Beauty Rat Snake
Physical description
Binomial nameOrthriophis taeniurus
Scientific classification
SpeciesO. taeniurus
Cope, 1861

The Beauty Rat Snake (Orthriophis taeniurus) is a species of long, slender, semi-arboreal snakes that are native to Asia. Their average length is about 5–7 feet, with an unofficial record of slightly under 10 ft. In captivity some calm down to be nice pets, but others have been known to be quite temperamental even many years after capture.


Ground color of yellowish-brown to olive. The tops of the head and neck are unicolor. The markings on the back almost always consist of two pairs of black rounded spots, which join together. From each eye there is a dark stripe, which extends to the corners of the mouth. The upper labials are yellowish-white. In addition, this subspecies has a much wider head and a longer tail.


The temperature for hibernation is around 18-20*C. Mating usually results about a month after hibernation period. Hatchlings are about 30–45 cm in length and shed after about 14 days. Following shedding, pinkie mice should be fed immediately. They grow quickly and attain a length of 135 cm after only 14 months. They are capable of reproduction after only 18 months.(1)


Sub-species of this group include the:

  • Chinese Beauty Rat snake (Orthriophis taeniurus taeniurus) - Native to China.
  • Cave Dwelling Rat snake (Orthriophis taeniurus ridleyi) - This snake is native to Thailand and peninsular Malaysia, and as the name implies, lives deep within caves. Its diet consists mainly of bats. They have a yellow to beige background color that darkens to a grey-black towards the tail. A white to cream mid-dorsal stripe starts about half of the way down the body and continues to the tip of tail. Both sides of the head are marked just behind the eye with a black stripe surrounded by blue.
  • Mocquard's Beauty Snake (Orthriophis taeniurus mocquardi) - Native to southeastern China and northern Vietnam, as well as the island of Hainan.
  • Taiwan Beauty Rat Snake (Orthriophis taeniurus friesi) - Native to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
  • Orthriophis taeniurus grabowskyi - Native to Sumatra and the provinces of East Malaysia and Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
  • Orthriophis taeniurus schmackeri - Native to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
  • Orthriophis taeniurus yunnanensis - Native to China, India, Laos, Myanmar, eastern Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Orthriophis taeniurus ssp - Native to Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.

External linksEdit

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