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Posted by j deryke on February 15, 2001 at 15:04:20:
In Reply to: Re: Royal diadem rat snakes, s. Diadema, more info please. posted by Jack DeRyke on February 02, 2001 at 14:59:44:
: : I'm looking for information on the species s. diadema. Please help out with anything you can.
: This animal, also known as the Pakistani Jewelled ratsnake, starts off as a baby looking very much like a common gopher snake. At about a year or maybe more, they begin to develop either a salmon-pink or yellow ground color, in scattered patches. Their pattern fades except in a a few spots where it gradually turns into shiny black blotches. At 2 years, the whole snake is salmon with intense black blotches. The whole head is black similar to a Woma python. These are true eating machines- mine eat mice or small rats, as many as I'll give him, dead or alive- doesn't matter. Currently, he weighs 2+ lbs, is just under 5 ft at 3 yrs of age. Handle-able except that he REALLY doesn't like his head/neck restrained and hisses louder than my bullsnake if I do. He has never bitten a human, even as a baby. Feeding strikes are unusual: he will move his head so he faces head-on whatever prey is in sight, and invariably bites such that the rodent's mouth is engulfed and can't bite him back. No constriction is done, although he may throw a coil on top of prey to pin it while he swallows. Extremely aggessive when feeding, tense and 'racer-like' at all other times. Someone coined the phrase 'rat-racer' for these guys, rather than rat-snake, and it fits. Bill Gillingham at Great-Valley Serpentarium in Lodi, CA has been breeding the salmon variety for years with great success. A spectacular, handle-able animal as an adult.
Note- the Diadem ratsnake of the same family is mentioned on KIngsnake's rear-fanged forum. The fangs are very small in this species, but according to one post, the Duvenoy's gland secretions are powerful! If you're allergic and you get a biter, you could have an 'adverse reaction'.