Scientific name Orthriophis taeniurus
Higher classification Orthriophis
|Similar Snake, Orthriophis, Elaphe, Reptile, Colubridae|
Beauty rat snake found in a cave
The beauty rat snake (Orthriophis taeniurus), also known as the beauty ratsnake, the beauty snake, or the cave racer, is a species of long, slender, semi-arboreal snake that is native to East and Southeast Asia. Several subspecies are recognized. Their average total length (including tail) is about 4–6 feet (1.2–1.8 m), with an unofficial record of slightly under 8 ft (2.4 m). Captive bred snakes can make very nice pets, but wild caught adults have been known to be quite temperamental even many years after capture.
The ground color of O. taeniurus is yellowish-brown to olive. The dorsal surface of the head and neck is unicolor. The markings on the back almost always consist of two pairs of black rounded spots, which join together. From each eye there is a dark stripe, which extends to the corners of the mouth. The upper labials are yellowish-white.
The temperature for hibernation is around 18–20 °C (64–68 °F). Mating usually results about a month after hibernation period. Hatchlings are about 30–45 cm (11 3⁄4–17 3⁄4 in) in length and shed after about 14 days. Following shedding, pinkie mice should be fed immediately. They grow quickly and attain a length of 135 cm (4 ft 5 in) after only 14 months. They are capable of reproduction after only 18 months.
Subspecies of this species include:
The beauty rat snake is an important species in the snake skin and live snake trade in China.