A Guide to the Reptiles of Beijing

As part of the ongoing effort to provide English-language resources about wildlife in China’s capital city, this page is dedicated to the reptiles of Beijing.  The guide has been compiled by ZHANG Junduo and Ben WIELSTRA, to whom Wild Beijing owes great thanks.

As with the other guides in the series, we acknowledge that this document is not perfect and the authors welcome any information and photographs that will improve the guide.   Please send via email to the address provided in the guide.  Thank you!

A Guide to the Reptiles of Beijing

Compiled by ZHANG Junduo and Ben WIELSTRA

Last update 16 May 2022: addition of images of Gail’s Eyelid Skink Plestiodon capito (Kevin R. Messenger), Liu’s Wolfsnake Lycodon liuchengchaoi (W. Scott Lupien), Big-eyed Ratsnake Ptyas dhumnades (W. Scott Lupien) and Chinese Many-tooth Snake Sibynophis chinensis chinensis (W. Scott Lupien).

This guide is one of a series about the wildlife that can be found in China’s capital city. It has been compiled by ZHANG Junduo and Ben WIELSTRA for Wild Beijing. The format follows the other guides in providing the English name, scientific name, Chinese name and the pinyin (pronunciation of the Chinese). Photos and a short summary of the status are included where available. 


Turtles (native)

Chinese Softshell TurtlePelodiscus sinensis – 中华鳖 – Zhōnghuá biē

Chinese Softshell Turtle, 1 June 2016 (Rao Yu)

Turtles (introduced)

Red-eared SliderTrachemys scripta – 密西西比红耳龟 – Mìxīxībǐ hóng ěr guī

Red-eared Slider, 23 April 2017 (Zhang Junduo)



Peking GeckoGekko swinhonis – 无蹼壁虎 – Wú pǔ bìhǔ

Peking Gecko, 19 March 2017 (Zhang Junduo)

Ordos RacerunnerEremias brenchleyi – 山地麻蜥 – Shāndì má xī

Ordos Racerunner, 3 April 2017 (Zhang Junduo)

Mongolia RacerunnerEremias argus – 丽斑麻蜥 – Lì bān má xī

Mongolia Racerunner, date unknown (Zhang Junduo)

Gail’s Eyelid SkinkPlestiodon capito – 黄纹石龙子 – Huáng wén shí lóng zi

Gail’s Eyelid Skink. Photo by Kevin R. Messenger.

Modest Ground SkinkScincella modesta – 宁波滑蜥北方亚种 – Níngbō huá xī běifāng yà zhǒng

Modest Ground Skink, date unknown (Fang Yunyi)



Korean Rat SnakeElaphe anomala – 赤峰锦蛇 – Chìfēng jǐn shé

Korean Rat Snake, 19 September 2017 (Zhang Junduo)

Taiwan Stink Snake / King Rat SnakeElaphe carinata – 王锦蛇 – Wáng jǐn shé

Taiwan Stink Snake / King Rat Snake, 17 July 2020, Huairou District (David Mackie)

Père David’s Rat SnakeElaphe davidi – 团花锦蛇 – Tuán huā jǐn shé

Père David’s Rat Snake, 30 May 2021 (Terry Townshend)

Steppe Rat SnakeElaphe dione – 白条锦蛇 – Báitiáo jǐn shé

Steppe Rat Snake, 1 July 2017 (Tang Ke)

Beauty Rat SnakeElaphe taeniurus – 黑眉锦蛇 – Hēi méi jǐn shé

Beauty Rat Snake, date unknown (大好)

Mandarin Rat SnakeEuprepiophis mandarinus – 玉斑蛇 – Yù bān shé

Mandarin Rat Snake, 20 October 2017 (Bian Zhiming)

Frog-eating / Red-backed Rat SnakeOocatochus rufodorsatus – 红纹滞卵蛇 – Hóng wén zhì luǎn shé

Frog-eating/Red-backed Rat Snake, 30 April 2016 (Zhao Xiangyu)

Red-banded SnakeLycodon rufozonatus – 赤链蛇 – Chì liàn shé

Red-banded Snake, 4 June 2017 (Zhang Junduo)

Liu’s wolfsnake – Lycodon liuchengchaoi – 刘氏白环蛇 -Liú shì bái huán shé

Liu’s wolfsnake, 2021. (Photo by W. Scott Lupien).

This species was first described based on three specimens from Tangjiahe and Monping (Hengduan Mountains) in Sichuan in 2011 (Zhang et al, 2011a). It has since been found in Anhui, Shaanxi and Beijing at least.

Mountain / Formosa Wolf SnakeLycodon ruhstrati – 黑背链蛇 – Hēi bèi liàn shé

Mountain / Formosa Wolf Snake, date unknown (大好)

Slender RacerOrientocoluber spinalis – 黄脊东方蛇 – Huáng jí dōngfāng shé

Slender Racer, 15 April 2016 (Song Yi)

Tiger KeelbackRhabdophis tigrinus – 虎斑颈槽蛇 – Hǔbān jǐng cáo shé

Tiger Keelback, 24 June 2021 (Terry Townshend)

Chinese Many-tooth SnakeSibynophis chinensis – 黑头剑蛇 – Hēitóu jiàn shé

Chinese Many-tooth Snake, 2020. Photo by W. Scott Lupien

Big-eyed RatsnakePtyas dhumnades – 乌梢蛇 – Wū shāo shé

Big-eyed Ratsnake, 2008. Photo by W. Scott Lupien.

Short-tailed MamushiGloydius brevicaudus – 短尾蝮 – Duǎn wěi fù

Short-tailed Mamushi, 2 September 2017 (Zhang Junduo)

Gobi Pit ViperGloydius stejnegeri – 华北蝮 – Huáběi fù

Gobi Pit Viper, date unknown (Xing Chao)

Siberian Pit ViperGloydius halys halys – 西伯利亚蝮指名亚种 – Xībólìyǎ fù zhǐmíng yà zhǒng

Siberian Pit Viper, date unknown (大好)


Header image: Tiger Keelback, Wenyu River, July 2021 (Terry Townshend)