Skillelinie

Elaphe sauromates

 

Elaphe sauromates Female from Iraq
 
Elaphe sauromates, previously knovn as Elaphe quatuorlineata sauromates, inhabts the eastern part of Europe and into Asia. It is one of the largest ratsnakes and can exceed a lenght of 250 cm. Normally adult animals are approx. 120 -150 cm. This species keeps the juvenile coloration and don`t get striped as the close related Elaphe quatuorlineata. The color is cream or yellow with dark or black blotches. Most animals get more and more colorful with age, but there are also speciems that turns nearly totally black. They prey on small birds, eggs and rodents even adult rats or small rabbits. Juveniles prefer lizards.
 
Elaphe sauromates eating an egg.
 

These large ratsnakes are seldom seen in captivity. They are very easy to keep and prefer a large terrarium with a lot of branches, where they can rest in the upper part overlooking the surroundings. Most speciems have a calm temper, but there are also a few, that can be very aggressive. They are easily fed on rodents and dayold chickens or eggs (even defrosted food items are normally accepted), but should be fed seperately, so that they don`t harm each other. They are kept at a temperature at 25 - 28*C. 

 
Elaphe sauromates Adult pair
 
Elaphe sauromates seems to be harder to breed than most other ratsnakes. A 3 -5 months hibernation at 10 - 14*C  is mandatory for breeding, and the copulation occour after their first shedding. The eggs are very large and hatch after 55 - 60 days at approx. 27*C. Many juveniles don`t accept rodents at first and must be force fed for some time.
 
Elaphe sauromates hatchling
Elaphe sauromates hatchling
 
Elaphe sauromates 1 year old
Elaphe sauromates 1 year old
 
Elaphe sauromates female
Elaphe sauromates female