Ptyas mucosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Rat Snake 水律

Ptyas mucosus
Squamata 有鱗目
Serpentes 蛇亞目
Family Colubridae 游蛇科
Genus Ptyas 鼠蛇屬
Species Ptyas mucosus
Other name -
Chinese name 滑鼠蛇
Total length Average 150 - 195 cm, can reach 255 cm.
Description Back light-brown, with light crossbars on anterior two thirds of body and dark crossbars on posterior third and tail.
Barring on forepart of body may be faded or even absent.
Young snakes usually more olive in colour. Some adult specimens may be very dark.
Ventrals whitish. Labials light cream in colour, heavily barred with black.
Tail very long and whip-like. Scales smooth.

Found in a variety of habitats: agricultural fields, shrubland, grassland, around ponds and reservoirs, and edges of rural gardens.
Much less common in densely wooded areas and rare in mountain grassland.
In general, inhabits more arid areas than Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (P. korros).
Often falls into catchwaters or enters them deliberately to find prey.
Sometimes enters houses especially on farms in search of rodents.

Behaviour Strictly diurnal.
A powerful, aggressive snake.
When restrained, will strike and bite vigorously. Will also defecate in self-defence.
Most adults do not tame or feed well, but one local large adult has lived in captivity for 17 years.
Young specimens more even-tempered, but become more aggressive and wild as they mature.
Commonly seen for sale in snake shops for its meat.
Diet Feeds on frogs, toads, birds and rodents. Accepts carrion in captivity.
Reproduction Oviparous. Lays 7-12 eggs which hatch in about 2 months. Hatchling about 30 cm long.
Distribution Common in many open habitats throughout Hong Kong.
Also recorded from a few small islands (Shek Kwu chau, Cheung Chau, Green Island, Tai A Chau, Stonecutters).
Occurs in central and southern China including Taiwan, South and Southeast Asia.
Conservation Status IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)
China Redlist: Endangered
Ptyas mucosus Ptyas mucosus Ptyas mucosus Ptyas mucosus Ptyas mucosus
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