Understanding The Black Rat Snake: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, Behavior


About the Black Rat Snake
The black rat snake is a common type of snake across the United States. If you live on the east coast or in the Midwest, you may have seen one at some point. While rat snakes are common across the world, this particular type resides in America. It lives throughout numerous states, becoming a widely known type to people. Most people know of them on some level or have seen them on their property. They are not dangerous and generally pose little risk to you or others. Even so, knowing more about them can help you keep safe and understand more about this particular snake. Understanding them is important for your safety and their own.

As the name suggests, the black rat snake is a black snake. The top of its body is mostly black, with a white underbelly. It is the largest of the rat snakes, as well. It can get to up to 8 feet long, though they may be much smaller.

Reproduction for the black rat snake is similar to that of most other snakes. It will seek out a mate during spring, mate, and lay eggs some weeks later. The eggs do not stay in the mother. The moment the snake is ready to lay eggs, she does. After a couple of months, the eggs hatch and the snakes are on their own. The mother is not going to care for them whatsoever.

Black rat snakes are not going to go up to strangers. They would much rather stick to themselves and stay away from people. If people do go near them, they are likely to run away. If cornered or threatened, they may attack. Otherwise, they are unlikely to be a danger to anyone.

Living in the eastern areas of the United States, black rat snakes typically reside where there are trees and rocks. Forested areas are their preference. They like to live in tree trunks, under rocks, and in other sheltered areas.

Black rat snakes have a typical diet, consisting mostly of rodents. They eat mice and rats alongside things like birds and eggs. For live food, they constrict the prey to kill it. They break it and kill it before consuming it. Black rat snakes are a common species of snake that most people can recognize. Though they can grow large, they are a mostly harmless snake that would rather be by its own and has no venom to harm others.

Go back to the home page: Snakes of Baltimore