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REPTILES

Black Bayou Lake NWR

WESTERN RAT SNAKES

Pantherophis obsoleta

At A Glance

  • IDENTIFICATION: Long, black snake with pale outlines of spots on the back and sides, round pupils
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED WITH: Black racers
  • CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern - Population Stable
  • DIET: Mice, rats, frogs, lizards, birds, bird eggs
  • HABITAT: Hardwood forests, swamps, fields, farmlands, woodlands
  • BREEDING: May - June, 6-44 eggs laid in a tree hole, stump hole, or another dark, moist place
  • BEHAVIOR: Nocturnal, sometimes active during the day, often climb trees, eats every 5 days; mostly still and quiet
  • SPECIAL SKILLS: Pest control and fooling predators by vibrating their tails
  • THREATS: Bobcats, coyotes, foxes, owls, raccoons, snapping turtles, alligators
  • SEASONS FOR VIEWING IN NORTH LOUISIANA: Year round; most active during Spring, Summer, Fall