This is a lowland, highly aquatic snake that typically occurs between sea level and 200 m but reaches 900-1,100 m in Viet Nam.
Distribution: S China (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hainan), N Vietnam
Type locality: China
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Chinese water snake
As the common name suggests, it is a highly aquatic species, adapting well to human-altered environments such as fish pools and rice paddies.
Myrrophis chinensis is a relatively small snake reaching total length (including tail) of up to 80 cm (31 in).
It typically feeds on fish and amphibians.
Myrrophis chinensis are harvested for food and skins, but this is not considered to be threatening its populations.
Myrrophis chinensis is used in folk medicine. It is commonly used in the production of Chinese snake oil. It is known for treating ailments such as fever, joint pain, and headache. It is typically ingested to gain the medicinal effects.
- Murphy, J. (2010). "Enhydris chinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
- Breuer, Hans; Murphy, William Christopher (2009–2010). "Enhydris chinensis". Snakes of Taiwan. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Nóbrega Alves, R. R.; Silva Vieira, W. L.; Santana, G. G. (2008). "Reptiles used in traditional folk medicine: Conservation implications". Biodiversity and Conservation 17 (8): 2037–2049. doi:10.1007/s10531-007-9305-0.
- Boulenger, G. A. (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ), ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Hypsirhina chinensis, pp. 8–9 + Plate I, Figures 2 & 2a).
- Brands, S. J. (comp.) (1989-2006). Systema Naturae 2000. The Taxonomicon. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Universal Taxonomic Services.
- Gray, J. E. (1842). Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family HYDRIDÆ. Zoological Miscellany 1842: 59-68. (Hypsirhina chinensis, new species, p. 66).
- Günther, A. C. L. G. (1864). The Reptiles of British India. London: The Ray Society. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xxvii + 452 pp. + Plates I-XXVI. (Hypsirhina chinensis, p. 283).
- Kumar, A. B.; Sanders, K. L.; George, S.; Murphy, J. C. (2012). The status of Eurostus dussumieri and Hypsirhina chinensis (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes): with comments on the origin of salt tolerance in homalopsid snakes. Systematics and Biodiversity 10 (4): 479-489. (Myrrophis chinensis, new combination).
- Smith, M. A. (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia, Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Enhydris chinensis, p. 387).
Names and Taxonomy
This snake is now in the genus Myrrophis. Kumar et al (2012) removed it from the genus Enhydris based on a molecular investigation and erected the genus Myrrophis for this species and its sister species, M. bennettii.