Black Rat Snake

Brought to Sharon Audubon Center: September 1998

History: Rizzo was found in Sharon and brought to our center for care. He had been hit by a car and was suffering from minor injuries. Because Black Rat Snakes are rare in this area, it is suspected that Rizzo was taken from another location and dropped off/lost in town.

Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta)

Did You Know? The non-venomous Black Rat Snake is known to shake its tail in leaves and underbrush to mimic the sound of a rattle snake in order to frighten away potential predators.

Description: Black Rat Snakes are almost completely black except for a white chin. Hatchlings have a pale grey background with black blotches along the back.

Life Span: 20 - 25 years

Size: One of the largest snakes in North America, these snakes have been known to grow to 8 feet in length.

Diet: They eat mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and eggs.

Habitat: The Black Rat Snake lives in rocky, wooded hillsides, forests, fields, marshes, and farmlands, and sometimes den in cavities in hollow trees.

Range: The Black Rat Snake is the most widely distributed common rat snake with a range throughout eastern North America from southeastern Minnesota to northern Louisiana to the East Coast.

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