Small head with long body and is very swift at movement. A large eye with round pupil. There is huge variation in color and cannot be identified on the basis of color. Colors may vary from pale yellow, olive, and brown to gray or black. Lip scales are separated by vertical black lines. Underside often has dark prominent cross-bars. The species is usually shy in nature and try to get away when encountered.
Scales in 17, 18 or 19:17 or 16: 14 rows. Ventrals 190-213; anal scale divided; subcaudals 100-146, paired. Normally 2 or 3 loreals and a presubocular.
Habitat and Reproduction
Indian rat snake inhabits a wide range of habitats–coastal, arid, wet, mountainous, open fields as well as forest.They can climb well. This species prefers rat holes and termite mounds for shelter.Seen in paddy fields, tall grass, trees, storage place, and houses. Feeds on frogs, toads, lizards, birds, rats, bats. The species is oviparous and eggs are laid in clutch of 8-22 and on average 25 to 30 eggs in piles between March to September (sometimes observed in winter months).
If threatened and cornered they inflate throat and forebody with growling and strike vigorously. Large rat snake bite can causes heavy pain, though it is harmless.
Throughout South and Southeast Asia. In India they are recorded from entire country including Chhattisgarh, but never recorded above 4000m from sea level. It is one of the snakes which adapted very well with human dominated areas.
Myths like they sting by its tail and resemblance with cobras made this species vulnerable to humans. Lack of awareness also leads to its killing. Instead of their use in skin trade still they are abundant across Chhattisgarh and in other areas.