Texas Rat Snake

Don’t panic if you encounter one of these big snakes in the grass or anyplace close to your house if you live in the south-central United States.
In general, they pose no threat to humans and may be safely avoided. They even make wonderful pets if you’re prepared to give them the care they need. The identification, habitat, longevity, behavior, and predators of the Texas rat snake will all be covered in this article, along with other interesting facts.


Texas Rat Snake Scientific Classification

Scientific NamePantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri

Texas Rat Snake Amazing Facts

5 Texas Rat Snake Amazing Facts

Semi-arboreal snakes are rat snakes. They spend a considerable portion of their time in trees and are skilled climbers. They are regarded as having exceptional swimming abilities.
The further south you travel, the more nocturnal (that is, they hunt mostly at night) rat snakes become. They still require daytime exposure to the light in order to warm their bodies, though. They hibernate for the winter in cooler climes.
Pheromones are used by males to entice females. Occasionally, they will engage in combat to gain entry to the ladies.
After fertilization, females deposit a clutch of 12 to 20 eggs in secret places like compost piles and hollow logs.
About two months later, the young, which are about a foot long, hatch. Since their parents don’t look after them,Fearsome predators like hawks and other snakes prey on a large number of the juveniles. On occasion, burrowing beetles will deposit their larvae on snake eggs, which will subsequently devour the developing embryo inside.
Rat snakes are also known as chicken snakes because they have been observed to occasionally eat chicken eggs.

Evolution and Origins

According to the research, ratsnakes originated in tropical Asia in the late Eocene and by the early Oligocene, they had expanded to both the Western and Eastern Palearctic. These snakes can be found throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and even the Philippines. They are primarily found close to agricultural buildings and in wooded areas, where they kill rats and mice by constriction.
Not only are Texas rat snakes non-venomous, but they also kill their food by constriction, preferring to eat rats and mice but also consuming birds and their eggs.

Different Types

The several kinds of rat snakes are as follows:

  • Naughty rat snake
  • Pullatus Spilotes
  • Corn snakes
  • Rat snakes in the East
  • Rattan shades
  • Pharynx mucosa
  • Rat snake of rhinoceros
  • Snakes of the Great Plains
  • Gorgeous rat snake
  • Aspergillus oxycephalum
  • Filipino rat snake
  • Rat snake from Trans-Pecos
  • Alopecia carinata
  • Chinese rat snake
  • Alopecurus schrenckii
  • Ptyas errores
  • Rat snake radiation
  • Snake, Japanese rat
  • Snake Baird’s Rat
  • Pythagorean marginata
  • Flavolineatus Coelognathus
  • Rat snake in Europe
  • Rat snake with red head
  • Snake from Steppe
  • Snake Aesculapian
  • Necklaced black-banded serpent
  • small snake
  • Senticolis carinata Ptyas, the four-lined snake
  • Conspicillata eurepiophis
  • Aspergillus prasinum
  • Snake with stripes in Japan
  • Red-yellow rat snake
  • Aspergillus frenatum
  • Carapachypha vulpinus
  • Ptyas desafíos
  • Iranian rattlesnake
  • The bimaculate elaphe
  • Ptyas bomba
  • Aspergillus jansenii
  • Gloydi Pantherophis
  • Spotted serpent
  • Rat snake from Transcaucasia
  • Barja Sacramento rat snake
  • Rat snake from Indonesia
  • Italian Ptyas luzonensis Snake Aesculapian
  • Leonardo davidi
  • The rufodorsatus oocatochus
  • Phytophagus cantoris

Where to Find Texas Rat Snakes


The whole south-central region of the United States, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, is home to the Texas rat snake. They may live happily in a wide range of environments, such as suburban and urban regions, grasslands, marshes, and woodlands.

Scientific Name

The Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri is the scientific name. This subspecies of the western rat snake bears the name Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer in honor of the German American naturalist who made the initial classification.
It was once classified as belonging to the genus Elaphe, however some specialists suggested transferring the species into the genus Pantherophis (which means “panther snake”) in light of DNA data. Since this isn’t accepted by everyone, some organizations continue to place it in the genus Elaphe.

Population and Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List lists the entire western rat snake group as a species of least concern; however, the Texas rat snake, as a subspecies, has not been assigned a separate conservation category.
Although we don’t have enough information to determine their population size accurately, they seem to be rather numerous and ubiquitous over their whole native habitat.

Appearance and Description

  • The Texas rat snake is a long snake, growing to a maximum length of 4 to 6 feet. The skin can have various tones, such as yellow, green, or reddish-brown, with blotches that are unevenly distributed along the body’s length and gray heads and bellies.
  • Additionally, white albino snakes can occasionally be born. These snakes are highly prized in the pet trade but extremely uncommon in the wild. Males and females typically have similar appearances.
  • How to recognize this snake:
  • long, lean frame
  • large head in the shape of a triangle
  • body colored reddish brown, yellow, or olive green
  • head gray belly light
  • White albinos with no markings or darker blotches from head to tail are frequently seen in the pet trade.

How Dangerous Are They?


Even though these snakes are huge, they do not really represent a threat to humans. These snakes lack sharp teeth and are not venomous. You shouldn’t actually be afraid of them, even if it’s usually advised to leave them alone.

Behavior and Humans

Behavior and Humans

When it comes to people, these snakes might be a touch defensive. While some may open their teeth and try to bite when disturbed, the majority would much rather flee and hide. In an attempt to trick any prospective predators, they can simulate the far more deadly rattlesnake by vibrating their tails.
On the other hand, the absence of a rattle on the tail will be very helpful for identification. If this imitation is unsuccessful, the rat snake may also emit an unpleasant odor nearby.

Texas Rat Snake FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are Texas rat snakes venomous?

These are not poisonous snakes, that’s for sure.

How do Texas rat snakes hunt?

The ambush predators are rat snakes. They will wait for their victim to wander by for hours at a time in the same location. The snake will coil its body around its victim to suffocate it once it has successfully captured it. Some people have the misperception that the prey’s bones will be crushed by the squeezing movement. Rather, it is believed that the constriction may stop blood from reaching the brain, killing the victim in a matter of seconds. The snake will consume the prey entire once it has died. Sharp teeth and deadly venom are not even necessary to bring down the target.

Are Texas Rat Snakes aggressive?

The behavior of rat snakes might change slightly when they are startled. Most will just try to run away, but some will bite and lunge at people. Thankfully, the bites don’t pose much of a threat.

Where do Texas rat snakes live?

Its primary habitats are urban areas, woodlands, and grasslands in the central United States.

What do Texas rat snakes eat?

Its primary habitats are urban areas, woodlands, and grasslands in the central United States.

What does a Texas rat snake look like?

Because its hues can change depending on where it is, identification might be a little challenging. The Texas rat snake has a maximum length of 4 to 6 feet. Its body is often olive-green, brown, or yellow in color, with a gray head and erratic spots along the length of it. In the wild, white albinos are uncommon.

How do I catch a Texas rat snake?

Typically, all you need to catch a snake is a basic hook attached to a pole and a bucket or bag to contain it. This is very useful if you wish to get rid of the snake from your yard or house. It is advised that you purchase one from a pet store if you are attempting to capture one as a pet.

How do I care for a Texas rat snake?

Throughout its life, the Texas rat snake will require several sizes of enclosure. An adult will require at least 55 gallons, although a juvenile should be fine with a 20-gallon habitat. Your snake should be able to live on wood shavings from aspens and cypress trees. However, since oily woods like pine and cedar can harm their health, you should stay away from them. The snake need a decent heat lamp put within the enclosure to provide light for at least 12 hours per day. It is not need to use specialized UV lamps to maintain their health. Adult Texas rat snakes can sometimes go a little longer between feedings, but they still need to be fed every five to seven days. In the wild, their nutrition is fairly varied, yet Only rodents kept in captivity (adult rats and adolescent mice) may be fed to them. It is not advisable to handle the snake after it has shed or eaten. This reptile can live for at least ten years if given proper care.

How big can Texas rat snakes get?

Under normal circumstances, they can grow up to 6 feet in length.

What’s the difference between a Texas rat snake and a copperhead?

Texas rat snakes and copperheads differ primarily in that they are members of distinct families, have somewhat varied ranges, and have distinct morphological features. Only one of them constitutes a threat to people, and they vary in size, breed differently, and kill animals in diverse ways.



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