Ahaetulla prasina

Ahaetulla prasina
Oriental whipsnake
Oriental whipsnake, Ahaetulla prasina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Ahaetulla
Species: A. prasina
Binomial name
Ahaetulla prasina
(Boie, 1827)[1]

Dryophis prasinus Boie, 1827

Ahaetulla prasina, commonly known as the Asian vine snake or the Oriental whipsnake, is a widespread species of tree snake found in South Asia and Southeast Asia.



Snout acuminate, projecting, without dermal appendage, rather more than twice as long as the eye. Internasals usually in contact with the labials; one to four small loreals between the prefrontal and the labials ; frontal as long as its distance from the end of the snout or a little longer, a little longer than the parietals; one preocular, in contact with the frontal; two postoculars; temporals 2+2 or 3+3, rarely 1+2; upper labials 9, fourth, fifth, and sixth entering the eye; 4 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin-shields, which are shorter than the posterior. Scales in 15 rows, usually faintly keeled on sacral region. Ventrals 203-234; anal divided; subcaudals 167-203, Bright green, pale olive, or grey-brown, with a yellow line along each side of the lower parts; interstitial skin of the neck black and white.[2]

Adults may attain 1.8 m (6 feet) in total length, with a tail .6 m (2 feet) long.[3]

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.


Ahaetulla prasina 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.


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


India (Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam; Arunachal Pradesh (Miao - Changlang district, Chimpu, Itanagar - Papum Pare district)), Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand (including Phuket), Western Malaysia (including Pulau Tioman, Johor: Pulau Besar), Singapore, China (Hong Kong, westward through Guizhou and Yunnan to SE Xizang = Tibet), Indonesia (Borneo, Celebes = Sulawesi, Anamba Archipelago, Bali, Bangka, Belitung, Butung, Java, Kalimantan, Lombok, Mentawai Islands, Natuna Islands, Nias, Riau Archipelago, Sangihe Islands, Sebuku, Simeulue, Sula Archipelago, Sumatra, Sumbawa, Ternate, Lifou); Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; India; Laos; Malaysia (Malaya and East Malaysia); Philippine Islands (including Palawan: Calamian Islands, Panay); Singapore; and Vietnam


  1. ^ Dahms Tierleben. www.dahmstierleben.de
  2. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia. British Museum. London. p. 369.
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. London.


  • Boulenger, G.A. 1897 List of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Mr. Alfred Everett in Lombok, Flores, Sumba and Saru, with descriptions of new species.Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 19: 503-509
  • Shaw, G. 1802 General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History. Vol.3, part 1 + 2. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London: 313-615

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