Other common names

Elephant Trunk Snake, Wartsnake

Basic description

Adult Javan File Snakes in Sumatra, Indonesia average 46 inches (118 cm) for males and 53 inches (135 cm) for females in snout-vent length, but they can reach 9.5 feet (290 cm) in total length. These are large snakes with dark brown backs and cream-colored sides and bellies. These snakes have loose, baggy skin that feels rough like course sandpaper due to the large hook-like keels on each scale. The eyes and nostrils are positioned on top of the head, which is covered in tiny scales. Juvenile color pattern is similar to that of adults.

small brown snake coiled in a person's palms
Javan Filesnake. Photo courtesy of Daniel Rodriguez.


Javan File Snakes are a non-native species from Southeast Asia that appear to have been established in Florida since the 1970s. Although they have been introduced to a few areas in Florida, they are were thought to be established and breeding only in an artificial rock pit at Jones Trailer Park in northern Miami-Dade County. However, trapping efforts at this locality in 2003 were unsuccessful and no trapping has been conducted since, so the status of this population is currently unknown.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. Javan File Snakes are not dangerous to people or pets.

Comparison with other species


Share your observations

You can help scientists better understand the biology and distribution of this species by sharing your observations. Send photos or videos of interesting observations, along with associated information, by emailing the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum for documentation in the Museum’s Herpetology Master Database. You can also post your observations on iNaturalist.

Additional helpful information

Do you have snakes around your house? Learn how to safely co-exist with snakes.

Still have questions about snakes or identifications? Feel free to email the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum with your questions or feedback on this profile.

Banner photo courtesy of Daniel Rodriguez. Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.