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Introduction

The Orthriophis taeniurus tribe are described, detailing differences and identifiers.
This is a visual guide to the Orthriophis taeniurus, a group of snakes also known as beauty snakes. There are eight subspecies within the classification that can be further grouped into two groups, Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese.

 
Chinese Beauty Snake
Orthriophis taeniurus taeniurus
Taiwan Beauty Snake
Orthriophis taeniurus friesi
 
Mocquards Beauty Snake
Orthriophis taeniurus mocquardi
 
Postocular stripe Thick black stripe from behind the eye Thick black stripe from behind the eye Thick black stripe from infront of the eye
Dorsal ground colour Yellowish brown, maybe with orange aswell Yellow to olive Yellow to brownish yellow (species from hainan maybe olive or orangy)
Pattern H shaped pattern, dissolving in the third towards the tail Large oval/round black blotches, either in two alternating rows or joining to form an H pattern Similar to O. t friesi but more elongated
Labiels Creamy/white, maybe a tinge of orange White  
Ventral colour Creamy/yellowy/grey Black blotches Black blotches
Neck Unpatterned for 2 - 3 head lengths No pattern for 1-2 head lengths No pattern for 3-4 head lengths
Tongue Black with blue edging Black with blue edging Black with blue edging
Length 130 - 180cm 220cm 160cm (sometimes up to 190cm)
Comments Black H pattern is very narrow, just enough the break the ground colour of the snake. Thick stripe running down the very top of the tail. Very distinct pattern, solid black, and solid yellow, blotches are quite large, pattern starts not far down the neck. This beauty appears very simular to O. t friesi , the main obvious difference is that the pattern does not start for 3-4 head lengths.
 

 
Ryukyu Striped tail Ratsnake
Orthriophis taeniurus schmackeri
Yunnan Beauty snake
Orthriophis taeniurus yunnanensis
Indonesian Beauty snake
Orthriophis taeniurus grabowskyi
 
Postocular stripe Faded black stripe from infront of the eye Thick black stripe from behind the eye Thick black stripe from behind the eye
Dorsal ground colour   Yellowish brown, maybe with orange aswell Grey to grey/brown
Pattern Resemble O. t taeniurus however blotches are interupted and faint Two rows of ovals blotches with a light centre, blotches maybe connected to each other Similar to O.t ridleyi except the head and dorsal colour are the same
Labials Creamy/white, maybe a tinge of orange    
Ventral colour Lots of small dark spots Yellow to grey and might have faint grey spots Light yellow to yellow, may have faint dark speckles
Neck Slender, no pattern for 1-2 head lengths Unpatterned for 1.5 - 2 head lengths Unpatterned for 1-2 head lengths
Tongue   Reddish/black or violet/black Reddish
Length 180 - 200cm (although known up to 250cm) 140-160cm 170 - 190cm
Comments A somewhat muddled pattern, it is unclear and the snake appears quite speckley. especially in the first third. This sub species also has a much longer snout and tail. Mid body upwards towards the head has an indistinct pattern, quite muddled. The last third the pattern does form into the typical beauty tail stripe. Very simular to ridleyi however having a slightly more obvious pattern, almost speckled looking, again the last third of the body is where the ground colour merges with the stripe down the tail.
 
 
Cave Dwelling Ratsnake
Orthriophis taeniurus ridleyi
Blue Beauty
Orthriophis taeniurus callicyanous
 
 
Postocular stripe Thick black stripe from infront of the eye Thick black stripe from behind the eye
Dorsal ground colour Beige/ochre, slight tinge of olive Olive/grey or yellow/grey or blue/grey (blue/greys resemble grabowskyi)
Pattern Extremely faint reticulated pattern Faint H pattern for the first third of the body, then break and form brown/black lateral stripes mid body
Labials White Yellowish
Ventral colour Grey/white with no obvious pattern except for on the ventral keels, there is a black line running towards the tail, starting mid-body  
Neck   Unpatterned for 2 - 3 head lengths
Tongue Red/brown Red/brown
Length 180 - 230cm 160 - 320cm
Comments O. t ridleyi is the most obvious out of all the beauties, by the sheer lack of an obvious pattern, the ground colour of the anterior merges down to form a stunning stripe down the tail, which is contrasted by the dark lateral stripes Similar to O. t grabowskyi , pattern is more distinct though, though the pattern does not start for 2-3 head lengths, the supralabials form a thiner and broken line down the tail.



T- Albino Beauty Snake
Photo: Hogboy
Chinese Beauty Snake
Photo: Scarlett
T+ Albino Chinese Beauty
Photo: Hogboy
Striped Chinese Beauty
Photo: Dean Carguillo
Cave Dwelling Ratsnake
Photo: Charles Thompson
Melanistic Striped Chinese Beauty
Photo: Dean Carguillo
Taiwan Beauty
Photo: Charles Thompson
Blue Beauty
Photo: Sue Knight


Illustrations: Sue Knight
This site has information on the following genera of Ratsnakes ... Spilotes, Spalerosophis, Ptyas, Zamenis, Elaphe, Rhinechis, Senticolis, Pseudelaphe, Pantherophis, Bogertophis, Orthriophis, Gonyosoma, Oreocryptophis, Oocatochus, Euprepiophis, Coelognathus, Archelaphe