Indo-Chinese Rat Snake

01 May

Ptyas korros

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Ptyas korros

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake from Taiwan (photo by Hans Breuer)

indo-chinese rat snake ptyas korros thailand

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake found in Khao Sam Roi Yot (photo courtesy of Bernard Dupont)

Ptyas korros  Sa Kaeow Province Michael Cota_files

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake found in Sa Kaeow Province (photo courtesy of Michael Cota)

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros)

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake found in Malaysia (Image by Nick Baker,

Robert Ferguson Ptyas korros

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake found in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Robert Ferguson)

indo-chinese rat snake Ptyas korros

Head shot of Indo-Chinese Rat Snake at the Queen Saovabha Snake Farm

rat snakes bangkok zoo thailand

Head shot of Indo-Chinese Rat Snakes at the Bangkok Zoo (photo courtesy of Bernard Dupont)

Captive subadult Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Ptyas korros in hands

Subadult Indo-Chinese Rat Snake in Taiwan (photo by Hans Breuer)

IndoChinese Rat Snake Pytas korras

Young Indo-Chinese Rat Snake in Laos (photo courtesy of Thomas Calame)

Indo-Chinese Rat Snake Ptyas korros

Juvenile Indo-Chinese Rat Snake in Chonburi Province (photo courtesy of Ray Hamilton)

English name: Indo-Chinese Rat Snake
Scientific name: Ptyas korros
Thai name: Ngu Sing Ban, Ngu Hao Ta-lan

Description: To 256cm long. One of the largest snakes in Bangkok other than the pythons. Brown or olive above, yellowish on the chin and underbelly. Eyes are notably large. Young juveniles have white bands or spots on body.

Similar Species: Oriental Rat Snake has dark bands on the last third of its body.
Monacled Cobra has smaller eyes, loose skin around the neck, and a characteristic marking on the back of the neck/head that expands when displaying.
All other large brown snakes in Bangkok have characteristic stripes, bands, or other markings on the head or body.

Habitat: Prefers open habitat such as grassland, shrubland, open woodland, agriculture, and the open banks of water bodies. Can be found in trees (especially when resting) and is a good swimmer.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Helps control rodent populations in Bangkok, but also feeds on frogs, lizards, smaller snakes, and birds. Their juveniles provide food for larger snakes, monitors, and birds of prey.

Danger to humans: This large snake is aggressive and can inflict a nasty bite, but it is completely non-venomous and cannot cause any serious injury.

Conservation status and threats: The Indo-Chinese Rat Snake has no known conservation issues in Thailand, but is hunted for its meat and gallbladder and is listed as endangered in China.

Interesting facts: When captured this snake will thrash its body about violently, which together with its large size makes it very difficult to handle.

Siam-Info: Rat Snakes
Nature Malaysia: Indo Chinese Rat Snake
Snakes of Taiwan: Ptyas korros
University of Hong Kong: Ptyas korros
Nam Kading Research & Training Centre: Indo-Chinese Rat Snake
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia


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2 responses to “Indo-Chinese Rat Snake

  1. Philippe Pruvot

    February 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I often find snakes in my garden at Banglamung.
    This morning I found two big brown/grey snakes coupling and took two pictures to try and identify them.
    Do you have an email address where I can send the pictures for you to tell me what they are. I believe they are rat snakes but my maid say they are king cobras. I don’t believe.
    Please let me know

    • Asian Herp Blogs

      March 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      I have sent a response to the email in your comment submission form.


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