Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World. Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians. Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
RED-TAILED RACER Gonyosoma oxycephala
The red-tailed racer is a fast-moving, slender-bodied tree dwelling Asian ratsnake. It's tail is usually greyish or brownish rather than red but it contrasts strongly with the emerald green of the body.
Nonvenomous and growing to 1.9-2.4m, it hunts rats and squirrels in the canopy and only descends to the ground when the forest is felled. Its movement are slow and jerky and its tongue flicks slowly, all part of the camouflage of the snake, it is no use having camouflaged patterning if the body movements stand out against the vegetation.
Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Philippines)
click on the images to enlarge them
Habitat: Lowland & low montane rainforest
Red-tailed racers are highly arboreal treesnakes
It is a fast-moviong diurnal predator of lizards and small mammals
Active diurnal predators like the racer have better vision that other snakes