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Rhinoceros Ratsnake
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Physical description
Binomial nameRhynchophis boulengeri
Average Size100-160 cm
Scientific classification
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
SuborderSerpentes
FamilyColubridae
SubfamilyColubrinae
GenusRhynchophis
SpeciesR. boulengeri
Mocquard, 1897
File:Rhynchophis boulengeri (3).jpg

Rhinoceros Ratsnake (Rhynchophis boulengeri) also known as Rhinoceros Snake, Rhino Rat Snake, Vietnamese Longnose Snake[1], Green Unicorn[2], found from Northern Vietnam to Southern China, has a prominent, distinctive, scaled protrusion on the front of its snout which has led to its common naming after mythical unicorns and some species of rhinoceros which feature a single horn on the front of their snouts.[3][4] This species of Ratsnake is named for Belgian-British biologist George Albert Boulenger.[5]

DistributionEdit

Northern Vietnam including Tam Dao[6], Southern China[7]. 10 specimens observed in Yên Bái Province, Northern Vietnam during a 2001 survey.[8]

DescriptionEdit

Adult size 100-160 cm total length. Scale Count: Dorsals 19.[9][10]

File:Rhynchophis boulengeri (1).jpg

Natural historyEdit

Rhinoceros Ratsnakes inhabit subtropical rainforests at elevations between 300 and 1100 m, particularly valleys with streams. They are generally arboreal, and mostly nocturnal, hunting small mice and other rodents, birds and perhaps other vertebrate prey. Oviparous, its mating season from April to May may produce 5 to 10 eggs in a clutch. After 60 days' incubation, hatchlings are 30-35 cm total length, brownish grey with dark edges on several dorsal scales. As they mature Rhinoceros Ratsnakes change color to steel grey at about 12-14 months, then to a bluish green or green adult hue at about 24 month. However, a rare few individuals maintain their steel grey subadult color and do not pass into ordinarily mature color phase. [11][12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ZipcodeZoo.com, http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/R/Rhynchophis_boulengeri/
  2. Bushmaster Breeding Center, Germany, http://www.bushmaster.ch/HTML/Rhyno-Index.htm
  3. Gidi's Ratsnake-collection, http://www.rareratsnakes.com/RB.htm
  4. Ratsnake Foundation, http://www.ratsnakefoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=168:rhynchophis-boulengeri-&catid=1:asian-ratsnakes&Itemid=4
  5. Ratsnake Foundation which cites "D.A Boulenger[sic]," almost certainly meaning George Albert Boulenger, http://www.ratsnakefoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=394:rhynchophis-boulengeri-vietnamese-longnose-snake&catid=1:asian-ratsnakes&Itemid=4
  6. Schlangenland, http://www.schlangenland.de/rhynchophis.htm
  7. Ratsnake Foundation, http://www.ratsnakefoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=369:rhynchophis-boulengeri-rhino-ratsnake&catid=9:common-name-ratsnakes&Itemid=46
  8. Tordoff et al, A Rapid Biodiversity Survey of Che Tao Commune, Mu Cang Chai District, Yen Bai Province, Vietnam, Hanoi, May 2001, http://birdlifeindochina.org/birdlife/report_pdfs/Che_Tao_report.pdf
  9. Ratsnake Foundation, http://www.ratsnakefoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=369:rhynchophis-boulengeri-rhino-ratsnake&catid=9:common-name-ratsnakes&Itemid=46
  10. Schlangenland, http://www.schlangenland.de/rhynchophis.htm
  11. Bushmaster Breeding Center, Germany, http://www.bushmaster.ch/HTML/Rhyno-Index.htm
  12. Schlangenland, http://www.schlangenland.de/rhynchophis.htm
  • Brachtel, Norbert: Das Portrait: Rhynchophis boulengeri (Mocquard, 1897), Sauria, Berlin, 20 (1): 2, 1998.
  • Orlov, Nikolai et al.: Eine seltene Natter aus Nordvietnam, Rhynchophis boulengeri (Mocquard, 1897), Sauria, Berlin, 20 (1): 3-8, 1999.

External links Edit

  • Captive care of Rhino ratsnakes(Rhynchophis boulengeri) from Adam Wilford of AC snakes United kingdom,[1]
  • Schlangenland.de article on Rhinoceros Ratsnake (in German) with many images [2]
  • Bushmaster Breeding Center, Germany article on Rhinoceros Ratsnake entitled "The Last Unicorn" [3]
  • Sacha Korell's Natural Elaphe Collection image gallery for Vietnamese Longnose Snake (Rhynchophis boulengeri) [4]
  • Image: "A rare rhino rat snake (Rhynchophis boulengeri) emerges from its shell at ZSL London Zoo," Telegraph.co.uk [5]
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