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Asian Vine Snake

Ahaetulla prasina

Fast Facts

  • They are rear-fanged colubrid snakes, referred to as opisthoglyphous.
  • Their fangs are grooved, not hollow, and the venom comes from a gland that slowly drips down the fangs.
  • Instead of just biting and releasing venom into their prey, they have to chew on them to get the venom into their system.
  • Due to their penchant for reptile and amphibian prey, they are difficult to keep in captivity.
  • Also known as Boie’s whip snake, Gunther’s whip snake, Jade vine snake, and Oriental whip snake.
Vine snake



Asia, India, across southern China, and Indonesia


forests, gardens, scrublands, plantations, and roadsides


Up to six feet


Lizards, frogs, mice, and birds


The Vine snake’s body is finger thin, tapering to a pencil-width neck. They range in color from bright neon green to teal and can either be solidly colored, have a long yellow stripe running down the length of their body, or are covered in dark green and blue lines on their scales. The head is spear shaped with two large bumps towards the back where the venom glands are located. Their eyes are yellow with a black horizontal pupil, unlike South American vine snakes where the pupil is round.


Asian vine snakes hunt using their camouflage to move in the branches of trees, sometimes swaying with the wind to further their mimicry. Even the tongue flicking is more subdued than in other snake species, with the tongue poking out very slowly, sometimes without the forked flair. When they smell prey, they slowly approach and follow until the right moment to strike, usually aiming for the neck.


Asian vine snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning the eggs develop inside the mother’s body and when they hatch, the snakes give live birth. They give birth to about 7-10 young at a time, with newborn snakes measuring about 9.5 inches.

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