Black Ratsnake

I was looking for snakes in the straw alongside the stream, but it still came as a shock to see this long black “crow snake” (karasuhebi) moving rapidly across the path. I’d estimate it at about 150cm, perhaps bigger. There were so many frogs on the path too, so I’m sure the snake was not going hungry! This species looks scary because of its size and colour, but it is not venomous at all. It is actually the melanic form of the four-lined ratsnake (shimahebi).

Elaphe quadrivirgata

Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae
Elaphe quadrivirgata (karashuhebi) = black Japanese four-lined ratsnake

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One Response to Black Ratsnake

  1. Sara Rich says:

    I think I saw this snake when i lived in Japan a few years ago. I watched it slither across a rice paddy field from my apartment window. I was fasinated at how incredibly fast it was and how long and thick its body was. I’ve always wanted to know what sort of snake it was. This was in Omaezaki. I then watched in horror as the care taker of the apartment chop its head off with a shovel, he told me it was a very dangerous. I’m from Australia so snake are a part of our lives here.

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