Crocodylus palustris   Lesson  (Crocodile)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Reptilia

Image copyrights: Wildscreen

Size: The crocodile rarely exceeds 4 meters in length.

Weight: around 200 kg.

Color: The color varies from olive with speckle of black and whitish yellow below.

This species has a broad snout and a row of 4 distinct sharply raised scutes called post occipitals, just behind the head. The back is armed with 16-17 transverse rows, and 6 longitudinal rows of bony plates embedded in the skin. The skin on the ventral sides lacks armour. The serrations on the tails are due to flattened vertical scales, that run parallel in two rows and converge into a single row at tip. The toes are webbed. It is the most adaptable of the Indian crocodile. The mugger is different from estuarine crocodile in field, however the two are not found together.

Crocodylus palustris is not known to be man eater. Adults have fixed basking spots and are usually silent. If confronted with threat they hiss and simultaneously lash their tail and snap their jaws. The scent glands on the throat punch and the cloacal pads exude a musky odoured paste like secretion that attracts the opposite sex. Raising the head to display the jaw is a submissive gesture shown by subordinate males. Eggs are laid in a pitcher shaped ground nest and the cluster size is about 40. The eggs are white shelled and incubated by the female.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Marsh Crocodile (English)
• Muggar (English)
• Mugger Crocodile (English)
• Swamp Crocodile (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Nest poaching, habitat destruction and accidental trapping in the fish gear; in many parts of India this reptile has been tapped for its ecotourism potential.)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Prey:  Fish
IUCN Status:  Vulnerable


• Gujarat INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Karnataka INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi INDIA
• Goa, Cumbarjua INDIA
• Goa, Zuari INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Borkar, M (2005) Marine mammals, turtles and crocodiles: A field manual NIO, Goa 63 pp Available at - NIO
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Arkive: Images of life on earth Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-09-22

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