Black rat snakes, as the name implies, are completely black except for the white under their chin. The average size of the black rat snakes are approximately 3.5 feet to 6 feet long. They have a very powerful slim body but are a non-venomous snake.
Common rat snakes are somewhat shy and harmless if left alone.. They will do everything they can to avoid confrontation and if they sense danger they usually freeze and remain motionless. They will coil their bodies to strike out in defense if necessary. They also rattle their tails.
When they strike they release a foul-smelling musk onto the predator. Black rat snakes do not have fangs but their small teeth are harp enough to draw blood.
Rat snakes are completely black except for the white under their chin.
They are good climbers and spend a lot of time in trees hiding in holes. They have many predators such as the gray fox, raccoons, large birds and even people who mistaken the rat snake for a venomous snake.
The black rat snake is a constrictor meaning they will wrap themselves around their prey tightly until the animal can no longer breathe. Once the animal is dead the snake usually eats it whole.
Black rat snakes eat mostly rodents but adult rat snakes also eat bird eggs. Rat snakes help control pest populations and play a major role in balancing the ecosystem.
Merry Beth Ryan, a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, can be reached at www.merrybethryanphotography.com, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone (941) 544-5023.
Like most snakes black rat snakes lay eggs after mating in the summer.