Significance to humans

Female Arafura file snakes are hunted by indigenous peoples and used as food in parts of Australia. Because of the pronounced sexual dimorphism that characterizes this species, the larger females are more easily found and captured by aboriginal hunters. Such subsistence use of these snakes by relatively small numbers of people appears to have little effect on populations of this species.

The other two species of file snake are harvested commercially for their skins. The skin of the Java file snake is used for karung, ornamental leather, and is heavily harvested in the Indonesian archipelago. It has been difficult to estimate how widespread or intensive such exploitation has become.

Both the Java file snake and the little file snake have made occasional appearances in the pet trade, but use of these snakes as pets appears to be uncommon. Given the difficulties associated with maintaining these snakes in captivity, exploitation related to the pet trade seems to have little importance and may likely disappear altogether.

Acrochordus Granulatus

1. Arafura file snake (Acrochordus arafurae); 2. Little file snake (Acrochordus granulatus); 3. Java file snake (Acrochordus javanicus). (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

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