Mandarin rat snake, Euprepiophis mandarinus

Mandarin rat snakes are stunning, docile and active, making them great pets

At a glance...
  • Mandarin rat snakes are stunning and very active
  • Docile temperaments make them suitable for beginners
  • Ideal choice for a beautiful display enclosure
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Do Mandarin rat snakes make good pets?

Mandarin rat snakes have stunning yellow and black markings down the entire length of their body, making them truly beautiful snakes. On top of this, they are generally quite docile and will tolerate handling without any fuss, although youngsters can be a little defensive until they get used to it.

This species originates from parts of Asia, and requires a slightly more humid environment than most rat snakes. All of our Mandarin rat snakes for sale at Swell Reptiles are captive bred in the UK, leaving you safe in the knowledge that your new snake came from a reliable source.

What type of enclosure does a Mandarin rat snake need?

Mandarin rat snakes are a very active species, so should be given a good amount of space to explore and roam. We recommend a minimum enclosure size of 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft), for example, the VivExotic Repti-Home Bearded Dragon Vivarium Large. It is important, due to the higher humidity requirements of this species, to use vivarium sealant around the inside joins of the vivarium to prevent moisture damage.

What temperature should a Mandarin rat snake be kept at?

As with all reptiles, Mandarin rat snakes are ectothermic, so cannot control their internal body temperature without the help of external sources. Their enclosure should have a thermogradient that runs from around 28-30°C (82-86°F) in one end, to around 22°C (71°F) in the other.

Due to their larger enclosure sizes, heat mats will not work for this species. Rather, an overhead heating system such as a basking lamp or ceramic heater should be chosen and attached to the compatible thermostat, which would be a dimming thermostat for a basking lamp or a pulse thermostat for a ceramic heater.

Do Mandarin rat snakes need UV?

Although snakes were long kept without the use of UVB, providing them with this is slowly becoming standard practice in the hobby, and for good reason. Black rat snakes can benefit significantly from the presence of a low-level UVB, with a UVI between 2-3.

The easiest way to achieve this UVI is using an Arcadia ShadeDweller MaxT5, positioned 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking area, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% positioned 40-45cm (15-18”) above the basking zone.

What substrate do Mandarin rat snakes need?

Due to their higher humidity requirements, we recommend loose, moisture-retaining substrates such as coco soil, or Arcadia EarthMix for bioactive enclosures. Reptile moss and natural reptile decor can be added to the substrate layer to further aid humidity levels and enhance the overall natural look of the enclosure.

How do I decorate a Mandarin rat snake’s vivarium?

Mandarin rat snakes are very active and will benefit from lots of enrichment in their enclosure, in the form of logs, rocks, cork bark pieces and branches. At least two hiding areas should also be provided, either from hiding caves or natural decor pieces to ensure your snake has a safe and secure place at either end of the thermogradient.

What do Mandarin rat snakes eat?

As with other Rat snakes, Mandarin rat snakes are carnivores, so should be fed a diet solely made up of other animals in the form of frozen reptile food. Mice make the best staple option, as rats are much higher in protein and can lead to obesity and related health issues when fed too often, but rats are still a suitable food source to add some variety to your snake’s diet.

How do I buy a Mandarin rat snake?

If you like the look of our Mandarin rat snakes and would like to purchase one, this will need to be collected from our physical superstore as we do not ship live reptiles.

Please come in and see us, bringing a few photos of your set-up which must already be to temperature with adequate lighting. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please refer to our dedicated Mandarin Rat Snake Care Sheet.

Common names Mandarin rat snake
Scientific name Euprepiophis mandarinus
Country Asia
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 120-150cm (4-5ft)
Natural habitat Rocky forest and farmland habitats
Housing 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft)
Ideal temperature 28-30°C (82-86°F) (warm end); 22°C (71°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 60-70%
Diet Carnivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Docile, youngsters can be defensive
Ease of handling Easy
Cohabitable No
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  1. Mandarin rat snake, Euprepiophis mandarinus, care sheet
    Categories: Care sheetsSnakes

    Mandarin rat snake, Euprepiophis mandarinus, care sheet

    Mandarin rat snake, Euprepiophis mandarinus, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.