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Mountain Slug-eating Snake

Asthenodipsas vertebralis


Small sized snake around 30-40cm (12-15 inches) in length. Mostly brown in color with striking red eyes. Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Colubridae - Pareatinae) is a Malaysian colubrid commonly known as Mountain Slug Snake. This is a nocturnal species, and is predominantly terrestrial, though it may climb a few metres from the ground in search of protection or prey. Slug snakes feed on snails and slugs, but little more is known of the detailed ecology of this highly localised species. A typical example of this species comprises a dark grey to dark brown dorsum and a cream underside. Numerous faint grey or brown bands occur in the central, thickest part of the body which is laterally compressed. In juveniles the dorsum is pale brown, and the banding is more apparent. The head of this snake is blunt, the snout rounded with large eyes and reddish to brown iris. Slug-eating snakes find snails with their forked tongues and vomeronasal systems; some species follow the snails' slime trails. Once they find snails, slug-eating snakes extract them by immobilizing the shells with their top jaws and extracting the gastropods through movements of the snake's bottom jaws and teeth


The Mountain Slug Snake has been found only in hill dipterocarp, submontane and montane primary forests of Peninsular Malaysia, at elevations of around 1000-2000 metres. It is absent from the lowlands.


New Organism to Project Noah

1 Species ID Suggestions

AshleyT 9 years ago
Mountain Slug-eating Snake
Asthenodipsas vertebralis Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Mountain Slug-eating Snake)

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AlbertKang 9 years ago

Thanks, @Maria :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

Beautiful series - especially like the second photo

AshleyT 9 years ago

Always glad to help :) It is a beautiful snake!

AlbertKang 9 years ago

Thanks, @kfox :)

kfox 9 years ago

Wow! Gorgeous!

AlbertKang 9 years ago

Thanks a lot, @Ashley for the ID.
Yes, where I found the Snake fits into the distribution map :D

Spotted by


Spotted on Jan 20, 2015
Submitted on Jan 29, 2015

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