In our residential compound at Panchwati, Udaipur in Rajasthan, there are seven resident snakes. Four of them were caught and identified as rat snakes (Ptyas mucosa). We marked them for identification and released them again. One of the rat snakes measured 10 feet 7 inches.
On 1 Sep 2014 at 1100 hours one of the rat snakes marked by us was sitting coiled up beneath a bamboo clump in our residential compound. It was holding a dry leaf of bamboo from the middle in its mouth. Sometimes it would turn left and scratch its side with the leaf by moving its head up and down and then it would turn left and scratch the other side.
I observed it for 10 minutes by my watch. And then it slithered away.
Originally Published in Tigerpaper: Tehsin, R. H. (2014): Rat Snake (Piyus mucosa) scratching with bamboo leaf. Tigerpaper. Vol. 41
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