DESCRIPTION: The Body is large and elongated. Snout broad. Well-developed shields behind the head and neck Feet webbed. Juveniles light tan or brown, with dark cross-bands on body and tail Adulsrev to brown.
Drawings from Wermuth & Fuchs (1978)
Used with kind permission of Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.
DISTRIBUTION: Widely distributed in all water sources in dry zones. Common in Yala National Park and Jaffna peninsula. Extra-limital: India, East Pakistan and Nepal.
HABITAT AND HABITS: Found in various aquatic habitats such as rivers, estuaries, lagoons, tanks, canals, agro-wells and other waterways. Mainly nocturnal in behavior, but diurnal activities such as basking, foraging, migrating over land, and digging nests and burrows are also seen. In some lakes, 50-60 muggers can be seen basking. Hatchlings feed on insects, amphibians, fish, and crustaceans; adults feed on fish, terrapins, tortoises, lizards, snakes, birds, monkeys and dogs. It also attacks large mammals and occasionally humans. Oviparous, laying 10-30 eggs in a pit dug on the sandy bank close to water.