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Rhynchophis boulengeri – Vietnamese Rhino Ratsnake


Photo: Female animal at the age of 4 month, before color changing



Rhino Ratsnakes are living in the north of Vietnam and the south of China. All actually known areas of distribution are subtropical areas. 

Photo: Male animal at the age of 13 month, in the middle of color changing.



Rhino Ratsnakes are medium sized snakes. Adult animals reach a length of 120 – 140 cm, in exceptional cases they can reach even 160 cm.
The typical coloration is dark green, but there are even bluish species known. After hatching the animals have a brown coloration. The color changing to the powerful green lasts about 18 month.

Rhino Ratsnakes lives mostly in shrubs. They are normally active during the night, but keepers can watch them even during the days.

The long nose of this snake is soft and flexible. The use of the nose is actually not scientifically proved.

Photo: Female animal at the age of 2 years. I think changing coloration ended successfully at that time.



Adult Pairs should get a terrarium of 150x70x100 cm. The urge of movement is not very high from these species, but if they are moving they are using whole place which is available. They are able to climb very good and safe. They can move very fast through the shrubs and branches. There should be even enough places to hide in different height levels and temperature zones.  

The temperature during the days should be between 23 – 26°C (73 – 79°F), the place near the spot can even reach 30°C (86°F). The place near the spot is visited several times a day for a short time by the animals. At night the temperature can fall down to normal room temperature around 21 – 22°C (69 – 71°F).
The humidity is around 75%.



Rhino Ratsnakes are mating in spring, shortly after their hibernation, often immediately after putting the pairs together in their terrarium.
The hibernation should be 2 – 3 months long at temperatures between 12 – 15°C (53 – 59°F). A hibernation with temperatures between 8 – 10 °C (47 – 50°F) my animals survived without any problems. But that was only an exception case.
Clutches from this amazing snakes consists of 7 – 10 eggs.

Young Rhino Ratsnakes often need assistance at feeding during the first year, sometimes up to 18 month. I had to feed my animals for about 14 months forcely, then they started to eat without any help. As guideline for bad eaters keepers can say: “You have to force them till they get green”

When they are eating without any help Rhino Ratsnakes are greedy eaters, which are tending to get chubby if keepers don’t have an eye on their quantity which they are getting to eat. My animals eat frozen mice from a tweezers without any problems and absolutely reliably now.




Michael Schlote |