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Common Names: Diones Ratsnake, Steppes Ratsnake
Scientific Name: Elaphe dione
First Described: PALLAS, 1773

Adult Size: Typically 60-70cm but some localities can attain greater lengths up to 170cm
Temperament: Usually docile, but some variation in temperament between localities.
Temperature & Humidity Range: A thermal gradient of between 28°C (82°F) - 20°C (68°F) should be provided together with a humid hide.
Brumation: 47-59 F (8-15C) for 2-4 months
Reproduction: 3-24 eggs are laid per clutch hatching around 20-35 days at 22-30°C, these variables are also dependant on the locality of the specimen with some hatching as quickly as 10-13 days and specimens from North East China having the greater clutch sizes.
Known Mutations: Striped, Albino T+, Albino T-, Hypomelanistic, Melanistic (Nigrita), (Sunglow) Orange, Tiger (Red), Super Red, Tenebrosa (Patternless & Blotched)
An Elaphe dione morph guide is available on site detailing the various morphs and their history. See also the photo gallery for photos of various morphs and locality snakes
Captive Bred Localities:  Caucasus, Baikal Lake Russia, Barnaul / Altai, Beijing, North East China, Russia Far East - Cherskyi, South Korea / Seoul City, North Korea, Xian
Natural History:  Can be found from Sea Level to 3500m. Elaphe dione inhabits a wide range of ecosystems and can be found in many types of landscape excluding sandy deserts. Largely a terrestrial snake but has occasionally been seen in trees and bushes. In the wild Elaphe dione will eat a variety of prey items including, small rodents, lizards, birds and their eggs, frogs, snakes and even insects. Cannablism has been recorded for this species.
Native To: Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Georgia, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Armenia, China, Azerbajan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kyrgyzstan

Map showing the distribution of Elaphe dione ( Dione Ratsnake ) in the wild.
  • Clicking the snake icons will bring up an information bubble with more information about the species occurance in that area.
  • Clicking anywhere on the map will bring up a pop up window with the elevation at that point.
SCHULZ, Klaus Dieter (ed.), 2013. Old World Ratsnakes, A collection of papers
SCHULZ, Klaus Dieter, 1996. A monograph of the Colubrid Snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger.

Scale Counts:
Ventrals: 170-214
Subcaudals: 55-80
Dorsals: 23-27
  • 'Super Red' Wladiwostock
  • Author: Jesper Lund
  • Melanistic (Nigrita)
  • Author: Sue Knight
  • Orange
  • Author: Sue Knight
  • Eating Quail Eggs
  • Author: Sue Knight
  • Yellow Stripe Clutch
  • Author: Sue Knight
  • China
  • Author: Francis Cosquieri
  • South Korea
  • Author: Toby Brock
  • Striped
  • Author: Sue Knight

Conservation Status:
IUCN Red List: Not Listed
Red Book Bashkortostan: Red Book Chelyabinsk Region
Measures of protection. Registered in Annex III to the Berne Convention. There is a need for a total ban on catching the species protection and promotion of the population, the organization known reserves in a single habitat type in Kizilskom reg, monitoring of the population, the spread of the species in the study area.
Red book of Ukraine proposals : In danger of extinction (I)

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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