Scientific Classification13048254_591483514350949_5360717562776940077_o








The Indo-chinese rat snake ranges from India, through Burma, Thailand and Indochina, down to Peninsular  Malaysia, Singapore and the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali. The Indochinese Rat Snake prefers open habitat such as grassland, shrubland, open woodland, agriculture, and the open banks of rivers, streams and lakes. It can also be found in trees (especially when resting) and is a good swimmer.  Inhabits areas with altitudes up to 3000 meters. This is a semi arboreal (lives in trees) species, that will readily raid nests.


The Indochinese Rat Snake can be identified by its olive coloured body with dark-edged scales, and the faint pale brown banding which occurs on the thickest part of the body. Its eyes are relatively large as to aid hunting and it is one of the largest snakes in its range other than the pythons. The snake has a yellow-white underbelly. Young juveniles have white bands or spots on body. The species can average from 120 -150 cm and reports have been made on it reaching 180 cm plus. The head of the Indochinese Rat Snake is narrow, oval to slightly triangular; body is slender and the tail is long.


The solitary snake is diurnal (active during the day). Even though it hunts during the day it will flee very quickly from human interaction if given the chance. The snake is not known to be aggressive and will only bite if it is agitated or surprised. If it is cornered near water it will usually dive below the water and swim away with its head up.


The Indochinese rat snake is oviparous (lays eggs from which juveniles emerge after incubation) and can lay 6 to 14 eggs, which hatch in about 45-55 days between the months of May and June. Hatchlings are about 25 cm long and with all snakes, the fathers are not involved once the female is pregnant.


Through their diet primarily on rodents the Indochinese rat snake is natural pest control, regulating rodent, frog and lizard populations as well as providing food for birds of prey and larger snakes. Due to it’s size the rat snake is a food source for locals in the countries they are present.


Sadly because of little understanding and fear of snakes in general, Indochinese rat snakes are killed for fear of them being venomous. The fact their food source (rodents) have adapted to urban areas where humans live, they have become more of a problem.


One interesting fact is that when captured, this snake will thrash its body about violently, which together with its large size makes it very difficult to handle.

** This data set was written by Luke Anning of Bournemouth University, England and edited by Stephanie Young**

***Identification of these species has been made through, photographic documentation cross referenced with external specialists and identification books. Any errors in our database will be rectified upon notification, if you feel that we have misidentified any species please help us to improve our research through our contact us page. All people involved will be acknowledge in the website and reports***



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