Othriophis taeniurus ridleyi (Ridley’s Racer)
Length: up to 2.5 meters. I have caught 5 of these, all of them under 2.25 meters.
Range: Chumpon, Thailand, south to border of Thailand-Malaysia
Habitat: Usually caves, though at times found outside caves. Recently I found a number of them in a bungalow at a nature resort and an empty wooden cabin in a rubber plantation. Then recently someone wrote me to ID one that was climbing around the limestone cliffs in Krabi.
Active Time? The snake is mainly nocturnal. The snakes are active during the day only after heavy rainfall.
Food: Bats, birds, and maybe even rats if they happened to be on the ground.
Defensive Behavior: These Thailand snakes are calm and move slowly unless provoked substantially.
Venom Toxicity: None. Member of rat snake group – so no venom at all, no venom injecting fangs in the front or rear. They have rows of teeth in the upper jaw, but very small – less than 1/8th inch long.
Offspring: Nothing known – still updating this article.
Notes: These are often found in Thailand caves, they are excellent wall climbers. A Buddhist monk walked me through some pitch black caves at a temple with a cave in Southern Thailand and showed me this amazingly colored Ridley’s Racer. This non-venomous snake, part of the rat snake family was calm and let me take video with the camera just 12 inches from her head. Ridley racer snakes hang on cave walls and snatch flying bats out of the air. I have also caught them inside bungalows and on limestone cliff faces.
Species: taeniurus ridleyi
Ridley’s Racer Video:
Here is another video taken by a visitor from France that was climbing a mountain at a local Buddhist temple and saw this snake during the daytime cruising the limestone rocks: