Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Homalopsidae

Scientific Name: Erpeton tentaculatum
Species Authority: Lacépède, 1800
Common Name(s):
English Tentacled Snake, Tentacle Snake
Erpeton tentaculatus Lacépède, 1800 [orth. error]
Herpeton tentaculatum (Lacépède, 1800)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-15
Assessor(s): Murphy, J., Brooks, S.E. & Bain, R.H.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S.R., Elfes, C.T., Polidoro, B.A. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)
This species is considered common within its range. Although harvested, it makes up a small proportion of the harvest and this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the global population. This species is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Peninsular Southeast Asia occurring in Thailand, and southern Viet Nam (Murphy 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is considered quite common within its range (J. Murphy pers. comm. 2009). There have not been any specific abundance studies on this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits stagnant or slow moving bodies of water with emergent-submergent vegetation. This species feeds exclusively on fish (Murphy 2007).

Life history information is from captive bred animals. During the dry season it will, if necessary, bury itself under the mud until the rainy season returns.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Used for crocodile and human food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is exploited in Tonlé Sap Lake in Cambodia, and snake populations are declining in this particular area. However, they make up a small proportion of the overall snake harvest (2-3%) (Brooks et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Cambodia, there is non commercial "minimal captive breeding" of this species (S. Brooks pers. comm.), but there are no known species-specific conservation measures in place. In places, its distribution coincides with protected areas, probably providing small safeguards. Monitoring of the population around the Tonlé Sap Lake should be carried out to check the levels of by-catch are not causing serious declines in this species.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.13. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Inland Deltas
suitability: Suitable  

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
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Food - animal
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Brooks, S.E., Allison, E.H. and Reynolds, J.D. 2007. Vulnerability of Cambodian water snakes: Initial assessment of the impact of hunting at Tonle Sap Lake. Biological Conservation 39(1): 401-414.

Cox, M.J. 1991. The Snakes of Thailand and Their Husbandry. Krieger Publishing Company, Florida.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Murphy, J.C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.

Stuart, B.L., Smith, J., Davey, K., Din, P. and Platt, S.G. 2000. Homalopsine watersnakes. The harvest and trade from Tonle Sap, Cambodia. Traffic Bulletin 18(3): 115-124.

Citation: Murphy, J., Brooks, S.E. & Bain, R.H. 2010. Erpeton tentaculatum. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176697A7285596. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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