Mandarin Ratsnake

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.

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