Fun Chinese Rat Snake Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Feb 20, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 19, 2021
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
One of the interesting Chinese rat snake facts is that it has an overall brown coloration.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The Chinese rat snake, or the Indochinese rat snake (Ptyas korros), is a snake species native to the Asian continent. It is found in the regions of China, India, Hong Kong, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, and several others. It inhabits many different types of habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, banks of streams, shrublands, urban settlements, and so on. It likes to inhabit termite mounds and rat holes. The Indo-Chinese rat snake is a non-venomous snake but is every bit as fast as the most venomous snake. It does not need any poison to feed on its preferred prey of rodents and frogs. Its diurnal activity, quick speed, agility in climbing trees, and general alertness make it a very effective predator. It is prone to biting when cornered but its first instinct is to run away from humans. It does not adapt well to captivity, staying nervous most of the time. The Indo-Chinese rat snake has not been evaluated by the IUCN.

For more relatable content, check out these pit viper facts and kingsnake facts for kids.

Chinese Rat Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Chinese rat snake?

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is a snake and a reptile.

What class of animal does a Chinese rat snake belong to?

The Chinese rat snake  (Ptyas korros) belongs to the Reptilia class of animals.

How many Chinese rat snakes are there in the world?

The total number of Chinese rat snakes in the world is unknown since their widespread populations haven't been evaluated.

Where does a Chinese rat snake live?

The Chinese rat snake (or the Indochinese rat snake) is widespread throughout the Asian regions of Nepal, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore Island, and west Malaysia.

In China, the Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is found in the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Hong Kong, and Yunnan. In India, it is native to the northeastern and eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, and West Bengal. And in Indonesia, it is found in places like Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Borneo.

What is a Chinese rat snake's habitat?

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is found in many different types of habitats throughout its geographic range. They include subtropical and tropical forests, plantations, grasslands, paddy fields, urban settlements, arid lands, farmlands, open fields, brackish water and freshwater wetlands, coastal regions, banks of reservoirs and streams, ponds, woodlands, dry shrublands, and dense forests

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is found up to elevations of 6,562 ft (2,000 m) above the mean sea level and likes to live inside rat holes as well as termite mounds. It is encountered most near water and in tall grasses.

Who do Chinese rat snakes live with?

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is mostly a solitary creature.

How long does a Chinese rat snake live?

A Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) may live for around 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) reproduces by mating and laying eggs.

Usually, the female lays 6-11 eggs. These eggs hatch in 45 days and the hatchlings tend to be about 10 in (25.4 cm) long.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) species has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Chinese Rat Snake Fun Facts

What do Chinese rat snakes look like?

The overall color of the Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) is brown to tan to orange-brown. The whip-like tail tends to be olive-brown and has dark-edged scales. The belly is yellowish and the head is long. The eyes are large and have round pupils. Some snakes have lateral stripes that are faint. The juveniles show vertical white-spotted bands along the length of their bodies. Chinese rat snakes also have a bluish-gray or silver coloration sometimes. The head of the Chinese rat snake is slender and has larger scales. The back is a brown to olive-brown color and each scale on the back has a brown longitudinal line. These lines collectively look like thin stripes. The chin scales of the Chinese rat snake are yellowish-white. Also, the scales on the tail and the posterior part are yellow and have black edges. It is an overall lean snake with smooth scales.

How cute are they?

Chinese rat snakes are non-venomous and very cute. They are long, slender, shiny, and brown. They are very shy, very fast and have beautiful big eyes.

How do they communicate?

Indochinese rat snakes have big eyes so they must have superior night vision. Also, since they are snakes, they utilize pheromones and chemical cues to relay their sexual maturity and age to other snakes.

How big is a Chinese rat snake?

Chinese rat snakes are 39.4-78.7 in (1-2 m) long which makes them four to seven times bigger than ring-necked snakes.

The Chinese rat snake can also grow up to 8.5 ft (2.6 m).

How fast can a Chinese rat snake move?

Chinese rat snakes are impressively fast animals, right up there with venomous snakes in terms of speed and acceleration.

How much does a Chinese rat snake weigh?

An Indochinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) weighs 1.1-4.9 lb (0.5-2.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of the Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) species.

What would you call a baby Chinese rat snake?

A baby Indochinese rat snake is called a snakelet.

What do they eat?

Chinese rat snakes eat rats, lizards, frogs, small vertebrates, birds and their eggs, other snakes, and other rodents.

They themselves are preyed upon by birds and possibly by Indian cobras, Indian rock pythons, and predatory birds.

Are they poisonous?

No, Chinese rat snakes are famously non-poisonous like most other colubrid snake species.

Would they make a good pet?

Chinese rat snakes have been known to be kept in captivity, but they do not adapt well. They are shy and when close to a human, they will flee. If caught, they are liable to twist and strike even if it is harmless. They do accept food quite readily in captivity. They stay nervous when in an enclosure and strike and bite on approach. These are wild animals and should be left to their wild habitat. Especially when you consider the important role they play in their ecosystems as they feed on a large number of rodents.

Did you know...

The Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) often gets sold for its meat and gall bladder.

In Hong Kong, it is fairly common for people to encounter Chinese rat snakes. They often get confused with king cobras and Chinese cobras because of their similar coloration and shapes.

The Indo-Chinese rat snakes are known to puff their necks up when they feel threatened. The expansion of the neck is vertical which makes them look taller. This tactic may frighten people who cannot distinguish between cobras and rat snakes.

Rat snakes cannot really hurt humans. Their bites can only cause small harmless punctures.

Rat snakes are beneficial to any ecosystem they're a part of since they feed on rodents, keeping their populations in check.

One way to identify rat snakes is through the markings on their bodies. Rat snakes tend to have irregular blotches along the lengths of their bodies going up to their tails. Snakes such as rattlesnakes have 'velvety' looking tails.

Do Chinese rat snakes bite?

Yes, Chinese rat snakes do bite, quite readily, but mostly when they feel cornered. They mostly flee with some speed when approached. The bite of the Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) can be somewhat painful but there is no real danger since they are nonvenomous.

Can a Chinese rat snake hurt you?

No, a Chinese rat snake (Ptyas korros) can never really hurt you. It is nonvenomous and the bite is only somewhat painful.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our black mamba facts and copperhead snake fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable chinese rat snake coloring pages.

Chinese Rat Snake Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Rats, lizards, frogs, small vertebrates, birds and their eggs, other snakes, other rodents

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

6-11 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

1.1-4.9 lb (0.5-2.2 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

subtropical and tropical forests, plantations, grasslands

Where Do They Live?


How Long Were They?

39.4-78.7 in (1-2 m)

How Tall Were They?

1.2-1.6 in (3-4 cm)







Scientific Name

Ptyas korros

What Do They Look Like?

Brown, olive, yellow, black, white, tan, orange, bluish-gray, silver

Skin Type

Smooth scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, birds, snakes

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction