You are here » home advanced search Cantoria violacea

Cantoria violacea GIRARD, 1858

IUCN Red List - Cantoria violacea - Least Concern, LC

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Cantoria violacea?

Add your own observation of
Cantoria violacea »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Cantor's Water Snake
G: Cantors Wasserschlange 
SynonymCantoria violacea GIRARD 1858: 182
Hydrodipsas elapiformis PETERS 1859: 270
Hemiodontus elapiformis — JAN 1863
Cantoria elongata GÜNTHER 1864 (nom. nov. pro Cantoria violacea GIRARD)
Cantoria elapiformis — GÜNTHER 1869
Cantoria dayana STOLICZKA 1870: 208
Cantoria dayana — ANDERSON 1871: 178
Cantoria violacea — GRANDISON 1978
Cantoria violacea — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 330
Cantoria violacea — MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 11
Cantoria violacea — WALLACH et al. 2014: 148 
DistributionBurma (Myanmar), S Thailand,
Indonesia (Borneo, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Timor); Timor-Leste,
India (Andaman Islands);
W Malaysia (Malaya); Singapore

Type locality: Singapore  
TypesHolotype: USNM 5523 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (genus): Convergent with true sea snakes (Hydrophii- nae), except lacks a paddle tail. The head small, barely discernible from neck, body exceptionally slender, dorsal scales at mid-body in 19 rows; prefrontal as large as nasal scale; five upper labials; loreal contacts first 2–3 upper labials; subocular scale separates upper labials 3–4 from orbit; 7–8 lower labials; ventral count exceeds 234 (more ventrals than any other homalopsid) (Murphy & Voris 2014: 11)

DIAGNOSIS: Can be distinguished from all other homalopsids by the combination of 19 dorsal scales rows at mid-body; nasals separated by internasal scale; prefrontals make broad contact; five upper labials; loreal contacts first 2–3 upper labials; subocular scale separates upper labials 3–4 from orbit; 7–8 lower labials; ventral count exceeds 234 (more ventrals than any other homalopsid) (n = 20; Murphy & Voris 2014: 11) 
CommentHabitat: marine (sea snake).

Diet: crustaceans

Type species: Cantoria violacea GIRARD 1857 is the type species of the genus Cantoria GIRARD 1857 
EtymologyCantoria is named after the herpetologist Theodore Cantor. The name violacea referes to the dark violet bands that alternate with yellow bands on the snake’s back. 
  • Anderson, J. 1871. On some Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1871: 149-211 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Cantor. T. E. 1847. Catalogue of reptiles inhabiting the Malayan Peninsula and Islands. J Asiat. Soc., Bengal, Calcutta. 16 (2): 607 - 656, 897-952, 1026 - 1078 - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • David,P. & Vogel, G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Fabre, Anne-Claire; David Bickford, Marion Segall and Anthony Herrel 2016. The impact of diet, habitat use, and behaviour on head shape evolution in homalopsid snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12753 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Ganesh, S., Nandhini, T., Samuel, V., Sreeraj, C., Abhilash, K., Purvaja, R., & Ramesh, R. 2019. Marine snakes of Indian coasts: historical resume, systematic checklist, toxinology, status, and identification key. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 11(1), 13132-13150 - get paper here
  • 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 [2001] - get paper here
  • Ghodke, Sameer; Manish Chandi, and Vardhan Patankar 2018. Yellow-banded Mangrove Snakes (Cantoria violacea) consume hard-shelled Orange Signaler Crabs (Metaplax elegans). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 25 (1): 50–51 - get paper here
  • 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 [1857] - get paper here
  • Grandison, A. G. C. 1978. Snakes of West Malaysia and Singapore. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 81 [1977]: 283-303 - get paper here
  • Jayne, Bruce C; Harold K Voris ; Peter K L Ng 2018. How big is too big? Using crustacean-eating snakes (Homalopsidae) to test how anatomy and behaviour affect prey size and feeding performance. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society - get paper here
  • Lang, Ruud de 2011. The Snakes of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), Indonesia. Asian Herpetological Research 2 (1): 46-54 - get paper here
  • Lang, Ruud de 2012. Snakes of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), Indonesia. Edition Chimaira, 349 pp. - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. FIELDIANA: LIFE AND EARTH SCIENCES (8): 1–43 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • O’SHEA, Mark; Caitlin SANCHEZ, Andrew KATHRINER, Sven MECKE, Venancio LOPES CARVALHO, Agivedo VARELA RIBEIRO, Zito AFRANIO SOARES, Luis LEMOS DE ARAUJO and Hinrich KAISER 2015. Herpetological Diversity of Timor-Leste: Updates and a Review of Species Distributions. Asian Herpetological Research 6 (2): 73–131 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1859. Nachrichten von Hrn. Fedor Jagor, der auf eigne Kosten nach Ostindien und den Philippinen gereist ist und von der Akademie mit Instructionen für das Sammeln naturwissenschaftlicher Gegenstände versehen wurde. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1859 (März): 269-271 - get paper here
  • Segall, M., Cornette, R., Rasmussen, A. R., & Raxworthy, C. J. 2021. Inside the head of snakes: influence of size, phylogeny, and sensory ecology on endocranium morphology. Brain Structure and Function, 1-15 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Stoliczka, F. 1870. Observations on some Indian and Malayan Amphibia and Reptilia. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 39: 134-228. - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
  • Sworder, G.H. 1922. A list of the snakes of Singapore Island. Singapore Naturalist 2:55-73
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - get paper here
  • Vogrinc, Philip N. 2017. Cantoria violacea (Cantor's Watersnake) Maximum size. Herpetological Review 48 (1): 205 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1913. Occurrence of Cantor's Watersnake (Cantoria violacea) in the Andamans. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 23: 166 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • Zug, G.R. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2019. Identification guide Amphibians and reptiles of South Tanintharyi. Fauna & Flora International, 101 pp.
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator