Skillelinie

Zamenis h. hohenackeri

 

Captive bred male Mount Ararat, Turkey
Captive bred male Mount Ararat, Turkey
 
The Kaukasian Ratsnake, previously called Elaphe hohenackeri, inhabit the mountains of Turkey, Northen Iraq, Iran, Libanon, and the countries surrounding the Kaspian and the Black See, but are very rare. Size is normally 70 – 80 cm, but I found a female at 108 cm in Iraq. They look like Elaphe situla without the red markings and have a black belly.
 
Wild caught female Mount Ararat, Turkey
Wild caught female Mount Ararat, Turkey
 

These ratsnakes are very rare in captivity, but should be kept like Elaphe situla. Wild caught hohenackeri often suffers from various parasites, and can be very difficult to keep alive. Both wild caught and captive bred animals often reject food for long periods of time especially in mid summer. Our animals eats 90% of their annual food in March - May.  Keep them on the cooler side. About 25*C during the day and 5 - 7 degrees lower at night, and feed them with small live food items like small to half grown mice. Long hibernation is mandatory for successful breeding. Copulations takes place after their first shedding and last for several hours. They produce up to 7 eggs in a clutch. They hatch after 60 - 68 days at 27,5*C. The juveniles are very large and can eat pinckies after few days. 

Copulation
Copulation
 
Wild caught female from Choman, Iraq. (Border to Iran)
 
We had an unrelated group of these lovely snakes all from Mount Ararat Turkey, and got our first hatchling in 2002.
 
Habitate Choman, Iraq