SUMMARY

  • VENOM: None

  • 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

GALLERY

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. 

DESCRIPTION

Up to 40cm 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. The Chinese Slug is also translucent when held up to light, a relatively unique physical nature amongst snakes in Hong Kong.

BEHAVIOR

Completely nocturnal the Chinese Slug Snake is a docile hunter of snails and small slugs. Generally will stay still when approached and may squirm when handled but never bite and are not known to musk. May display defensive behavior including playing dead or rolling into a ball.

HABITAT

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 prefer higher elevations and cooler temperatures. In addition to habitat close to water they also thrive in wooded habitats that frequently experience cloud mist. The Chinese Slug Snake is rare in Hong Kong found only in a few documented location.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

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.