Hardwicke’s Rat Snake


Name: Hardwicke’s Rat Snake

Scientific name: Coluber ventromaculatus

Synonym: Glossy bellied racer, Gray's rat snake

Type: Snakes

Family: Colubridae


Hardwicke's rat snakes prefer marshes, vegetated deserts and oases and prefer hard substrates, they are found more commonly around human settlements and are abundant in date plantations, agricultural lands and farm storage areas. Adults feed on mice and rats attracted by humans. They are fast, diurnal foragers, their saliva excretes a mild toxin that affects small animals, but is harmless to humans.

World Distribution:

The species ranges from North India to South Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia along the Arabian sea to Palestine, Qatar and a few islands off the UAE.

Conservation status:

Not evaluated by IUCN Red List

Scientific publications:

None in Qatar

Similar species:

None in Qatar


Rat snake adults average around 65-70cm, maximum length up to 95cm. The head is covered in large smooth plates. The body and tail are long and slender, with the tail approximately 25% of total body length. The scales are smooth and shiny, and several colours and paterns exist. They are more commonly grey, brown or straw coloured, with black patches that run along the back, fading towards the tail.