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 Ladder Rat Snake  (Elaphe scalaris)


The Ladder Snake derives its scientific and common name from the markings of its young, which in addition to the pair of dorsal stripes running down the back (found in adults) have dark bars running across their backs. Apart from these markings the snake is usually a simple overall shade of brown. It inhabits coastal regions in its range, where it is usually found in sunny areas: stony slopes with some shrubs, deserted orchards, vineyards, open deciduous woods or dry rocks. It is diurnal, and shelters in rodent burrows, hollow trees or a pile of stones. Prey is mainly rodents and nestling birds. Mating takes place in May-June: 6-12 eggs are laid between late June and early August, and the young hatch in September-October. The young prey on lizards and insects.


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