What is Rat Snake?


What Is Rat Snake? What are the features of rat snake? Information and facts about rat snake.

rat snakeRat Snake; the common name of any of five moderately large species of the genus Elaphe in the United States, particularly the various races of E. obsoleta. The black rat snake, known also as the pilot snake, may reach a length slightly exceeding eight feet. Rat snakes forage in trees or on the ground, where they prey on the smaller rodents or occasionally on birds, principally nestlings, killing them by constriction. They also eat eggs, and sometimes consume the eggs or chicks of domestic poultry. This has given rise to the vernacular name of chicken snake for some of the larger species in the group. Although rat snakes easily climb trees, few of them are restricted to wooded areas. A blotched pattern is characteristic of hatchlings, but in some species the blotches are replaced by four longitudinal stripes, while in others the markings disappear. Relatively few other American representatives of the family Colubridae have quite so many rows of scales, usually 25 to 27 on the body.

Two species of the Asiatic genus Ptyas, with scales in 15 to 17 rows, are also known as rat snakes. The common rat snake or dhaman, P. mucosus, is widely distributed in most of southern Asia.

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