These are great snakes. They get big. This one is 2.75m. This is another one that hasn’t calmed down since being caught. They are rat snakes, so that’s what they prefer. Unfortunately we don’t see many rats around this area so I couldn’t catch one to feed it to him if I wanted to. If I find a pet store I’ll buy a couple rats and see if he’s hungry. Unfortunately these snakes die quickly after being caught – so it will probably become dinner for one of the big king cobras – if they’ll eat it.
There are some color variations in these snakes. Here’s a Ptyas carinatus I caught that was much more green.
I found a lovely specimen of the Ptyas carinata snake on the way down a mountain this evening. It was about 6:45 pm and the sun had set 15 minutes before. I was running down the steps and took a few seconds to breathe – when I saw the snake on some limestone rocks beside me. It was dark, so it was hard to say – was it a king cobra? Kings are good climbers too. Was it a rat snake? I just couldn’t tell for a while. I looked at the tail multiple times (I was grabbing it by that point and trying not to get bitten by the snapping jaws).
The tails of a couple kinds of rat snake look JUST like the king cobra tails.
Eventually I realized it was a rat snake and quickly pulled my shirt off to attempt to locate his head in the pile of branches he was trying to twist though and get lost in.
I grabbed too low once and he twisted around and bit. The shirt was wrapped two times around my hand – so, no damage. It is very hard grabbing a 1.5 meter snake in the dark when you can’t see his head. No flashlight… nothing. Exciting – yes. If it was any bigger – it could have been REALLY exciting because I would have been bitten a couple of times I think.
Ptyas carinata are fast snakes and strong biters. They eat rats for god’s sakes… rats are tough little beasts.
I’ll have a full write up of the snake tomorrow, photos and videos. My good camera is with my wife who is traveling. I’ll have to make do with the iPhone camera. I’ll try to find some good light to shoot photos and video in tomorrow so the media doesn’t totally suck.
Here is the Ptyas carinata video I took of this snake:
Range: All over Thailand and most of Asia including: Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Western Malaysia, and Singapore.
Habitat: Anywhere rats exist in abundance. They aren’t found on hills or in mountains, usually just the low-lying areas and where people and garbage are.
Active Time? Diurnal – active during daylight hours.
Food: Rats and other rodents, frogs and lizards. Much prefer rats. These are primarily rodent eaters and they vary little from their diet because there are usually plenty of rats available.
Defensive Behavior: Will flee very quickly if given the chance. If agitated, rat snakes bite quickly.
Venom Toxicity: No venom that is harmful to humans.
Notes: These are very common snakes, and are seen a lot because they prefer to be active during the daylight hours. They have very large eyes, which would make one think they can see well at night as well. These snakes can be held without striking (see video below).
Ptyas korros can be silver, grey, or brown – orange looking in color. Scales on the posterior part of the body and on the tail often yellow and edged with black. Underbelly is light yellow. Juvenile Indochinese rat snakes have a transverse series of round whitish spots or narrow yellow transverse bars.
Ptyas korros Scientific classification
Binomial name: Ptyas korros
(Classified by Schlegel in year 1837.)
My Indochinese Rat Snake Photos:
Indochinese rat snakes eat predominantly rats and other rodents.
Another photo, showing same snake but darker exposure. It looks more brown toward the tail:
Indochinese rat snakes are silver, black, grey, brown, or orange in color.
Thailand has 200+ snake species with over 60 of them - venomous.
I created this site as a way to educate Thais and visitors to Thailand about snakes. Many people kill the snakes they see in Thailand, while in many cases - they are non-venomous and completely harmless. With this site I hope to give people a better idea what is harmful and what isn't.
Browse the many snake photos and videos here so you can identify snakes you see on your porch, in your bed, or underfoot.
If you have been bitten by a snake - go to a hospital FIRST. Don't waste time looking it up on the internet. With some snakes you need to have medical help as fast as possible. With others you have some time. I know a Thai man whose brother died in less than 10 minutes from a snake bite.
There are venomous (some say 'poisonous' erroneously) snakes everywhere in Thailand. Friends have had cobras in their kitchen, and others had kraits in the garage. Vipers love bushes and trees near water and walkways.
Bookmark this site so you can quickly identify snakes you have seen. Notice the variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes in Thailand - and realize that they come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns.