Species of Thailand

Common wolf snake

Lycodon capucinus, Heinrich Boie in Friedrich Boie, 1827

(In Thai: งูปล้องฉนวนสร้อยเหลือง (ngu plong cha nuan soy lueang))

Lycodon capucinus, also known as the common wolf snake, is a species of colubrid snake, which is commonly found in the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Named after their enlarged front teeth, which gives them a muzzled appearance similar to canines, it also makes the snout somewhat more squarish than other snakes.

Description

A slender-bodied small snake that ranges from barely three feet to less than one meter. Most wild-caught specimens usually reach less than these lengths. Coloration is adapted for life underground and on the forest floor. Shades of jet black, reddish-brown or dark gray with speckles, blotches and spots of white or pale yellow scattered over the body are its usual colors. There is also a distinct white coloration around its neck. Their color patterns vary from one geographic location to another. There are albino-colored ones which are very rare among this snake species. The snout is duck-bill-shaped for digging in soft or sandy ground. They have enlarged front teeth, but these are not used to inject venom. Like many other colubrids, they possess true fangs near the rear of their mouths and they will use these to inject venom into their prey. However, this species is relatively benign (not harmful) to humans.

Distribution

The common wolf snake is found in Australia (Cook Islands), Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, SE China, Hong Kong, Bangladesh,

India (Andaman Islands), Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sumbawa, Sumba, Komodo, Flores, Lomblen, Alor, Sawu, Roti, Timor, Wetar, Babar Islands, Kalao, Salajar, Buton, Sulawesi), West Malaysia, Johor: Pulau Besar, Maldives, Mascarenes (Mauritius, Reunion; fide Glaw, pers. comm.), and The Philippine Islands (Bantayan, Bohol, Cebu, Cuyo, Leyte, Luzon, Pampanga, Masbate, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Samar).

Behavior

Though the wolf snake is non-venomous, it is quite a nervous snake when picked-up or handled and will not hesitate to bite. They may also move their tails in a to-and-fro motion much like a rattlesnake when they feel threatened. A fossorial animal, it loves burrowing down the earth but is most often found in open ground, on rocks or in low vegetation. Sometimes showing a semi-arboreal behavior. A nocturnal creature, it is most active during the night, but is also observed during daybreak. Most captive specimens become tame after some time and with proper handling.

Diet

In the wild, Lycodon capucinus feeds mainly on small lizards such as geckos and they are also among the top predators of skinks which makes it common to humans due to the abundance of prey near and in homes. They may also devour small frogs, if available. In captivity, they may be trained to feed on slender fishes such as goby or lizard-scented pinkie mice, though the latter proves to be harder.

Conservation Status

The IUCN listed this species as of Least Concern.' Though a very common snake, it is seldom seen. Continuous destruction of primary and secondary forests, conversion of fertile lands to agricultural and residential areas as well as indiscriminate human killings can threaten the survival of this animal.

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Scientific classification

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

Common names

  • German: Kapuzen-Wolfszahnnatter
  • English:
    • Indian wolf snake
    • Common wolf snake
  • Thai: งูปล้องฉนวนสร้อยเหลือง (ngu plong cha nuan soy lueang)

Synonyms

  • Lycodon capucinus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Lycodon capucinus, De Lange & Gernot Vogel (2005)
  • Lycodon aulicus capucinus, John W. Ferner et al. (2001)
  • Lycodon capucinus, Harold Cogger (2000)
  • Lycodon aulicus, Benedetto Lanza (1999)
  • Lycodon capucinus (Lycodon aulicus), Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Lycodon capucinus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Lycodon aulicus capucinus, BROWN et al. (Multiple authors) (1996)
  • Ophites aulicus, Ermi Zhao & Kraig Adler (1993)
  • Lycodon capucinus, Edward Harrison Taylor & Robert E. Elbel (1958)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Photos

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Lycodon capucinus
Lycodon capucinus
Lycodon capucinus
Lycodon capucinus praying on a Dixonius pawangkhananti

Range Map

Distribution map of Common wolf snake, Lycodon capucinus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Kha District, Ratchaburi
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phaeo District, Samut Sakhon
  • Bang Khae District, Bangkok
  • Bang Khun Thian District, Bangkok
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bang Sao Thong District, Samut Prakan
  • Bang Yai District, Nonthaburi
  • Bangkok Province
  • Cha-Am District, Phetchaburi
  • Chai Prakan District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Kham District, Phayao
  • Chulabhorn District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Chumphon Buri District, Surin
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Dong Charoen District, Phichit
  • Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Yot District, Trang
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kantang District, Trang
  • Kantharalak District, Sisaket
  • Khanom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Khanu Woralaksaburi District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Khao Laem National Park
  • Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park
  • Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khlong San District, Bangkok
  • Khok Samrong District, Lopburi
  • Ko Chang (South Thailand)
  • Ko Lanta District, Krabi
  • Ko Lanta National Park
  • Ko Pha Ngan
  • Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Kosamphi Nakhon District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Krathum Baen District, Samut Sakhon
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Lam Nam Kra Buri National Park
  • Lat Krabang District, Bangkok
  • Lom Sak District, Phetchabun
  • Long District, Phrae
  • Mae Sot District, Tak
  • Mae Tha, Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Yom National Park
  • Maha Chana Chai District, Yasothon
  • Muak Lek District, Saraburi
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chaiyaphum District, Chaiyaphum
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Chumphon District, Chumphon
  • Mueang Kalasin District, Kalasin
  • Mueang Kamphaeng Phet District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Loei District, Loei
  • Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Mueang Narathiwat District, Narathiwat
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Mueang Ranong District, Ranong
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Sakon Nakhon District, Sakon Nakhon
  • Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Ubon Ratchathani District, Ubon Ratchathani
  • Nakhon Luang District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Nakhon Thai District, Phitsanulok
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nong Bua Daeng District, Chaiyaphum
  • Nong Phai District, Phetchabun
  • Nong Wua So District, Udon Thani
  • Pai District, Mae Hong Son
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Phakdi Chumphon District, Chaiyaphum
  • Phasi Charoen District, Bangkok
  • Phaya Thai District, Bangkok
  • Phi Phi Islands
  • Pho Thong District, Ang Thong
  • Phra Phutthabat District, Saraburi
  • Phra Pradaeng District, Samut Prakan
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phuket Province
  • Prasat District, Surin
  • Sai Buri District, Pattani
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Salak Pra Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sam Phran District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Sam Roi Yot District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Sawi District, Chumphon
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • Sikhio District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Soeng Sang District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi
  • Tak Fa District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Takua Thung District, Phang Nga
  • Tarutao National Marine Park
  • Tha Song Yang District, Tak
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Tham Pha Tha Phon Non-Hunting Area
  • Thawi Watthana District, Bangkok
  • Thep Sathit District, Chaiyaphum
  • Thung Khru District, Bangkok
  • Thung Salaeng Luang National Park
  • Umphang District, Tak
  • Wang Nam Khiao District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Wang Yang District, Nakhon Phanom
  • Wiang Nong Long District, Lamphun
  • Wiang Pa Pao District, Chiang Rai
Range map of Lycodon capucinus in Thailand