Yellow Striped Ratsnake

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Is the Yellow Striped Ratsnake right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Yellow-striped Ratsnake , Black Copper Ratsnake, Malayan Racer, Blacktail Racer

Scientific name: Coelognathus flavolineatus

The basics:
The Yellow-striped Ratsnake is not commonly seen in the trade, but is gaining more attention as Asian Ratsnakes come into their own. Although quite hardy, it is somewhat more secretive than related species, and best left to those with a bit of experience.

The Yellow-striped Ratsnake ranges from southern Vietnam and southern Thailand to Borneo and Malaysia.

These adaptable constrictors utilize rainforest edges, marshes, and overgrown scrub, and are drawn to farms, stone walls, and buildings in search of rodents.

Appearance / health:
Most Yellow-striped Ratsnakes are brown or olive in color with a black tail and faint yellow stripes; bright stripes are common in some populations. Adults average 90-132 cm (3 – 5 ft) in length.

Many in the trade are wild-caught, and so must be checked for internal and external parasites, and other health concerns. “Blister disease” and other skin infections can develop in damp terrariums.

Behavior / temperament:
Yellow-striped Ratsnakes tend to be defensive, although some may calm down in time. As with all snakes, they will bite when stressed and must be handled with care.

A 55-75 gallon aquarium will suit a small adult, but larger individuals are best provided custom-built cages measuring at least 4 x 5 feet. Cypress mulch, eucalyptus bark and similar materials should be used as substrates, as most prefer to burrow. A dry shelter and another stocked with moist sphagnum moss are essential, as they typically have problems shedding in dry surroundings. Ambient temperature: 74-82 F; Basking temperature: 88-90 F.

Yellow-striped Ratsnakes prey upon mice, squirrels, voles, lizards, frogs, birds, and bats. Pets do fine on a diet comprised of mice and small rats.

Radiated Ratsnakes do not require a cooling-off period prior to the breeding season, and females may produce several clutches (from a single mating) each year. Clutches typically contain 5-12 eggs. At an incubation temperature of 82-85 F, they hatch within 50-70 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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