Rat Snake (danrash sap) a common non-venomous colubrid snake of Bangladesh. Rat Snake/Dhaman (Dadash Sap), Coluber mucosus occurs in two colour forms: light or yellow brown and olive brown. It is often mistaken as Cobra and hence gets killed. However, its head is much narrower than the cobra and it has no hood. Usual size is below 2 m but large specimens could grow up to 3 m. Rat Snake is quite common. It is good in climbing trees, diving and swimming, and swift in movement. When first caught it can be aggressive but later on become docile; feeds any animal that it can manage, although the preference is always for the rats, mice, frogs and toads. A Rat Snake will seize a prey and immediately start swallowing it.
Rat Snake is the only snake in the region that performs a 'combat dance'. This takes place between the rival males where both snakes are seen in partly entwined condition either parallel to the ground or with partly raised bodies above it. Most villagers superstitiously believe this dance as the mating position between a cobra and a Rat Snake. It lays nearly a dozen sticky eggs that hatch in two months. Rat Snake skin has a high value in commerce while the Korean and Chinese people relish its meat. [Ali Reza Khan]