Photograph by David Groenewoud

Indochinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros) at Sembawang

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Sembawang, Sembawang Road at junction of Canberra Street; 31 January 2017; around 1315 hrs.

Observation: The featured snake was found wriggling on the busy road after having been struck by a car. The observer retrieved the injured snake with the intention to revive it. Although the reptile appeared intact externally, it had suffered from internal injuries and soon died. The accompanying picture shows a dorsal view of the specimen ex-situ shortly after it had expired.

The snake was deposited as a voucher specimen in the Zoological Reference Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore, where it was assigned the catalogue number ZRC 2.7238. It was found to be an adult female, measuring 154 cm in total length, and 100 cm in snout-vent length.

Remarks: In Singapore, the Indochinese Rat Snake ‘appears to be fairly common in rural areas where it feeds on rodents and frogs’ (Lim & Lim, 1992: 56). Baker & Lim (2012: 161) do not illustrate this species in their guide book, but regard it as a native species that is locally ‘widespread but uncommon’.


  • Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte. Ltd. And Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
  • Lim, K. K. P. & F. L. K. Lim, 1992. A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2017: 41

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