Tale of the Mountain Water Snake


  • Rob and Adam have a second encounter with the Mountain Water Snake previously caught during the 'Sandals & Snakes' adventure
  • Several nips later we hold an impromptu photo shoot with Rob's killer wildlife camera while Adam plays snake wrangler

Rob and Adam had spent the morning bouncing between some local trails and Kadoorie Farm with cameras at the ready looking for interesting wildlife subjects. After a missed Common Rat Snake and some exciting caterpillar shoots they decided to grab a quick lunch then make their way to the trail Adam had been on several nights prior where he bumped into a couple of Many Banded Kraits as well as a Mountain Water Snake. As a daytime visit both were hoping to possibly encounter some diurnal species and possibly get some good photos and video for HongKongSnakeID.com.

After walking nearly two thirds of the trail with no luck Rob suddenly spotted something in a water culvert and called out to Adam to have a look. At first glance Adam knew they had found another Mountain Water Snake and on closer inspection he was pretty sure it was the same one he'd caught during his previous walk.

After a brief but harrowing retrieval of the little water snake both decided it would be great to hold a short photo shoot in the daylight with Rob's great camera set up in order to add to the photo gallery of the Mountain Water Snake page. This was of particular interest as both had received several comments that the Mountain Water Snake photos may have been mistakenly switched with the Chinese Water Snake on the site due to the lack of color showing on the bands in those pictures. With daylight on their side and a clear reddish hue visible on the snakes bands a solid photo shoot would certainly help quell any remaining doubt on the original photo set.

With a suitable location found just up the trail they began to take pictures with Rob on the camera and Adam playing snake wrangler. Shortly into the shoot it was clear there were going to be some nice clear shots highlighting the characteristic pattern and coloration of the Mountain Water Snake.

In this photo as well as the one below the red color between the bands which is highly visible on juveniles of the species is still present making visual identification much easier.

As the shoot was wrapping up and just as Adam and Rob were about to let their new found friend go the little snake made a break for it on his own and managed to slip down into some rocks by the river bed. Fortunately neither he nor the two snake hunters were injured, aside from a few small nips Adam sustained on the initial catch.

The rest of the walk was relatively uneventful though Adam and Rob did find an unfortunately drowned White Spotted Slug Snake hatchling and a live but elusive snake that appeared to be a Striped Stream Snake.

For more of Rob's great pictures of this Mountain Water Snake check out the gallery in the full write up on the Mountain Water Snake page of HongKongSnakeID.com or check us out on YouTube and Instagram.

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As always the opinions included here are solely those of the author(s). You should never handle or approach a snake in the wild and if you are bitten contact emergency services at '999' immediately. See our Practical Venomous Snake ID Guide if you plan to be out and about with nature in Hong Kong, and scroll through the page to obtain more advice on what to do if you are bitten as well as for snake removal services.