PREVALENCE: Very common
ACTIVE PERIOD: Active at night
KEY ID FEATURES: Olive green body with faint black dots, yellow belly
BEHAVIOR: Slow moving and very docile, not quick to bite or musk
SIZE: Small - 30-40cm
OTHER: Can be mistaken with other stream snakes but not easily confused with venomous species
QUICK ASSESSMENT 0-10
IMPORTANT: Many snakes have significant variance in coloration and pattern even within the same species. There can also be extreme differences in appearance from juveniles to adults so it is important to never assume you have properly identified a snake.
Anderson's Stream Snakes are Olive green with faint black dots on top with yellow bellies. They have a narrow head helpful for hunting between rocks in slow moving streams. Notrils and eyes evolved on top of the head due to their aquatic nature. Generally not exceeding 30 cm when mature. Some color variation where olive green can give way to brownish hue.
Strictly nocturnal Anderson's come out at night to hunt fresh water shrimp, small fish and their favorite food earth worms. Anderson's have also been observed out in significant numbers during heavy rain on trails hunting worms flushed out by water. Not quick to bite or squirm excessively they are not dangerous in anyway though it should be noted that all snakes are capable of biting.
Found all over Hong Kong the Anderson's Stream Snake is one of the more common snakes to encounter at night if you're in the right location. Due to their diet of worms and fresh water prey they can be found most readily near rocky slow moving streams.
NO SNAKE SHOULD EVER BE HANDLED BY ANYONE BUT EXPERTS: Can be mistaken for some other stream snakes including Bicoloured and Striped Stream Snakes but generally not confused with venomous species.