Japanese Ratsnake (Elaphe climacophora)

Japanese Ratsnake - Elaphe climacophora

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Scientific Name: Elaphe climacophora (Boie, 1826)
Common Names: Japanese Ratsnake, Aodaisho
Size: 120 to 160 cm
Distribution: Japan
Other Info: The Aodaisho (Japanese name), is a medium to large slender ratsnake with an average length of 3½ - 5½ ft (120-160cm). There are blotched and striped phases as well as an albino population.
E. climacophora is found on most all of the Japanese island, as well as the Russian island of Kunasir. They are commonly collected near human settlements, houses, barns and other buildings. The snake is also found in forests, fields and grasslands, bamboo thickets and just about any other habitat. This species is active mainly in the morning and evening hours, and is at home on the ground as well as in trees and bushes. Main food items include frogs, rodents, birds and bird eggs.
An easy species to breed, with a hibernation period of 3-4 months. Mating takes place in spring, and 7-20 eggs laid in early to mid summer.
An albino population exists near the Village of Iwakuni, and was declared a National Monument in 1924 by the Japanese Goverment. Although albino specimens are available, the population of Iwakuni remains protected.

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