niedziela, 22 maja 2011
Snakes - Mandarin Ratsnake
The Mandarin Ratsnake (Euprepiophis [Elaphe] mandarina) is found in southern and central China, with a few specimens known from countries adjacent to this area. There they inhabit open forests and rocky scrubland. Originally thought to be a montane species, they are now also known to inhabit lower elevations in many parts of their range, often being found in agricultural areas. Adult and sub-adult specimens are frequently imported in large numbers for the pet trade. These specimens are heavily loaded with parasites, badly stressed and very nervous and the keeper who successfully acclimates one and gets it to feed is rare indeed. Avoid purchasing these animals - your financial support, will only further encourage the additional importation and resulting death of more specimens. Adequate captive-bred stocks are now present in US and European collections to insure the availability of quality specimens for all.
Approximately six to eight inches long at birth, they average four feet in length as adults. Occasional specimens may attain five feet in length, and there are a few records of six-foot specimens.
Color and Pattern Phases: There is much variation in this species, particularly in the amount of black pigmentation present. Patterns may also vary somewhat, with some specimens being cleanly banded and others very speckled in appearance. Many specimens also exhibit red coloration on the centers of each scale, particularly along the sides, Hypomelanistic specimens are present in US collections.