph)

Ahaetulla prasina (yellow morph)

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Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, adult)

Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, adult)

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Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, juvenile)

Ahaetulla prasina (white/silvery morph, juvenile)

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Ahaetulla prasina (creamy/white morph)

Ahaetulla prasina (creamy/white morph)

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Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph)

Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph)

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Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph)

Ahaetulla prasina (brown morph)

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Ahaetulla prasina eating Acanthosaura crucigera

Ahaetulla prasina eating Acanthosaura crucigera

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Ahaetulla prasina eating Sphenomorphus maculatus

Ahaetulla prasina eating Sphenomorphus maculatus

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Distribution map of Asian vine snake, Ahaetulla prasina in Thailand
  • Bang Lamung District, Chonburi
  • Bang Saphan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Bannang Sata (Malay: Benang Setar) District, Yala
  • Bo Kluea District, Nan
  • Chiang Klang District, Nan
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Erawan National Park
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Nam Dang National Park
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kathu District, Phuket
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Chong
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Tha Petch Wildlife Conservation and Developme
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khun Phra Wo National Park
  • Ko Lanta District, Krabi
  • Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Tao
  • Kui Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Mae On District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Ramat District, Tak
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wang National Park
  • Mae Yom National Park
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Pan District, Lampang
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Na Yong District, Trang
  • Namtok Phlio National Park
  • Namtok Sam Lan National Park
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Kradueng National Park
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phuket Province
  • Pua District, Nan
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • 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
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi
  • Ton Nga-Chang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Umphang District, Tak
  • Waeng District, Narathiwat
  • Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai
  • Yan Ta Khao District, Trang
  • Yong Waterfall National Park

Range map of Ahaetulla prasina in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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