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CHINESE WATER SNAKE - Enhydris chinensis

Another snake that I do not see very often, The CHINESE WATER SNAKE (Enhydris chinensis) has the face typical of a water/mud snake, with the eyes on top of the head, and as Adam put it "a face only a mother could love"...ah bless....

Very rarely seen out of water, Adam helped pose these photos. And yes, it is a venomous snake, tho a mild venom, and not dangerous. For more information see our sister site for more information and great pics.


Chinese Water Snakes are dark brown with black markings on top with yellow or pink bellies. They have a rounded head with strong jaws helpful for hunting fish. Notrils evolved on top of the head due to their aquatic nature. Generally not exceeding 60 cm when mature. Some color variation where brown can give way to olive green hue. Keeled scales. Though technically venomous, reactions are rare in humans and usually consist of minor localized swelling and in more extreme cases mild nausea or dizziness.


Mostly nocturnal Chinese Water Snakes come out at night to hunt fresh and brackish water fish and occasionally amphibians. They have also been observed out during the day and hiding under boards and logs near water. Quick to bite, musk and squirm excessively and despite being mildly venomous they are not considered dangerous to humans though it should be noted that envenomations can cause mild symptoms including nausea and localized swelling.


Found largely in the New Territories the Chinese Water Snake is a less common snakes to encounter in Hong Kong. Due to their diet of fresh and brackish water prey they can be found most readily near slow moving bodies of water including man made fisheries, ponds, mangroves and slow moving streams.

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