Tentacled Snake: Species Profile & Care Guide

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The tentacled snake (Erpeton tentaculatum) is one of the most unusual looking creatures you’ll find in the sea. With its knobby skin and beady eyes, it’s like an octopus with legs! Learn more about these intriguing sea slugs and how to care for them below.

Common Name

The tentacled snake is a semi-aquatic, rear-fanged snake found in Southeast Asia. It gets its name from the two tentacles on either side of its head, which are actually modified scales. The tentacled snake is a timid creature that is not aggressive and will not bite unless provoked. It feeds mainly on frogs and toads. When threatened it coils up into a ball with its head covered by its body. Its skin contains toxins that help protect it from predators.

Tentacled snakes are often mistaken for sea snakes because they have similar colors, but there are differences between them. Tentacled snakes live for about 10 years in captivity, but their lifespan is unknown in the wild due to a lack of data.

Scientific Name

The tentacled snake (Erpeton tentaculatum) is a species of snake in the family Boidae. It is found in Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, swamps, and freshwater marshes. It is a non-venomous constrictor and feeds on fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Adults average around 16 inches but can grow up to 3 feet long. They have a large head that tapers into an elongated body with a small tail.

There are 19 rows of dorsal scales running down its back and sides with smooth skin on its belly. They also have reduced eyespots that distinguish them from other snakes like boas and pythons that have functional eyespots for hunting at night when most animals sleep during the daytime.

Tentacled Snake Profile


The tentacled snake is a unique creature found in Southeast Asia. It gets its name from the two tentacles that protrude from its head, which it uses to sense its surroundings. The snake is non-venomous and is not considered a threat to humans. However, it can be aggressive if provoked. The best way to avoid an encounter with a tentacled snake is to leave it alone and give it space. If you must handle one, use heavy gloves or tongs to protect yourself from getting bitten.

If you are bitten by a tentacled snake, seek medical attention immediately. Its venom contains neurotoxins that affect the nervous system. Symptoms of a bite include slurred speech, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment consists of antivenin administered as soon as possible after the bite occurs.


The lifespan of a tentacled snake is around 10 years, although some have been known to live for up to 20 years. They are a hardy species and do well in captivity if given the proper care. However, they will often refuse food after shedding their skin which can lead to anorexia. It’s important to be aware of this possibility so that you can take steps to avoid it. You should offer your pet a meal before or soon after it sheds its skin (within 24 hours).

You may also need to administer fluids via injection or oral gavage until the snake has eaten again. Tentacled snakes are not likely to become ill from eating at this time but it is best not to chance dehydration by withholding food. Once the snake has started eating on its own again, you can return to a normal feeding schedule.


The tentacled snake is a small to medium-sized species of aquatic snake that can be found in Southeast Asia. They get their name from the two tentacles that protrude from their head, which they use to help them breath underwater. Adult snakes typically grow to be between 2 and 4 feet in length, although some have been known to reach lengths of up to 6 feet. In captivity, they can live up to 20 years if properly cared for. Unlike most other aquatic species, these snakes are not prolific egg layers. Females will only lay one clutch per year, with an average of 8 eggs at a time.

Eggs will hatch in around 5 months time and hatchlings can range anywhere from 9 inches to 18 inches long. Tentacled snakes feed primarily on fish, frogs, shrimp, crayfish and sometimes smaller prey such as lizards or salamanders. These snakes need high levels of humidity in order to thrive; lack of humidity can lead to respiratory infections or skin conditions such as Mites. If your pet snake has lost its appetite or appears lethargic, you should take it to a veterinarian immediately.


The diet of the tentacled snake consists mainly of fish, but they will also eat amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. In the wild, they hunt by following the movements of their prey in the water and then striking quickly to catch it. In captivity, they can be fed live or frozen/thawed food items. It is important to offer a variety of food items to maintain a healthy diet. The snakes are often fed whole fish (gutted), feeder goldfish, mealworms, earthworms, earthworm larvae, slugs and snails.

They should also be offered appropriately sized dead rodents as an occasional treat. Ideally, these would be rats that have been killed with CO2 rather than other methods that may leave behind traces of odor or chemicals. Feeding frequency depends on age and size; hatchlings usually need to be fed every 5-7 days while adults may go up to 3 weeks between meals.


The tentacled snake is a rear-fanged, aquatic species of snake found in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by the presence of tentacles on its snout, which are actually modified scales. Tentacled snakes are generally shy and non-aggressive, but can be defensive if threatened. They are nocturnal predators, feeding primarily on fish, amphibians, and small reptiles. They breed throughout the year, with females laying clutches of eggs during the wet season.

Males remain near the nesting site to guard and protect it from other males until hatching occurs. These nests are typically dug into mud banks or under rocks near water sources to provide protection for young offspring until they develop into adults. In captivity, tentacled snakes need high humidity levels and fresh water available at all times. They should not be handled without gloves due to their potent venom, which contains enzymes that can cause severe tissue damage.


The tentacled snake is a shy and reclusive creature that is rarely seen in the wild. They are a nocturnal species that prefer to stay hidden during the day. Tentacled snakes are non-venomous and have a mild temperament, making them an ideal pet for those who are looking for a docile snake. These snakes are not known to be aggressive and will usually only strike if they feel threatened. Their diet consists mainly of slugs, snails, and earthworms. Unlike other serpents, the tentacled snake does not use venom to kill its prey but instead wraps it with its body until it suffocates.

A juvenile tentacled snake can grow up to 6 ft. long while adults can reach lengths of 9 ft. Despite their large size, these snakes typically weigh less than 10 lbs., which makes them easy to transport and care for. Adult females lay their eggs in rotting logs or underneath plants on the forest floor where they hatch about 45 days later. Like all reptiles, these creatures do not have any eyelids and so need a moist environment because their eyes dry out easily.

Availability From Retailers In The United States (Online And Physical Stores)

Although the tentacled snake is not a common pet, it is possible to find them for sale from reptile retailers both online and in physical stores. In the United States, they are most commonly sold through specialty reptile stores, although some pet stores may also carry them. The price for a captive-bred snake can range from $50 to $200, depending on the size and coloration of the snake.

Wild-caught snakes are typically more expensive, ranging from $100 to $400. Due to their scarcity, however, these prices often fluctuate. Tentacled snakes that have been bred in captivity tend to be much less expensive than wild-caught ones; this means that captive-bred individuals can cost as little as $5 when purchased from private breeders or even hobbyists.

Average Cost For A Single Animal (in U.S. Dollars):

The average cost for a single animal ranges from $50 to $200. In the wild, these snakes can be found in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. They inhabit areas near freshwater sources, such as ponds, marshes, and streams. Tentacled snakes are not considered dangerous to humans. However, their bites can be painful and cause swelling. Also, when agitated they will secrete a foul-smelling slime which is often released into the water around them.

For this reason it is advised that you do not attempt to catch one of these snakes if you come across one in the wild! If you plan on keeping one at home, then make sure your cage has a large water dish with clean fresh water and some type of hiding spot so the snake can feel safe. A 10 gallon tank is recommended for an adult snake with plenty of room to swim about. You may want to provide your snake with live or frozen food items too, since these snakes are primarily aquatic animals and prefer insects or small fish that they can eat whole.

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