Species group: Corn and Rat Snakes
Other common names: Steppes Ratsnake
Scientific name: Elaphe dione
The Dione Ratsnake is native to much of Central Asia, from Mongolia in the east to Iran in the west. The Dione Ratsnake is largely a terrestrial species, and feeds on rodents, lizards, insects and birds.
Perfect "First Asian Ratsnake"
I've had various color phases of this snake during my years as a zookeeper, some so different as to appear to be of another species. All however, are striking. Despite having what is perhaps the largest range of any ratsnake, this Asian native is largely unknown in US collections. I hope these snakes get more attention from American hobbyists, as wild caught individuals are still being sold here, when they appear at all.
Dione ratsnakes adjust well to captivity, and most learn to accept careful handling. Their moderate size (2 ½ - 3 feet), attractive coloration and willingness to breed make them an ideal choice for both novice and experienced keepers. Care is as for black ratsnakes and most other North American species, but they need less room than many and can tolerate a wider temperature range (75-80 F, with a basking site of 86-88 F, is ideal)..
From findiviglio Jan 4 2016 4:07PM