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Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake

Family: Colubridae Picture of a Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat SnakeGonyosoma oxycephelaPhoto Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I have one that came into the pet store I work at. No one would handle him except me and it even bit a co-worker but once it settled down to the new place, it got... (more)  donna

   These are beautiful snakes, but definitely are only a pet for the advanced snake keeper!

Dr. Jungle..."The Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake shown here
is an adult female about six feet long!"

. The Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake is not venomous, but may always be a bit temperamental. There are are some keepers that say they will tame down with regular handling, however there are others who say they are unpredictable.
   Many will repeat a pattern of being docile, even tempered, and tolerant of handling for several months and then bite their keeper for no apparent reason. Despite this they are very hardy, easy to maintain and a beautiful snake.

For more Information on keeping Snakes see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Herptile


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Gonyosoma
  • Species: oxycephela

Distribution:    The Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snakes are found in central, south, and southeast Asia.

Description:    The Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake snake will grow to a good size between six and eight feet (2m to 2.5m). They are a thinner bodied snake with a beautiful iridescent green coloration.

Feeding:   They are a constrictor and their diet consists of chicks,mice, rats and other rodents. Feed once or twice a week, depending on the size of the food and the size of the snake. As you get to know your snake, you'll learn what its feeding needs are. Fresh water in a shallow dish should always be available.

Environment:    It is recommended that the Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake be kept singly, except when breeding.
   As the name implies, the red-tailed green climbing rat snake is an excellent climber. They like an arboreal type setting so set up their terrarium as a woodland type with a vertical or semi-vertical tree limb and plant vining. See Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care for more information on the terrarium type. Also provide a hiding place and a small water dish.

Temperature and Lighting requirements:    They do well in 70° to 80° F with moderate humidity. Lighting requirements are minimal, they do not need full spectrum lighting though it is good for long term maintenance as it helps them feel good. You can use a substrate heating device for basic heating. For additional heat, you can add a full spectrum incandescent daytime bulb and a blacklight bulb or red incandescent bulb for nighttime heating. Be sure you use a thermometer so you don't let the terrarium become overheated!
   For more detailed information see the Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care: Housing.

Breeding/Reproduction:    These snakes, if not babies, need to be probe sexed for positive sex identification.

Availability:   The Red-tailed Green Climbing Rat Snake are not real common, so are not always readily available as pets.

Author: Clarice Brough, CRS
Lastest Animal Stories on Red-tailed Green Rat Snake

donna - 2008-07-13
I have one that came into the pet store I work at. No one would handle him except me and it even bit a co-worker but once it settled down to the new place, it got very easy to handle although it had everyone leery of it. I finally brought it home and it's the sweetest snake I have ever had. My only problem is getting it to eat mice. It would rather have a bird but I'm finding it's very hard to find feeder birds for a snake. Any suggestions, I love this snake. Now if I could find out what sex it is and find birds for feeding...

  • camille - 2010-06-12
    This is an old comment, but you could always buy a few feeder chicks to 'scent' your feeder mice with. The mouse will have the smell of bird on it, which may make it more appealing to the snake. People do this with Hognose snakes all the time, which eat toads and lizards as opposed to mice.
  • SSSimon - 2010-07-09
    Heat-up some raw chicken breast in warm water. Place it near the snake. If that doesn't work then dangle the chicken from a fishing rod and line (minus the hook of course) in front of it's face. Jiggle it if it won't bite. Just make sure the chicken breast is loosely fastened or thread through for easy line removal. This may take some practice. Good luck.
  • kosal - 2010-11-13
    First I would try uncle henrys a lot of free-er cheap unwanted animals to birds. I have 2 8-10 ft red tail boas and 2 ball pythons. They get really expensive to feed. So I had to find other ways. So I hope that can help a little bit.
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john - 2012-08-15
hey, I'm releasing my wild caught ribbon snakes that I caught and cared for for 3 months and plan on getting a red tailed green rat snake or 2(preferably a male and a female) and I would like to breed them. I would like as much info as possible. Is lll reptiles a reliable dealer for this snake, I checked the website and they have it, but I have never ordered ANYTHING over the web, so please tell me asap.

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Colin - 2009-03-17
jocob new hav u tried fresh killed mice or try cracking the skull open on the mice to expose the brains i had the same problem with some of my snakes and that worked

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Reptile Solutions LLC - 2007-12-22
Just got a wild caught adult in. Very aggressive. Check out the site at www.reptilesolutionsllc.com for a pic soon.

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