PREVALENCE: Not common
ACTIVE PERIOD: Active at night
KEY ID FEATURES: Yellowish tan with brown markings and distinctive red lacquer colored eyes
BEHAVIOR: Docile and slow moving, may squirm if handled but almost never bites
SIZE: Small - 30-40cm
OTHER: Specialized jaw for extracting snails from their shells
QUICK ASSESSMENT 0-10
IMPORTANT: Most snakes can be found to 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.
PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Rosenberg
Up to 60-70 cm in length, the Chinese Slug Snake is a relatively small slow moving snake with a yellowish tan body with black and or dark brow brown markings resembling vertical bands. A rounded specialized head with a slightly thinner neck and proportioned body. Very distinctive red lacquer colored eyes with small vertical pupils.
Completely nocturnal the Chinese Slug Snake is a docile hunter of snails and small slugs. As a result it is found near but not living in water. Generally stay still when approached and may squirm when handled but never bite and not known to musk. May display defensive behavior including playing dead or rolling into a ball.
Live in areas surrounding shallow slow moving or still bodies of water where their exclusive diet of small snails and slugs can be found. The Chinese Slug Snake is rare in Hong Kong found only in a few documented location.
NO SNAKE SHOULD EVER BE HANDLED BY ANYONE BUT EXPERTS: Generally unique in appearance and temperament. It should be noted that small snakes can be particularly dangerous due to difficulty in properly identifying them and difficulty handling them. As such they should never be handled or approached.