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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Indochinese Rat Snake

Species : Ptyas korros
Maximum Size : 2.6 metres

The Indochinese Rat Snake is a fast-moving snake which has adapted to grasslands, agricultural landscapes and oil palm plantations. It preys on rats, frogs and other small vertebrates.

It is diurnal in habits, and mainly a ground-dweller. Most encounters with this snake occur as they attempt to cross rural roads; the species is often found as roadkill in rural parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

This snake can be identified by its overall brown or orange-brown colour, its olive-brown tail with dark-edged scales, and the faint pale brown banding which occurs on the thickest part of the body (although this feature does not occur in mature adults). The belly is yellowish. Its head is long, and it eyes relatively large.   

This wide-ranging species occurs in parts of India, Nepal and China, through Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos down to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and the sundaic islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali.

Figs 1 and 2 : A pair from Bandung, Java, Indonesia; either a mating pair or 2 males in a 'combat dance'.  Photos thanks to Dave Welch.

Fig 3 : Example from rural Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. 

Fig 4 : Example from Kaeng Krachan, Phetchaburi province, Thailand.  Photo thanks to Charles Currin.

Figs 5 and 6 : Rare photos of an example from the northwest corner of Singapore Island, where grasslands and modern farms dominate the landscape. Photos thanks to Lim Kim Seng.

References : H1, H2




Fig 1
ゥ  Dave Welch
Fig 2
ゥ  Dave Welch
Fig 3
Fig 4
ゥ  Charles Currin
Fig 5

ゥ  Lim Kim Seng

Fig 6

ゥ  Lim Kim Seng