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Introduction

This is a quick guide to the prey preferences of Ratsnakes in the wild. Presented in a chart for quick reference. Illustrated with various photo's of wild ratsnakes eating.

In the wild, ratsnakes eat a variety of prey, not just rats!! It is also worth noting that hatchling/juveniles will eat a different proportion of prey compared to adults of the same species. So a juvenile may eat a higher percentage of amphibians than an adult.

 
Also the food items that a ratsnake consumes has alot to do with the seasons and what is plentiful at that time of year. In summer months, there maybe more birds included into the ratsnake diet.

When a species is living on an island then their variety is limited, Elaphe quadrivirgata has isolated population throughout Japan, where they solely feed on skinks, on other islands they prey on birds and their eggs and grow larger (HASEGAWA & MORIGUCHI 1988 )

Mc - Mice, Rt - Ratsn, Bd - Birds,  BE - Birds Eggs, Liz - Lizards, Fr - Frogs, Fs - Fish, Sn - Snakes, Sq - Squirrels, Mo - Moles & Shrews, Bt - Bats, In - Insects, Ws - Weasels, RE - Reptile Eggs, Rb - Rabbits & Hares

 

Mc

Rt

Bd

BE

Liz

Fr

Fs

Sn

Sq

Mo

Bt

In

Ws

RE

Rb

Bogertophis rosalie

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Bogertophis subocularis

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Coelognathus erythrurus

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Coelognathus flavolineatus

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Coelognathus helena

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

Coelognathus radiatus

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Coelognathus subradiatus

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Elaphe bimaculata

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaphe carinata

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Elaphe climacophora

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaphe davidi

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaphe dione

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

Elaphe quadrivirgata

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

Elaphe quatuorlineata

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

Elaphe schrencki

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Euprepiophis conspicillatus

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Euprepiophis mandarinus

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Gonyomsoma frenatum

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gonyomsoma janseni

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Gonyomsoma oxycephalum

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Gonyomsoma prasinum

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oreophis porphyraceus

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Orthriophis cantoris

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orthriophis hodgsoni

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orthriophis moellendorfi

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Orthriophis taeniurus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Pantherophis bairdi

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Pantherophis gutattus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Pantherophis obseletus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Pantherophis vulpinus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

Rhinechis scalaris

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

Zamenis hohenackeri

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Zamenis longissmus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Zamenis persicus

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zamenis situla

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

                               

 

N.B In regards to Elaphe quatuorlineta. One had been examined to find the remains of a young tortoise inside their stomach (KOPSTEIN 1920 )
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