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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Homalopsoidea

Familia: Homalopsidae
Genus: Cantoria
Species: Cantoria violacea

Cantoria violacea Girard, 1858: 182

Holotype: USNM 5523.

Type locality: “Singapore”.
Primary references

Girard, C. [1857] 1858. Descriptions of some new Reptiles, collected by the US. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. Third Part. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 9: 181–182. BHL

Additional references

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. Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2022. Cantoria violacea. The Reptile Database. Accessed on 29 November 2018.
Murphy, J. & Ghodke, S. 2010. IUCN: Cantoria violacea (Least Concern). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176678A7282253. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T176678A7282253.en

Vernacular names
English: Cantor's Water Snake

Cantoria violacea, commonly known as Cantor's water snake, is a species of snake found in tropical Asia. It is named in honor of the 19th century herpetologist Theodore Cantor.[1]


Rostral broader than deep. Frontal a little longer than broad, shorter than its distance from the end of the snout, and shorter than the parietals. Eye between four shields: a preocular, a supraocular, a postocular, and a subocular. Loreal longer than deep. One elongate anterior temporal, in contact with the postocular and the subocular. 5 upper labials. 3 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are not longer than the posterior chin shields.

Dorsal scales smooth, without apical pits, in 19 rows. Ventrals 266–278; anal divided; subcaudals 56–64.

Blackish above, with white transverse bands, which widen towards the abdomen. These bands are very narrow in the typical form, wider in the var. dayana, but constantly much narrower than the black interspaces. Some white spots on the head. Lower parts white, with greyish spots, which are continuations of the dorsal crossbands. These bands may form complete rings on the tail.[2]

Total length 3 feet: tail 4 inches.

Myanmar, southern Thailand, Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatra, Timor), India (Andaman Islands), western Malaysia (Malaya), and Singapore.

Murphy, J.C. (2007). Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Pub. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-57524-259-0. Retrieved 8 June 2019.

Boulenger, G. A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.


Boulenger, George A. 1890 The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp.
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
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]
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]

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