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File Snakes: Acrochordidae

Behavior And Reproduction

The file snakes rarely leave the water, but they occasionally move from one body of water to another during the wet and dry seasons or when ocean water levels rise and fall due to the tides. During the daytime, they stay among roots, in holes in the muddy water bottom, or in other hiding places and come out to hunt for food at night. Using the bristles in the outgrowths on their skin, file snakes can sense changes in the murky, or dark, water, which helps locate animals that they might otherwise be unable to see. To hunt, a file snake either will strike out and grasp a passing fish with its mouth or will quickly wrap its body around the fish and hold it until the snake can reach around with its head to bite and eat the fish. Unlike constrictor (kun-STRIK-tuhr) snakes that wrap around and squeeze their prey to death before eating it, the file snake coils around the prey only to hold it temporarily until it can quickly gulp it down. Although they can swim quite well, adults usually move slowly along the bottom. Scientists know very little about the behavior of young file snakes.

Java and little file snakes have young every other year, and Arafura file snakes have young even less often. All of the three species lay eggs, probably from the middle of the wet season to late in the wet season. The little file snake has about five eggs at a time, the Arafura file snake has about seventeen, and the Java file snake lays an average of twenty-six eggs. At least among the Arafura file snakes, larger females have a larger number of young.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesFile Snakes: Acrochordidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Little File Snake (acrochordus Granulatus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, FILE SNAKES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS