Snake Skin (ヘビ皮, Hebi Kawa) is the scaled skin associated with various species of snakes.
Made almost entirely of scales, these scales protect the body of the snake, aid it in locomotion, allow moisture to be retained within, can alter the skin's surface characteristics such as roughness to aid in camouflage, and in some cases even aid in prey capture.
The moulting of the skin occurs regularly (occurring around once a month, lasting around a week) to replace old or worn out scales, dispose of parasites and is thought to allow the snake to grow.
Snakeskin leather is regarded as an exotic product alongside crocodile, lizard, ostrich, emu, and camel skin. It is used to make clothing such as vests, belts, boots or shoes or fashion accessories such as handbags and is used to cover the sound board of some string musical instruments, such as the Banhu, Sanxian or the Sanshin.
- A shed skin is much longer than the snake that shed it, as the shed skin is actually that which covers both the top and underside of each scale, effectively doubling its length.
- While a snake is in the process of shedding the skin over its eye, its eye may become milky. This impairs the vision of the snake and as a result most snakes will become more aggressive because the snake feels more vulnerable due to being blind.
- The arrangement of scales in a snake skin can be used to identify the snake's species.
- Interestingly, a snake sheds its skin in one piece in a similar way to how one would take off a sock. However, Miia (a Lamia) is demonstrated as shedding her skin in pieces, similar to how a human or lizard would molt (although it is noted that she was having a difficult molt due to stress).
- A common cause for shedding problems is dry air. Raising the humidity and adding a box partially filled with damp items such as dampened paper towels, moss, or other soft substrate material may help the snake dampen the skin enough to safely shed.