Sinonatrix aequifasciata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Natricidae

Scientific Name: Sinonatrix aequifasciata
Species Authority: (Barbour, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Asiatic Water Snake, Diamond-backed Water Snake
Natrix aequifasciata Barbour, 1908

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Lau, M. & Li, P.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, HT, Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Powney, G. & Stuart, B.
Sinonatrix aequifasciata is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of human-affected environments, and the lack of any major widespread threat acting upon it.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed from southern China, including Hong Kong and Hainan and west to the province of Guizhou (Zhao and Adler 1993), through Viet Nam (Orlov et al. 2000) to the Annamite Mountains in central Lao PDR (Stuart 1999). In Viet Nam it has been recorded from Cao Bang (Nguyen Binh), Lao Cai (Van Ban), Vinh Phuc (Tam Dao), Bac Giang (Luc Son), Ha Tinh (Rao An) (Vogel et al., 2004;  Nguyen et al., 2009) The elevation range of this species is 100 to 2,000 m above sea level (Zhao et al. 1998, M. Lau pers. comm. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
China (Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang); Hong Kong; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a common species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in streams and waterways in or near forests, including ditches bordering agricultural land (Bain and Truong 2004, Orlov et al. 2000, Stuart 1999). It is oviparous and is active both at day and at night.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is sometimes collected as food by local villagers.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some deforestation is occurring in this region, due to logging, infrastructure development and the expansion of agriculture. It is likely that this species is experiencing habitat loss and degradation in portions of its range. However, due to its apparent tolerance, to a certain extent, of human-impacted environments and its large range, these should not be considered major threats at this time.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, however, in places its distribution coincides with protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.7. Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong. 2006. Reptiles of Hong Kong. Available at:

Bain, R.H. and Truong, N.Q. 2004. Herpetofaunal Diversity of Ha Giang Province in Northeastern Vietnam, with Descriptions of Two New Species. American Museum Novitates 3453: 1-42.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Lau, M. 2007. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Nguyen, V.S., Ho, T.C. and Nguyen, Q.T. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Orlov, N.L., Murphy, R.W. and Papenfuss, T.J. 2000. List of Snakes of Tam-Dao Mountain Ridge (Tonkin, Vietnam). Russian Journal of Herpetology 7(1): 69-80.

Stuart, B.L. 1999. Amphibians and Reptiles. In: J.W. Duckworth, R.E. Salter and K. Khounboline (eds) (eds), Lao PDR Wildlife Status Report, pp. 275 pp.. IUCN- the World Wildlife Conservation Union / Wildlife Conservation Society / Centre for Protected Areas and Watershed Management, Vientiane.

Vogel, G., David, P., Olivier, S., Pauwels, G. and Brachtel, N. 2004. On the occurence of the watersnake Sinonatrix aequifasciata (Barbour, 1908) (Serpentes, Colubridae, Natricinae) in Vietnam. Hamadryad 29(1): 110-114.

Zhao, E. and Adler, K. 1993. Herpetology of China. Society for the study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Zhao, E., Huang, M. and Zong, Y. 1998. Fauna Sinica: Squamata, Serpentes. Science Press, Beijing.

Citation: Lau, M. & Li, P. 2012. Sinonatrix aequifasciata. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T177519A1491110. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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