Texas Ratsnake
Elaphe obsolete lindheimeri

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Colubridae

SIZE:
3.5 - 7 feet in length

RANGE:
Mississippi basin, west through Louisiana and in central and southern Texas

HABITAT:
From swamps through drier, rocky land

DIET:
Wild - Small rodents, birds, and eggs
Zoo - Mice, rats

DESCRIPTION:
Grey or yellowish with brownish or bluish-black blotches; head often black; fair amount of color variation in species; anal plate divided. Adults have red color between scales

FACTS:

  • Often found dead on highways due to habit of basking on road surfaces
  • Expert climbers. Will go straight up a pine tree as high as 40 inches to catch birds, eggs, etc.
  • #1 animal that enters people's home. Often referred to as "chicken snake."

YOUNG:
Clutch of 6 - 28 eggs laid from June to August. Young look like gray ratsnakes. As they get older they darken

STATUS:
Not threatened

REFERENCE:
Identifying Snakes, Nigel Marven and Rob Harvey, 1996, Quintet Publishing Limited.