Rat Snake

 

 

Juvenile snake.

 
42"-72" long, a large, rodent-eating snake, locally called "Chicken Snake."  We have two subspecies in this area, the Black Rat and the Gray Rat.  The Black Rat snake is typically a plain, shiny black coloration; the Gray Rat snake retains a strongly blotched juvenile pattern throughout its life and is typically gray with brown or gray blotches (always darker than background color).  In this area, we more commonly see integrades between these two subspecies that have heavy spotting throughout the body.  The belly is clouded with gray or brown on white or yellowish color, with some checkerboarding.  Chin and throat are often white or cream-colored.  Juveniles look like the Gray Rast snake and then change color pattern (or not) as they get older.  Live in a variety of habitats throughouth the eastern U.S., in a variety of subspecies.  An exellent climber that will often live in cavities high up in hollow trees.  Constrictors.