Lycodon rufozonatus

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Dinodon rufozonatum
Dinodon rufozonatum in China 20130628.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Dinodon
Species: D. rufozonatum
Binomial name
Dinodon rufozonatum
(Cantor, 1842)
  • D. r. rufozonatum (Cantor, 1842)
  • D. r. walli Stejneger, 1907
Synonyms [1]
  • Lycodon rufo-zonatus Cantor, 1842
  • Dinodon cancellatum Duméril & Bibron, 1854
  • Coronella striata Hallowell, 1857

Dinodon rufozonatum is a species of nocturnal snake in the family Colubridae, native to East Asia. It is typically 70 cm (28 in) long, and is considered non-venomous. Two subspecies are recognised, one of which is restricted to the Ryukyu Archipelago.


Dinodon rufozonatum typically grows to a length of around 70 centimetres (28 in), reaching up to 130 cm (51 in) in extreme cases.[2] The head is long and relatively flat, and somewhat separate from the neck. The medium-sized eyes bulge slightly and have vertical pupils. The ventral scales have a strong keel, while the dorsal scales are only faintly keeled; the scale count is typically 17:17:15, but can be up to 21:19:17.[2]


Dinodon rufozonatum is found across a large part of East Asia, from the Korean Peninsula in the north (and extending just into easternmost Russia) to northern Laos and Vietnam in the south; the bulk of its range in found in eastern China.[2] The continental populations are all placed in the nominate subspecies (D. r. rufozonatum); a second subspecies, D. r. walli, is found in the Ryukyu Archipelago of southern Japan.[3]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Dinodon rufozonatum lives in a wide variety of habitats; it can be found from near sea level to as high as 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), and is most common near river plains.[2] It is usually found on the ground, but is occasionally seen swimming in streams.[2] It is nocturnal, feeding on fish, frogs, lizards, snakes and young birds.[2] D. rufozonatum has a generally mild disposition, curling into a spherical mass with the head hidden when approached. Individuals can, however, be unpredictable, and some will bite readily.[2] There are very few clinical reports on the toxinology of D. rufozonatum bites, but the species appears to be non-venomous.[2] D. rufozonatum can harbour tapeworms of the genus Spirometra, and the consumption of raw meat from D. rufozonatum has led to cases of human sparganosis in Korea and Japan.[4]

Taxonomic history[edit]

The species was first described by Theodore Edward Cantor in an 1842 paper on the fauna of "Chusan" (Zhoushan, China) in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History.[5] Cantor included it among the "innocuous" (not venomous) species, and described it as "Brown, with numerous transversal crimson bands; the abdominal surface pearl-coloured, spotted with black on the tail".[5]

It is known by several common names, including "Asian king snake",[6] "banded red snake", "red banded krait", "red banded odd-toothed snake" and "red-banded snake".[2]


  1. ^ Peter Uetz & Jakob Hallermann. "Dinodon rufozonatum (Cantor, 1842)". The Reptile Database. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Dinodon rufozonatum". Clinical Toxinology Resources. University of Adelaide. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Natalia B. Ananjeva (2006). "Red-banded snake Dinodon rufozonatum (Cantor, 1840)". The Reptiles of Northern Eurasia: Taxonomic Diversity, Distribution, Conservation Status. Series faunistica. 47. Pensoft Publishers. p. 141. ISBN 9789546422699. 
  4. ^ Gordon Charles Cook & Alimuddin Zumla (2009). Manson's Tropical Diseases (22nd ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 1662. ISBN 9781416044703. 
  5. ^ a b Theodore Edward Cantor (1842). "General features of Chusan, with remarks on the flora and fauna of that island". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 1st series. 9 (59, 60): 361–371, 481–493. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.6704. 
  6. ^ Simon Dieckmann, Gerrut Norval & Jean-Jay Mao (2010). "A description of an Asian king snake (Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum [Cantor, 1842]) clutch size from central western Taiwan" (PDF). Herpetology Notes. 3: 313–314. 

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