A ~ C ~ S~N~A~K~E~S

Snake Breeders Based in Leicestershire, England, UK      


Elaphe Dione


The Dione Ratsnake, also known as the Steppes Ratsnake, is a small snake with one of the largest ranges of all of the ratsnake species.  Primarily a terrestrial (ground dwelling) species and a member of the colubrid family of snakes.  Diones are relatively easy to maintain in captivity and come in a variety of colours and patterns which make them an excellent choice of pet.

Life expectancy could be in excess of 20 years.

Experience Level Novice

Quite shy but normally fairly docile although a couple of ours that we acquired as adults can be unpredictable and nip without warning.  Chinese Diones, in particular, are known for their nervous disposition.

Captive Variants T- Albino, T+ Albino, Hypomelanistic, Lemon, Orange, Nigrita (Melanistic), Striped, Sunrise, Sunglow, Tenebrosa, Tiger, Red

Altai, Caucasus, Chersky, China, North-Korea, South Korea, Xian

Expected Adult Length 60 - 70 cm
Recommended Housing

Vivarium or plastic tubs

We prefer to use tubs as we found them to be much easier to keep clean. Diones enjoy hiding/climbing through greenery on the floor of their enclosure.

Other requirements:

-Suitably large water bowl for them to drink and bathe

-A minimum of 2 hides (1 in the cool end and 1 in the warm end) one of which should be moist

-Low level climbing branches are advantageous but not essential

Temperature Range 22C (72F) to 28C (82F)
Recommended Heating

Viv - Guarded Ceramic heater or heat mat

Tub - Heat mat

Whichever method is used, the temperature should be controlled by a suitable thermostat and monitored using a digital thermometer


Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Natural Environment

Diones are largely a terrestrial species which is found in a wide range of habitats from dry to wet with sparse to dense vegetation.

Recommended Substrate

Most substrate would probably be suitable for Diones however we use Aspen and provide a moist hide of vermiculite and/or moss.

Natural Diet

Dione's natural diet consists of rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, insects, birds and their eggs. They are also known to be cannibalistic.

Primary Captive Diet Rodents
Recommended links www.ratsnakefoundation.org

This care guide has been written by us at AC Snakes for your information and guidance.
It will be updated and expanded as regularly as we are able, however it should not be used as your only source of care information.
Prior to purchasing any animal it is strongly recommended that you research extensively to ensure that you can provide the correct care for your pet.
Last updated May 2012

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