Eastern Ratsnake 

Pantherophis alleghaniensis 
 

Eastern Ratsnake
Eastern Ratsnake
Eastern Ratsnake
Eastern Ratsnake
Eastern Ratsnake Basking in Tree
Eastern Ratsnake Basking in Tree
Eastern Ratsnake Defensive Posture
Eastern Ratsnake Defensive Posture
Juvenile Ratsnake
Juvenile Ratsnake

Note Juvenile Pattern

Juvenile Ratsnake
Juvenile Ratsnake

IDENTIFICATION

 

Size:                  A large sized snake measuring 45 to 67.5 inches in

                           length.

 

Color:                Black dorsum sometimes with a trace white pattern.

                           Venter is patterned with black and white checkers.

                           Eastern rat snakes can be distinguished from black

                           racers by their square cross-section, checkered venter

                           and large head width compared to the thin neck.  Weakly

                           keeled dorsal scales.  Juveniles are patterned.               

 

Behavior:         Will vibrate tail rapidly in leaves to mimic the sound of a

                           rattlesnakes rattle, a behavior seen in many CT snakes.

                           When handled they emit an unpleasant smelling musk

                           and are often quick to bite.  Non-venomous, bite is

                           harmless.

 

Habitat:             Forests with associated rocky out-crops  Sometimes

                           found in barns and often observed basking in trees,

                           especially when close to denning areas.         

 

Commonly Confused Native Species: