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Rat Snake

Ptyas mucosa


Snout obtuse, slightly projecting; eye large; rostral a little broader than deep, visible from above; suture between the internasals shorter than that between the prefrontals; frontal as long as its distance from the end of the snout, as long as the parietals or slightly shorter; usually three loreals; one large preocular, with a small subocular below; two postoculars; temporals 2+2; 8 Upper labials, fourth and fifth entering the eye; 5 Lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are shorter than the posterior; the latter in contact anteriorly. dorsal scales in 17 rows at midbody, more or less strongly keeled on the posterior part of the body. Ventrals 190-208; anal divided; subcaudals 95-135, divided. Brown above, frequently with more or less distinct black crossbands on the posterior part of the body and on the tail; young usually with light crossbands on the front half of the body. Lower surface yellowish; the posterior ventral and the caudal shields may be edged with black.


Ptyas mucosa, commonly known as the oriental ratsnake, Indian rat snake,or dhaman, is a common species of colubrid snake found in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Growing to nearly 2 m (6.6 ft), they are large snakes and their colour varies from pale browns in dry regions to nearly black in moist forest areas. They are frequently found in urban areas where rodents thrive.


When threatened they are capable of growling. This has been suggested as a possible case of mimicry of the King Cobra. However, this mimicry often proves to be a disadvantage if the snake lives with humans; more often than not, this snake is mistaken for the King Cobra or a related animal such as the Indian Cobra, and frequently killed because of this.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Oriental ratsnake, Indian rat snake, Dhaman
Ptyas mucosa Ptyas mucosa

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Spotted on Nov 19, 2013
Submitted on Nov 19, 2013

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