Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Gerard's water snake

Thai: งูปลาตาเล็ก, ngu plaa dta laek

Binomial name: Gerarda prevostiana, Joseph Fortuné Théodore Eydoux & Paul Gervais, 1822

Gerarda prevostiana, commonly known as Gerard's water snake or the cat-eyed water snake, is a species of water snake endemic to Asia. It is the only species in the genus Gerarda.

Etymology

The generic name, Gerarda, is in honor of someone named "Gerard". Unfortunately, Gray, who named the genus in 1849, did not specify whom he was honoring. Two possibilities are Adam Gerard or Rev. Gerard R. Smith, both of whom sent specimens of reptiles to Gray at the British Museum.

The specific name, prevostiana, is in honor of French naturalist and illustrator Florent Prévost.

Diet

G. prevostiana feed almost exclusively on crabs, which they tear into bite-sized pieces by pulling them through their coils, in contrast to most other snakes which swallow their prey whole.

Description

Frontal a little longer than broad, shorter than its distance from the end of the snout, or than the parietals; loreal slightly longer than deep, a little smaller than the nasal; one preocular and two postoculars; temporals 1+2; upper labials 8, fourth entering the eye; 4 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are much larger than the posterior. Dorsal scales in 17 rows at midbody. Ventrals 146–158; anal divided; subcaudals 31–34.

Uniform dark olive above; three outer rows of scales whitish; upper lip white, rostral dark olive; ventrals and subcaudals whitish, with dark edges.

Total length 41 cm (16 inches); tail 5 cm (2 inches).

Distribution

G. prevostiana is found in India, Myanmar (= Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippine Islands (Mindanao), Bangladesh, west Malaysia, and Singapore.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Photos in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Subphylum
Vertebrata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Gerarda
Species
Gerarda prevostiana

Common names

  • German: Katzenaugen-Wassertrugnatter
  • English:
    • Gerard's water snake
    • Cat-eyed water snake
    • Glossy marsh snake
  • Thai:
    • งูปลาตาเล็ก, ngu plaa dta laek
    • งูปลาตาแมว, ngu plaa dta meow

Synonyms

  • Gerarda prevostiana, John C. Murphy & Harold Knight Voris (2014)
  • Gerardia prevostiana, R.C. Sharma (2004)
  • Gerarda prevostiana, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Gerarda prevostiana, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Gerardia prevostianus, Indraneil Das (1996)
  • Gerardia prevostiana, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Gerardia prevostiana, Frank Wall (1921)
  • Gerardia prevostiana, Frank Wall (1905)
  • Gerardia sic prevostiana, George Albert Boulenger (1890)
  • Heleophis flavescens, Fritz Müller (1884)
  • Helipophis flavescens, Fritz Müller (1884)
  • Gerarda prevostiana, Edward Drinker Cope (1862)
  • Campylodon prevostianum, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Campylodon prevostianum, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Gerarda bicolor, John Edward Gray (1849)
  • Coluber (Homalopsis) prevostianus, Joseph Fortuné Théodore Eydoux & François Louis Paul Gervaise (1837)
  • Coluber prevostianus, Joseph Fortuné Théodore Eydoux & François Louis Paul Gervaise (1822)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

No photo for this species yet

Distribution map of Gerard's water snake, Gerarda prevostiana in Thailand
  • Chonburi Coast

Range map of Gerarda prevostiana 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.

Contribute or get help with ID

Please help us improving our species range maps. To add a new location to the range map we need a clear image of the specimen you have encountered. No problem if you do not know the species, we will do our best to identify it for you.

For the location, please provide the district name or the national park/ wildlife sanctuary name.

Please post your images to our Thai Species Identification Help group on Facebook.