ANIMAL: Mandarin Ratsnake Euprepiophis mandarinus Type of Animal: Colubrid Habitat: Lower elevation agricultural areas, open forest, rocky scrubland, rocky forest, farmland, rice fields, grassy fields, areas w/ dense vegetation, mountain forest, rocky slopes covered w/ bushes, tropical forest Location(s): E/S/C China, parts of Tibet, Taiwan, Arunachal Pradesh, N & E Burma, Laos, N Vietnam Appearance: Slender build w/ short head/round snout, yellow upper head, upper body/tail purplish gray to gray to yellow-gray to beige-gray to reddish w/ series of yellow-margined/yellow-centered black saddles, diamond pattern, red streaks sometimes appear Food/Diet: Rodents, geckos, birds, eggs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Snakelet Group: Solitary Weight: Male: 1.44 lbs Female: 1 lb Gestation: 2 months Life Span: 10-15 years Body Length: Male: 4 ft Female: 3 ft Young: 1 ft Tail Length: Male: 7 in Female: 4 in Young: 2.6 in Main predators are larger snakes, larger lizards, crocodilians, predatory birds, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals. Very shy & secretive, often using rodent burrows for shelter. Most often crepuscular or nocturnal but sometimes active in late afternoon/early morning also. Primarily terrestrial. Sometimes killed out of fear even though quite beneficial in keeping rodent populations down. Like all ratsnakes, they’re nonvenomous, killing prey by constriction. Females lay 3-16 eggs per clutch. Breed in late April-early June. Hibernate for 2-4 months out of the year. Sexually mature at 1.5-2 years old. Sometimes kept as pets. Occasionally called Jade Snakes due to pattern. Fun Fact(s): Scientific name can be translated as “pretty Mandarin snake.” 1st line of defense is fleeing but they’ll musk/bite if that doesn’t work. Sometimes rattle tail when agitated/excited. Hatchlings/juveniles can be especially nervous/high-strung. Like many snakes, they can go long periods of time w/o food. Sometimes considered holy grail of ratsnakes due to patterns/beauty/colors.