Common Wolf Snake

Snakes of World

The Common Wolf Snake, also known as Lycodon aulicus, is a non-venomous species of snake found in South Asia. This species is known for its unique scalation and distinctive appearance, as well as its natural history, habitat, behavior, and reproductive biology.


The Common Wolf Snake is a relatively small species, with an average length of around 30-50 cm (12-20 inches). It has a slender, cylindrical body shape and a distinctive scalation pattern, with smooth dorsal scales arranged in 15-15-13 rows and rounded ventral scales numbering between 138-160. The scales on the tail are also smooth and rounded.


The Common Wolf Snake (Lycodon aulicus) has a unique scalation pattern, which can help identify the species. Here are some details about its scalation:

  1. Dorsal Scales: The snake has smooth dorsal scales arranged in 15 rows. The scales are slightly keeled towards the tail.
  2. Ventrals: The ventral scales are smooth, shiny, and number between 146-174.
  3. Subcaudals: The subcaudals are paired, and the number of subcaudals varies between 37-48.
  4. Anal Plate: The anal plate is divided.
  5. Head Scales: The head of the Common Wolf Snake is elongated, and the head scales are small, smooth, and slightly keeled. It has a single loreal scale.
  6. Eye Scales: The snake has a large eye with a round pupil. The eye scales are small, with a single preocular and two postocular scales.
  7. Other Scales: The snake has 8-9 upper labials, with the fourth and fifth contacting the eye. It also has 9-10 lower labials.

Overall, the Common Wolf Snake has a smooth and shiny appearance with a unique scalation pattern. The slight keel on the dorsal scales towards the tail and the presence of a single loreal scale can help distinguish it from other wolf snake species. The number of scales may vary slightly between individuals, but the overall pattern remains consistent.


The Common Wolf Snake has a brown or gray coloration with a darker dorsal stripe running along its back. Its belly is lighter in color and may have dark spots or speckles. The snake’s head is slightly broader than its neck, and it has small, round pupils in its eyes.

Natural History:

The Common Wolf Snake is primarily active at night and feeds on small mammals, such as rodents, as well as lizards and other small reptiles. Like other wolf snakes, it is known for its ability to produce a foul-smelling secretion when threatened, which serves as a deterrent to predators.


The Common Wolf Snake is found in a variety of habitats throughout South Asia, including tropical rainforests, lowland forests, and agricultural areas. It is most commonly found in areas with dense vegetation and may also be found near streams and rivers.


The Common Wolf Snake is generally non-aggressive and shy, and will usually try to escape when confronted. However, if it feels threatened, it may display defensive behavior, such as hissing or puffing up its body. The Common Wolf Snake is not venomous, but may bite if it feels threatened or cornered.


Little is known about the reproductive biology of the Common Wolf Snake, but it is likely to be oviparous, laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young.

Location and Conservation:

The Common Wolf Snake is found throughout South Asia, including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Its range is currently not considered to be under threat, and it is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many other species in the region, it is potentially threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and other human activities. The Common Wolf Snake is a unique and interesting species found in South Asia. Its distinctive scalation pattern, natural history, and behavior make it a fascinating creature to study, and its non-aggressive nature makes it a valuable part of the local ecosystem. The protection of its habitat is crucial for the conservation of this species and the maintenance of biodiversity in the region.

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