Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Homalopsis buccata Linnaeus, 1758

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Homalopsidae
Genus:Homalopsis
Species:H. buccata
Common Names:Puff-faced Water Snake
Status:Uncommon

Description

The Puff-faced Water Snake has a robust body with a large head that are distinct from the neck. The dorsal of the adult is grey with black-edged dark brown rectangular patterns, while juveniles have orange dorsal with black rectangular patterns. The ventral is white with small black spots. It grows to a total length of up to 1.4 m.

Read more about the Squamata order.
Read more about the Homalopsidae family.

Distribution

Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Pulau Belitung, Borneo, Java and north-eastern India.

Localities

Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Kranji Marshes, Nee Soon Swamp Forest, Pulau Tekong, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Upper Seletar Reservoir and Western Catchment.

Locality Map

General Biology

This snake is nocturnal and largely aquatic, inhabiting coastal areas as well as slow-moving and stagnant water bodies such as peat swamps, freshwater ponds, marshes and rice fields. It is mildly venomous but is often gentle.

Diet

It feeds on fish, crustaceans and frogs.

Life Cycle

Ovoviviparous; clutches comprise 2–22 neonates.

Other Resources

Uetz, P. (editor). The Reptile Database: Homalopsis buccata. http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Homalopsis&species=buccata. (Accessed September 2012).

References

Baker, N. & K.K.P. Lim, 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte Ltd and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.

Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

Lim, K.K.P. & F.L.K. Lim, 2002. A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

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