They consume a wide variety of food including rodents, chipmunks, other snakes, and just about anything else they can find in their given habitat. This

A female is capable of reproducing only once [17][18], This species is a constrictor, meaning it squeezes its prey to the point of cardiovascular collapse due to obstructive shock, coiling around small animals and tightening its grip until they can no longer circulate blood and die of profound hypotension, before eating them. This elegant snake has a shiny black body with a white chin and throat. Seasonal Changes - The black rat snake moves off to hibernate in hollow trees, stumps, and rock ledges around late October. Range and Habitats. Utilizing its infamous agility and the great strength of its muscular coils, the black rat snake is sometimes able to overwhelm and kill formidable avian predators such as red-tailed hawks, great horned owls and red-shouldered hawks, though in many cases the bird is able to kill the snake and both combatants may even die. Their average length is between 40 to 70 inches.

user = "dys100"; Size - 4 – 5.5 feet (1.2 – 1.7 m) long; sometimes longer. It's a black snake – one of the only species with such an opaque color – with a slightly white chin.

[8] Unofficially, indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi) are known to exceed them, and one wild-caught pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus), with a portion of its tail missing, measured 111 inches (2.8 m).

The black rat snake is prey to red-tailed hawks and owls. These basking sites are also used following a large meal and when We service 152 US Locations - Click here to Find Your Town. No subspecies are currently recognized. This behavior President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment.
Reproduction. Humans are also a major cause of young and adult snake mortality. The head of an eastern rat snake is wider than the neck and the rest of the body. Females Hatchlings will stay near their hatching site for up to two years. This association gave rise to one of its common names, pilot black snake, and the superstition that this nonvenomous species led the venomous ones to the den. Sexual Dimorphism Black rat snakes may use underground sites, caves, decaying trees and tree It is also an important bird-nest predator, eating the eggs and sometimes the young. Black rat snakes are shy animals. Kingsnakes, black racers, and cottonmouths may feed on young black rat snakes.

their hatching sites for one or two years and during this time will use their Within a given locale, most males will begin to display active, mate-searching Hibernation
maturity earlier than females (7 years vs. 9 years). The mating lasts a few minutes to a few hours. Black rat snakes are powerful constrictors that are capable of using their Fact Sheet at Smithsonian National Zoological Park Website, Black snake profile at Smithsonian National Zoological Park website. each other for dominance and the right to mate with receptive females. females. A female will lay between six and two dozen eggs, usually in late July. they are undergoing ecdysis (skin shedding).

Black ratsnakes average 3 – 5 ½ feet in length, with the record holder being a giant of 8 ½ feet recorded from Westchester County, NY by noted herpetologist Raymond Ditmars. Hawks and other raptors readily prey on adult snakes, too. Loss of habitat due to conversion of forests to agricultural or urban areas is a threat to this snake. Eastern rat snakes also produce a strong foul odor when scared to deter predators and humans. The eggs take anywhere from 37 to 51 days to (copperheads and rattlesnakes). feed on the developing snake embryos. the Texas rat snake, a brown-to-black variant, often with tinges of orange or red, that can be found in southern Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. [10][11][12], Juveniles are strongly patterned with brown blotches on a gray background (like miniature fox snakes: P. gloydi, P. ramspotti, and P. vulpinus). (25.4 – 35.6 cm) at birth. The eggs may take between five and seven weeks to develop and hatch. of our Nature Trail. related to the size of the female. Eastern rat snakes, formerly known as black rat snakes, are large non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet (one and two meters) long. Temperature and the length of the active, feeding season influence the growth rate, maturation rate, and ultimate size of these snakes.