Japanese Forest Ratsnake (Elaphe conspicillata)

Japanese Forest Ratsnake - Elaphe conspicillata


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Scientific Name: Elaphe conspicillata (Boie, 1826)
Common Names: Japanese Forest Ratsnake, Jimuguri
Size: 70 to 100 cm (up to 120 cm)
Distribution: Japan
Other Info: Elaphe conspicillata is a small snake for the advanced keeper and rarely available. The Japanese name "jimuguri" means "burrowing", so they are a very secretive snake and rarely encountered even in areas where they are abundant.
E. conspicillata is known to be active for very short periods of time during the year, only coming out from April thru early June, and October through early November. They are known to go very long periods without eating.
Mating in spring (April-May), they lay two to six eggs in late June/early July with 54 to 60 days incubation. Juveniles are beautiful but can be problem feeders. I had two juveniles hatch in late June 1998, one ate two pinkies after its first shed and not again till the following April, and the second did not eat at all until April 1999.
There is a "color-variety", E. conspicillata "japonica", that is a solid red snake. Also, the specimens from the northern Islands of Hokkaido and Kunashiri, Russia are very different in color and pattern. These may some day be granted subspecies status.

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