Species group: Corn and Rat Snakes
Other common names: Beauty Rat Snake; Taiwanese Beauty Snake, Asian Rat Snake; Taiwan Beauty Snake
Scientific name: Elaphe taeniura frisei or Orthriophis taeniurus frisei
Taiwan, Southeast Asia
Appearance / health:
Considered the largest of the rat snakes, the adult Taiwan Beauty Rat Snake averages 7 to 9 feet in length. Compared to other rat snakes, this one has a wider head and longer tail. Its upper labials are yellowish-white and a dark stripe extends from the eye to the corner of the mouth. The base color of body is yellowish-green to greenish-brown. The back of the head and neck region is a solid olive green. From the neck towards the tail, two pairs of round black blotches run down the back until about the last third of the body where the blotches join up and change to two dark and one yellow longitudinal stripes. The belly area is yellowish white with black checkerboard markings.
Behavior / temperament:
Taiwan Beauty Rat Snakes are a favorite pet because of their colorful patterns, calm temperament, and hardiness. Being diurnal, they are active during the day, a convenience for most pet owners.
The Taiwan Beauty Rat Snake is considered semi-arboreal, requiring a number of climbing branches in its cage. A 60-gallon woodland terrarium will be ideal for the grown adult. Substrate should be quick drying like newspaper, paper towels, aspen bedding, or pine shavings. A basking rock, a couple of hiding areas, and a large water bowl for soaking are essential. Day temp: 77-82F; night temp: 71-75F; basking temp: 86-90F; humidity: 60-80%; lighting: 10-12 hrs, partly UV.
Taiwan Beauty Rat Snakes are peaceful and adapt to captivity well. On rare cases, these pet snakes remain temperamental and shy. Juveniles are usually jumpy but learn to calm down when often handled with care. Same size snakes can be housed together in a large cage but they should be fed individually.
Like all rat snakes, the Taiwan Beauty Rat Snake prefers a rodents diet. Hatchlings readily accept pinkie mice. Adult accept appropriately sized prey.
A month after their December-March hibernation, Taiwan Beauty Rat Snakes mate, and then lay a clutch of 15 eggs in the summer. The eggs hatch after about 60 days. Hatchlings look similar to adults and are capable of breeding in about 18 months.
display snake, experienced snake owner, blue hues, Stunning species, voracious eaters
aggressive etc., negative experience, beginners
average length, leather gardening gloves, semiarboreal sankes, busy snakes
Stunning species, however rather nippy!
I originally bought this snake from my workplace in a Reptile Pet Store, and he was known to be quite difficult to handle - he could be very quick when getting him out of his vivarium, but with plenty of handling he did calm down.
He was extremely nippy however - and this is something that is common within this species, and it is encouraged to handle them as frequently as you can while they are young as they grow to be very big indeed!
Definitely not a snake for beginners, however for the more advanced keeper these snakes can be a real treat to keep. Stunning markings - particularly the blue hues. Never had a problem with feeding either, they are voracious eaters!.
From lauren_lou Jul 31 2015 11:22AM
Take Care, These Babies Can Bite!
This is the only pet I’ve ever had a negative experience with – so this review comes as a warning: make sure you know what you’re doing and get good advice before purchasing a rat snake as a pet. I bought my Taiwan, Mononoke, from a pet shop when she was already around two foot long. She hadn’t been handled regularly and was vicious, but I wasn’t given good advice from the pet store owners. I chose her because of how she looked (they really are beauties) and was told she would be fine as a first snake. I was told she might bite at first, but once she settled-in and got used to me she would be fine.
After getting her home and setting up the viv – things just went from bad to worse. Rat snakes are designed to detect movement and react quickly, as they have to catch fast-moving rats in the wild. Every time I walked across the room in front of the viv – Mononoke would ‘pounce’ at the movement – often hitting the glass doors of the viv. Whenever I tried to feed or handle her, she bit me again and again. She never got used to me and I was way out of my depth. I took to wearing thick leather gardening gloves to handle her and persisted in trying to get her used to me, but she was too wild.
By the time she reached 5ft in length, I could no longer get her out of the viv without help, as she was very strong and very vicious. I ended up having to give her to a reptile rescue centre run by some friends of mine. They cared for her for a while, then managed to rehome her with an experienced snake owner. By all accounts though, she never calmed down and there was not much I could have done, having bought her at such a late stage.
These snakes can make good pets, but you need to know what you’re doing and get them used to being handled at a very early age. I would absolutely not recommend one if you’ve never owned snakes before – stick with corn snakes for that!.
From Jadelette Jun 24 2013 3:29PM