Puff Faced Water Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Puff Faced Water Snake - Homalopsis buccata from Nakhon si Thammarat
Juvenile Puff Faced Water Snake – Homalopsis buccata – Not Dangerous. ©2010 ThailandSnakes.com

(Page Updated: 6 September 2016)

Homalopsis buccata (Puff-faced Water Snake)

Thai – (ngu hua galog, ngu leuam ao)

Size – Maximum about 120 centimeters. The young are very thin – like a pencil. The adults are thick – like a forearm or even a human leg.

Range – all over Thailand and almost always beside or in water: Pools, streams, rivers, puddles, lakes. They are not found on hills or mountains.

Food – fish, frogs, tadpoles primarily.

Behavior – The water snake Homalopsis buccata lives in fresh and salty mixed with fresh – brackish water. These snakes live in and near any body of water – natural or man-made. Puff Faced Watersnakes are found almost always in the water or on the bank. Small holes in the bank are often ‘home’.  This snake is primarily active at night, but I have found 2 of them during the day time. eds on fish, frogs and frog spawn.

Young – born alive without eggs. Coloration – orange and black bands. Adults are darker orange and even grey color without any orange.

Danger – I’ve had a couple of these snakes and they don’t seem to bite at all. Not saying they never do, but I think their temperament is nice and calm.

Range – Bangladesh; Myanmar, Cambodia; Thailand; Vietnam; Indonesia; Laos; Malaysia; Singapore; India; Nepal; Pulau Bangka

Homalopsis buccata – Puff-faced Water Snake

Puff-faced Water Snake Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Homalopsis
Species: H. buccata
Binomial name
Homalopsis buccata

Classification by Linnaeus in 1758

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About Vern Lovic

Snake posts by Vern Lovic. Amateur herpetologist roaming about Thailand on field herping tours and events to find king cobras, kraits, vipers, corals, keelbacks, and other snakes native to Thailand. FYI - Thailand has over 200 snake species. Here's our latest book with detailed information on Thailand's 35 Deadly Snakes. "Is That Snake In Your House Dangerous? Identify Deadly Thailand Snakes In Under 5 Minutes!" INFO HERE.

5 thoughts on “Puff Faced Water Snake – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous”

  1. I want a puff face water non vonamous snake to keep in fish tank which is filled with water and keep as pet

  2. Two of them were in my garden this morning. One was stretched out across a wide tiled pathway. His/her frontal body was stretched out almost straight for about 75cm, except for very marked vertical corrugations. The tail became almost a whip. I would estimate the length at 1.5m. It was thicker than my thumb in its main body, but not as thick as my arm. After remaining stationary for 15 or 20 seconds, it suddenly whipped round and there was a second one! They disappeared into the brush.

    I was on my way into the house to collect my camera to photograph something else – I did not have my camera with me!!!

    1. These don’t get 1.5 meters. I think 1 meter max. I’ve never seen one bigger than maybe 80cm. 1 meter long snakes of this species are rare. Did you get some photos?

  3. Hi Vern

    Wonder if you could recall, how long/old was that juvie Puff-Faced watersnake? Lovely coloration

    1. Hmm. Sorry, I cannot remember with any degree of accuracy at all. We find them a lot. They are supposed to get up to 1 meter I believe. I’ve seen them that big only twice.

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