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Rat Snakes. The
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The Black Rat Snake is the largest snake in Virginia, growing up to eight feet long. It is mostly black, with some white showing between its scales. The belly is also white.
Black Rat Snakes are found in forests, fields, marshes, and farmland. In the Spring and Fall, these snakes are very active during the day; in the Summer they are more active at night.
Rat Snakes are skillfull climbers. They will climb high in trees to find prey. They will also hide in old woodpecker holes. Black Rat Snakes are known to climb rafters in barns and similar buildings.
The common rat snake is medium-sized, averaging 42 to 72 inches (106.7 to 183 cm) in length. At the widest point of the snake's body, its average diameter is 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). The rat snake is covered with keeled scales, and has a powerful slender body with a wedge-shaped head. The anal plate of the common rat snake is divided.
A subspecies of the Rat Snakes found in North America, mainly in Texas, the leucistic is a captive cultivar. As its name implies, the Rat Snake prefers rodents. But it also eats birds and their eggs, which is why it's other common name is Chicken Snake. It also eats small reptiles, amphibians.
The Mexican Tiger Rat Snake is one of the longest snakes of the Americas. Since the snake lives in areas with tall trees and vegetation, their special color patterns of yellow and black help them blend in perfectly with the speckled sunlight shining down through the trees.
Most snake owners recognize the genus Elaphe as encompassing a huge array of snakes from all over the world. The wide variety of colors, temperaments, sizes and habitat requirements makes this one genus truly one of the most variable of any group of snakes. There are snakes for beginners, such as the beloved “Corn Snake”, as well as snakes best kept by advanced hobbyists. Those of us in North American seem to have the advantage because many of the easier, well-known species are from right here. But now our Asian and Old World counterparts are showing us how it’s done on their side of the water.
The Texas Rat Snake is the largest snake found in Harris County, and can reach lengths of over six feet. When newly hatched they are about 9 to 11 inches long and have a light gray background with brown saddle-shaped blotches running down the back and an arrowhead-shaped pattern on the top of the head. They change color as they grow, however, and the pattern of adults is more subdued.
This page is dedicated to the dissemenation of knowledge regarding the North American Ratsnake species. These include the genera Elaphe, Bogertophis, and Senticolis. All of these taxa are moderately large to very large colubrids that inhabit extremes of habitat ranging from true deserts in Baja California and the Big Bend of Texas to upland coniferous forests in the Appalacians and in southern Canada
Distribution — Bengladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Habitat — Scrub zones of rain forest edges, rice fields, plantations, and meadows near water.
Adult Size — Trinket snakes are a small rat snake with a pronounced difference between the size of males and females. That is, they are sexually dimorphic with females ranging in size from 120 cm - 130 cm (46-50 inches) and males ranging in size from 90 cm - 100 cm (36-39 inches).
This page is dedicated to the dissemenation of knowledge regarding the North American Ratsnake species. These include the genera Elaphe, Bogertophis, and Senticolis. All of these taxa are moderately large to very large colubrids that inhabit extremes of habitat ranging from true deserts in Baja California and the Big Bend of Texas to upland coniferous forests in the Appalacians and in southern Canada.
This website is intended to provide information about the different species in the genus Elaphe. At this point, the emphasis is on providing pictures of most species, subspecies, and color variations, but we intend to add more information about each species to their respective pages within the next few months or as time permits.
We hope to provide a platform for open discussion and a cross flow of information about all aspects that exclusively concern 'ratsnakes'.
The term 'ratsnake' is obviously one of dubious taxonomic value, an artificial pigeon hole that certain groups of animals may fall into. Some people would describe some animals as racers while others would happily proclaim them to be ratsnake.
Ratsnakes are a group of snakes mainly associated with the genus Elaphe, but also having species in the genera Bogerta, Gonyosoma and Sentalis. The majority are found in Eurasia, with the remainder in North America.
Elaphe species can be characterised by slender bodies, heads that have no distinct join to the neck or body, and three (usually) longitudinal stripes, one along the back and one along each side. They are mostly fairly tolerant of a range of temperatures: if anything many of them should be prevented from getting too warm, rather than too cold. Temperament varies according to species: some become incredibly tame and docile (eg Elaphe guttata guttata, the Corn Snake) while others remain intractable and nasty (notably Gonyosoma oxycephalum, the Red-Tailed Rat Snake).