Cantoria violacea ranges from the coast of Myanmar and the Andaman Islands eastward following coastlines throughout the Greater Sunda Islands, and ascending tidal rivers for at least short distances. In a report on the food habits of homalopsine snakes, Voris and Murphy (2002) reported that they were found to feed on alpheid shrimp.
- Voris, H.K. and J.C. Murphy. 2002). The prey and predators of Homalopsine snakes. Journal of Natural History 36(13): 1621-1632.
Distribution: Burma (Myanmar), S Thailand, Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatra, Timor); India (Andaman Islands); W Malaysia (Malaya); Singapore
Type locality: Singapore
Catalog Number: USNM 5523
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Locality: No Further Locality Data, Singapore
- Holotype: Girard, C. 1857. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 9: 182.
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Rostral broader than deep. Frontal a little longer than broad, shorter than its distance from the end of the snout, and shorter than the parietals. Eye between four shields: a preocular, a supraocular, a postocular, and a subocular. Loreal longer than deep. One elongate anterior temporal, in contact with the postocular and the subocular. 5 upper labials. 3 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are not longer than the posterior chin shields.
Dorsal scales smooth, without apical pits, in 19 rows. Ventrals 266-278; anal divided; subcaudals 56-64.
Blackish above, with white transverse bands, which widen towards the abdomen. These bands are very narrow in the typical form, wider in the var. dayana, but constantly much narrower than the black interspaces. Some white spots on the head. Lower parts white, with greyish spots, which are continuations of the dorsal crossbands. These bands may form complete rings on the tail.
Total length 3 feet: tail 4 inches.
- Boulenger, G. A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.
- Boulenger, George A. 1890 The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp.
- Frith,C.B. & Boswell,J. 1978 Cantor's Water Snake, Cantoria violaecea Girard, a vertebrate new to the fauna of Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. (Bangkok) 27: 187-189
- Ghodke, Sameer and Harry V. Andrews 2002 Recent record of Cantoria violacea (Girard, 1857) from North and Middle Andaman Islands, India with a note on its bite. Hamadryad. 26 (2):371-373 
- Girard,C. 1858 Descriptions of some new Reptiles, collected by the US. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. Third Part. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Philad. 9: 181-182