Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

   
 
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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2022

 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
   
 
Oriental Rat Snake
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Ptyas mucosa
Maximum Size : 3.7 metres

Ptyas mucosa (Oriental Rat Snake or Indian Rat Snake), is a geographically widespread species which occurs at a range of elevations, from sea level to 4000 metres (Das, 2010).

This long snake inhabits forest, but it appears more common in disturbed, agricultural areas where there is easy prey such as rodents, frogs and other small vertebrates.

Males engage in 'combat dances', much like the closely-related Ptyas korros (Indochinese Rat Snake).

Its body is slender, with its head slightly wider, and its eyes are large. Its overall colour may vary from yellowish-brown to reddish brown to blackish. There are dark bands at the posterior end of the body. Its underside is pale.  Scales beneath and behind the eye are edged with black.

This fast-moving snake ranges from Iran and Pakistan through India to much of mainland Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, northern Peninsular Malaysia) and the island of Sumatra.

It appears unlikely the species occurs in Singapore; it is not listed in the most recent status revision of reptiles for the country, published in 2021 by the National Parks Board.


Figs 1 and 2 : Example from Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand.  Photos thanks to Charles Currin.


References : H12

 




 

 

 

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Charles Currin
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Charles Currin