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Old 04-27-2006, 10:08 AM   #1
Craig B
King rat.

Out riding this afternoon, I came across this juvenile, King Rat Snake. I'm guessing it's a yearling.
They are legal to keep here in Taiwan, So I'm hanging on to it.
I've never kept this species before. So please if any of you have experience, tell how they are in captivity ?
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:40 PM   #2
Wow what a beauty! I don't know anything about king rats except what I have read. Great find!
Old 04-30-2006, 04:32 PM   #3
Craig B
Hi norsmis. I cant find much info on this species. I've kept a few Rat Snake spices in the past, But nothing quite like this one, It looks and feels a lot like a cobra. I also noticed that it's pupils move and dilate as they follow prey, I have never noticed this in other snakes. The thing I'm worried about is, it's other name, Stink Rat Snake. If its agro thats no problem but if it stinks, I can't keep it. So far it hasn't musked, even when I caught it.
It's jumpy as hell I hope he'll calm down. I'll keep it for a few weeks. If he settles down, and doesn't musk, I'll collect a few for breeding.
Please guys and girls any info
Old 04-30-2006, 05:04 PM   #4
Craig, here is what I found at

Scientific Name: Elaphe carinata (Günther, 1864)
Common Names: King Ratsnake, Stinking Goddess, Keeled Ratsnake
Subspecies: Elaphe carinata carinata (Günther, 1864)
Elaphe carinata dequenensis (Yang & Su, 1984)
Elaphe carinata yonaguniensis (Takara, 1962)
Size: 150 to 170 cm (up to 240 cm)
Distribution: China, North Vietnam, Taiwan
Other Info: Elaphe carinata is a large heavy built snake, ranging in size from 4-6ft, (100-200cm), with some specimens becoming larger, so provide with a spacious terrarium with a loose substrate as they like to dig. Being mostly terrestrial they are known to inhabit open forest areas, bamboo thickets, fields and meadows and have also been collected near houses. Specimens have been collected during the day as well as at night.
E. carinata are very easy to keep and breed. They will eat almost anything including rodents, birds and bird eggs, and other snakes. They have even been known to eat their own kind, so be careful not to house larger animals with younger ones.
Mating usually takes place in the spring with 6-12 eggs being laid in early-mid summer, taking 40-60 days for incubation. Hibernate for 2-4 months for best results.
The common name "stink snake" or "stinking Goddess" refers to this species highly developed post-anal glands, that when picked up are frequently emptied, with a very strong, bad odor.
The common name of "King ratsnake" refers to its habit of eating other snakes.
There are three recognized subspecies, E. c. carinata found throughout most of China and northern Vietnam. E. c. yonaguniensis, found on the island of Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
E. c. deqenensis, known from only a few specimens, are found only in Northwest Yunnan province, China.
Old 05-03-2006, 03:47 AM   #5
Craig B
Thanks Norsmis.
A few years back I fond a very detailed article on the net, but can't seem to find it anymore . I also spoke with The herp guy at the Taipei zoo, he was quite helpfull, and even gave me a book, on which wild reptiles I can catch and keep, without permits in TW. But he didn't know much about King Rats as pets.
Old 05-03-2006, 05:26 AM   #6
I will look through my books as I seem to remember seeing care info about them in a book I bought some years back when I was in Korea. Good luck with him/her and keep us updated on how its going..
Old 05-07-2006, 04:27 PM   #7
Hey Craig how is the king rat doing so far?
Old 05-09-2006, 08:19 AM   #8
Craig B
Hi norsmis. It's doing well, it's eating but very agro. It bites me, every time I handle it. It might never calm down.

When I caught the snake, a groundsman in the park. I caught it, saw me and asked me for my number, in case he sees, any while he's working, he said he saw and kill many snakes every year.
It's payed off, He called me for a TW Habu last week , and today for a Bamboo viper.
Old 05-09-2006, 01:03 PM   #9
Lol..... From what I have read they tend to be a little nasty.
Sounds like you found a buddy to keep you entertained with snakes. I had this going in Kansas from some of the local farmers. Sure saves time looking for snakes when you have other eyes looking for you!
Old 05-13-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
Craig B
Hi norsmia.I always use people to help find snakes for me. I lived on a farm as a kid.All the workers kept an eye out for snake for me.
In the army. I was groundsman of an officers hotel, on a game farm, I had three tool sheds. One I used to house the snakes, I decided to keep.The rest I would relocate near a water hole about 5 Km from the hotel.
When I finished the Army, I had a friend, who was a fireman, He gave my number, to the emergency phone opperator, I would collect "problem snakes" and often get paid for it. As a matter of fact I've lived out side SA for eight years and my mom still gets 3 or 4 calls for snakes every summer.

I'm now on a mission, to collect all the legal TW rat snake species that do well in captivity, and a few other species that grow quite large, are legal, and fairly easy to keep
I'll make a new thread soon, listing all the rat snakes I'm after and see what feedback I get.

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