Stripe-tailed Rat Snake in Hengchun Research Center!

Richmond is still being a wet, gray, gloomy, and not-outdoor friendly place. So I continued to shift my attention to the sunny Pingtung County of southern Taiwan.

After a very educational and fruitful day at NMMBA, we returned to our reserved dorm in Hengchun Research Center, which is another place belonging to the governmental organization - Taiwan Forest Research Institute (TFRI).

The following Friday morning (10/16), we were ready to leave the research center and began our tasks. But before we even left the place, we saw a beautiful snake crossing the trail. It was a Stripe-tailed Rat Snake (Elaphe taeniura)!

Stripe-tailed Rat Snake (Elaphe taeniura) - 錦蛇
It was aware of our presence when we approached, and acted very scary!

E. taeniura (Colubridae) is not a poisonous snake, although it can grow up to 250-cm. This one was at least 150-cm and very beautiful. It has a olive-yellowish color with black diamond patterns on the first half of the snake, and then a stripe running down the rest of its body.

Stripe-tailed Rat Snake (Elaphe taeniura) - 錦蛇
The patterns.

Another common name for E. taeniura is Beauty Snake. It used to be commonly found in Taiwan, but because of its beautiful patterns and suitable length and width, it was captured to make belts during the times when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. It is also common pet to be kept. Currently, E. taeniura is a protected species in Taiwan.

Stripe-tailed Rat Snake (Elaphe taeniura) - 錦蛇

Stripe-tailed Rat Snake (Elaphe taeniura) - 錦蛇
Another distinct feature of this species is the black brow. What a beauty and an excellent start to the day!

Oh yeah! Happy Halloween to all!!

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