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Home > Snakes > Black Rat Snake

Black Rat Snake

Black rat snake is a non-venomous, medium-sized, yet powerful constrictor endemic to central North America. The species is quite adaptable and can thrive in diverse environments.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Colubridae
    Subfamily Colubrinae
    Tribe Lampropeltini
    Genus Pantherophis
    Scientific Name Pantherophis obsoletus


    Other Names Western Rat Snake, Texas Ratsnake, Pilot Black Snake, Black Snake, Alleghany black snake, Black Chicken Snake, Black Coluber, Chicken Snake, Mountain Black Snake, Mountain Pilot Snake, Pilot, Rat Snake, Rusty Black Snake, Scaly Black Snake, Cow Snake, White-throated Racer
    Length 106.5 cm-256.5 cm
    Color Shiny black with some white between its scales; white lips, chin, throat and belly
    Distribution Southern Wisconsin, south Massachusetts, Georgia, northern  Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, southern  Oklahoma, Texas, fewer numbers in southern Canada and northern New York
    Habitat Forests, fields, farmland, and marshes
    Diet Mice, voles, rats, frogs, lizards, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, birds, bird eggs, other snakes (including their own species)
    Hibernation Fact Hibernates during winter months in dens often with other species of snakes
    Predators Raccoon, fox, hawk, owl, American robin, other snakes
    Venom Fact Non-venomous
    Breeding Season End of May to early June
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (Egg laying)
    Clutch Size/Litter Size 6 – 24
    Incubation Period Around 60 days
    Reproductive Age 4 years
    Average Lifespan Up to 20 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

    Black Rat Snake Pictures Gallery

    Published on August 26th 2016 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 11th May 2019.

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