I am trying to identify a snake

Asked March 31, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT

This snake was near my home. I am trying to identify it. It appears to me like some sort of Black Snake or Rat snake. It likes to climb.

Texas reptiles rat snake elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri texas rat snake

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The specimen in your pictures is a Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri). Currently, this genus, Elaphe, is being reviewed by taxonomists to determine if they have bee properly classified. Some herpetologists have classified the New World rat snakes under the genus Pantherophis. This species is non-venomous. Adults range in size from approximately 42 - 72 inches. The record length is 86 inches. It is found throughout East Texas in a variety of habitats, and is, as you mentioned, an excellent climber. It climbs to escape predators and also to prey on bird eggs and young. They also can feed on young squirrels, rats, mice and other rodents. They are powerful constrictors.
Rats snakes lay eggs. Clutch size ranges from 4 to 44, but the average size is around 15. Mating takes place between April and June and eggs hatch in approximately two months.
Hope this answers your question, and thank you for using Ask an Expert.

Jim