[SOLVED] Bocourt’s Water Snake (Enhydris bocourti)

07 Sep 2014 12:28 - 08 Sep 2014 10:33 #2281 by Bo Christensen
Bo Christensen created the topic: [SOLVED] Bocourt’s Water Snake (Enhydris bocourti)
I came across this snake the other morning. I have been through all the online ressources I know of, without any luck on identification.
It was catched in a fishingnet in a flooded ricefield in Phrom Phiram, Phitsanulok. It is a about 1 meter long, and fairly thick.
The pictures are not the best, but none of the locals knew what it was, and wouldn't touch it, so I kept my distance.





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07 Sep 2014 15:17 #2282 by Xenocrab
Xenocrab replied the topic: Snake ID
Using a great on-line resource to identifying all Thai species at www.siamensis.org/species_index#3308--Sp...0Enhydris%20bocourti
I 'guess' its a งูไซ Bocourt's Water Snake (Enhydris bocourti). But could be wrong... BTW these and other water snakes are harvested in their milions from Cambodia's Tonle Sap each year. Video of this species at

and Tonle Sap snake harvest at
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07 Sep 2014 23:13 #2285 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Snake ID
Am quite sure the ID Xenocrab mentioned is the correct one, Bocourt's Water Snake, Enhydris bocourti.
Maybe not the most handsome family of snakes, but this specific species has nice coloration.

According to Indraneil Das' book "Reptiles of South-east Asia" it is mildly venomous, but from what I've read not a real danger to humans.
Still, better not to get bitten.
Did it end up as 'Kapao Ngu' or was it released?
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08 Sep 2014 10:32 - 08 Sep 2014 10:48 #2287 by Bo Christensen
Bo Christensen replied the topic: Snake ID
Thank you very much for the identification.

I left before they were finished cleaning the nets, so I don't know what happened to the snake.
It would surprise me, if it weren't eaten. Our local river (Pong Nok) ran over last monday and is flooding more rice fields day by day. The farmers has quickly transformed into fulltime fishermen/hunters, and they catch and eat everything living.

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08 Sep 2014 12:18 #2288 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Snake ID
Yes Thais tend to take EVERYTHING they catch.
But at least they eat the whole animals, and not throw away too much.
Still, I've seen they usually respect snakes and if they know it is not dangerous, they'll let them go. Or even if it is dangerous but nowhere near their house/ children they usually don't kill without reason.
However, evolution gave quite a few harmless species similar coloration as highly venomous species. E.g. there is more than a handfull of harmless species that are much alike Blue Kraits, with black and white banding. It might help these snakes in the wild, but certainly not in areas where they live close to humans.
Some rat snakes look like cobras. One of the cat snake species is very much alike the Russell's Viper. Every green snake is thought to be a green pit viper.
All these snakes won't live long if encountered by people in their houses or gardens. In a way understandable, but maybe better education could help save some.

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