Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red bamboo rat snake

In Thai: งูทางมะพร้าวแดง, ngu thang maphao daeng

Binomial name: Oreocryptophis porphyraceus, Theodore Edward Cantor, 1839

Oreocryptophis porphyraceus is a rat snake species, commonly called the black-banded trinket snake, red bamboo snake or red mountain racer, found in mid to upper-level elevations of forested hills in southeastern Asia, ranging from evergreen tropical to dry seasonal forests depending on the subspecies and locality. It is the only member of the genus Oreocryptophis, but it was formerly placed in Elaphe.

Description

The head is small, sharp and squarish, while the color pattern includes red or orange colors, along with black bands or stripes. A terrestrial species, it has a preference for cool climates that restricts its habitat to hills and mountain plateaus. It is known to be crepuscular, active during the late evenings till night and dawn till late mornings. In captivity, it is one of the most sought-after rat snake species.

Distribution

India (Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh (Miao, Namdapha - Changlang district, Itanagar - Papum Pare district), Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, South China (Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Hong Kong, Hainan, northward to Henan and Gansu; south to Wei He river), Taiwan, West Malaysia (Cameron Highlands, Pahang), Indonesia (Sumatra). The type locality given is "India: Assam, Mishmi Hills."

Habitat

These rat snakes thrive under cool and very humid conditions. On many occasions they are found at altitudes exceeding 800 meters in evergreen moist rainforest or monsoon forests, depending on the subspecies and locality. They spend most of the time hiding in leaf litter, under moss carpets, or under rocks and logs.

Diet

The diet consists primarily of rodents and other small mammals in the wild. Frogs are a possibility. In captivity, mice are accepted readily.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Oreocryptophis
Species
Oreocryptophis porphyraceus

Common names

  • German: Rote (breitband-) Bambusnatter
  • English:
    • Red bamboo rat snake
    • Black-banded trinket snake
    • Red bamboo snake
    • Lox's mountoin racer
    • Red mountain racer
  • Thai: งูทางมะพร้าวแดง, ngu thang maphao daeng

Subspecies

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus coxi, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger, 1998

    Range: Northwest Thailand

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus kawakamii, Masamitsu Ōshima, 1911

    Range: Taiwan

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus laticincta, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger, 1998

    Range: Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra.

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus porphyraceus, Theodore Edward Cantor, 1839

    Range: Buthan; India; Laos; Myanmar; Nepal; People's Republic of China, Thailand, Vietnam

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus pulchra, Karl Patterson Schmidt, 1925

    Range: China

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus vaillanti, Henri Émile Sauvage, 1876

    Range: Hong Kong, China, Vietnam

Synonyms

  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus laticinctus, Werning (2013)
  • Oreocryptophis prophyraceus, Mark Laita (2013)
  • Ortriophis sic porphyraceus, Werner Kästle et al. (2013)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus vaillanti, Nikolai L. Orlov (2010)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyracea laticinctus, Klaus-Dieter Schulz et al. (2010)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus porphyraceus, Bill Love (2010)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus porphyraceus, Klaus-Dieter Schulz (2010)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyracea kawakamii, Mao et al. (2009)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus, Larry Lee Grismer et al. (2008)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus, Chris Mattison (2007)
  • Oreocryptophis prophyraceus, Thomas Ziegler et al. (2007)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus laticinctus, Von J. Bulian (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus hainana, Verena Knietsch (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus kawakamii, Verena Knietsch (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus pulchra, Verena Knietsch (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus coxi, Verena Knietsch (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus nigrofasciatus, Verena Knietsch (2005)
  • Oreocryptophis prophyraceus, Urs Utiger et al. (2005)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus laticincta, Wolfgang Grossmann & Frank Tillack (2004)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus, Patrick David et al. (2004)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus vaillanti, Andreas Gumprecht (2003)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus porphyraceus, Andreas Gumprecht (2003)
  • Oreophis porphyraceus, Urs Utiger et al. (2002)
  • Elaphe porphyracea vaillanti, Klaus-Dieter Schulz (2000)
  • Elaphe porphyracea laticincta, Tanya Chan-Ard et al. (1999)
  • Elaphe porphyracea coxi, Tanya Chan-Ard et al. (1999)
  • Elaphe porphyracea vaillanti, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea pulchra, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea laticincta, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus laticinctus, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea coxi, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus coxi, Klaus-Dieter Schulz & Notker Helfenberger (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea nigrofasciata, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea porphyracea, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Elaphe porphyracea, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Elaphe porphyracea, Klaus-Dieter Schulz (1996)
  • Elaphe porphyracea nigrofasciata, Clifford H. Pope (1935)
  • Elaphe porphyracea pulchra, R. Mell (1931)
  • Elaphe porphyracea hainana, R. Mell (1931)
  • Holarchus vaillanti, R. Mell (1931)
  • Elaphe porphyracea sikiangensis, R. Mell (1931)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus pulcher, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1925)
  • Elaphe porphyracea pulchra, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1925)
  • Liopeltis kawakami, Masamitsu Ōshima (1911)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus kawakamii, Masamitsu Ōshima (1911)
  • Liopeltis kawakamii, Masamitsu Ōshima (1910)
  • Elaphe porphyracea, John Van Denburgh (1909)
  • Coluber porphyraceus, Frank Wall (1908)
  • Coluber porphyraceus, George Albert Boulenger (1894)
  • Ablabes porphyraceus, George Albert Boulenger (1890)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus vaillanti, Henri Émile Sauvage (1876)
  • Simotes vaillanti, Henri Émile Sauvage (1876)
  • Coluber porphyraceus, John Anderson (1871)
  • Coronella callicephalus, John Edward Gray (1853)
  • Psammophis nigrofasciatus, Theodore Edward Cantor (1839)
  • Oreocryptophis porphyraceus porphyraceus, Theodore Edward Cantor (1839)
  • Coluber porphyraceus, Theodore Edward Cantor (1839)

Photos

Oreocryptophis porphyraceus pulchra
Oreocryptophis porphyraceus

Range Map

Distribution map of Red bamboo rat snake, Oreocryptophis porphyraceus in Thailand
Range map of Oreocryptophis porphyraceus in Thailand