File Snake Habitats and Habits

The file snake also known as the wart snake belongs to a unique aquatic Acrochordidae family consisting of three species. The Acrochordidae are small snakes 20 – 76 inches long with a blunt head with rough spiny scales. They are found in the Indo Australian region inhabiting Australia, Malysia, Indonesia and Solomon’s Island. They are mainly hunted for food and their skin used for leather. This type of snake reproduces once after every two years hence increased hunting may caused a decrease in their population. Damage to their habitat may also lead to decline in their number. This snake is thought to be venomous


The files snakes are entirely aquatic, moving from one body mass to the other during dry and wet seasons as water levels change due to tides. The file snake mainly live in warm shallow waters mainly on mangroves and lagoons. The young file snakes can live in both fresh water and salty water conditions. From the ocean to the swampy areas around the ocean to the neighboring rivers. They have salt glands that regulate the amount of salts in their bodies. Some have been captured at depth of 4-20m deep and 2-10 km offshore. The inland distribution of this species is limited by water falls rather than tolerance to fresh waters. The java snake mainly inhabits the lagoon and streams. The species also inhabits estuaries and fresh water seas and rarely on marine condition though it’s highly tolerant to salty conditions.

The Arafura snake is entirely a fresh water species found in tropical rivers and fresh water lakes. High population densities are mainly found in drainage systems of Northern Australia. During the dry seasons it will be found in billabongs (Bill-uh-bong) dry stream beds but on rainy seasons this snake disperses into flooded glass lands and marshy areas.  


These snakes are nocturnal, found tangled among roots, muddy holes, burrows and other hiding areas over the day and emerging at night to hunt for food. They are foragers but often found patrolling shallow pools where fish population is concentrated. The java snake is frequently seen swimming due to their intermittent need for air. The file snake usually crawls indolently on muddy substrate on swamps or sea and river bottoms. Little is known about the ecology of the young file snakes.  The file snakes generally remain within a limited area over years due to their low energy requirements and due to High concentration of fish that form a major food source. Their population densities are high in these areas with some reports indicating 100 snakes per hectare. The physical and behavior adaptations of these snakes reduce incidences of predation. They are mainly found under water and burrowed in mud. The may be eaten by crocodiles or birds this rarely happen.