Black Rat

 

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Range: Eastern, U.S.A.  Found in Tennessee as a native snake species

Habitat: Forested regions, often found around agricultural areas due to the presence of rodents. 

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents 

Size: 48-60"

RainForest Facts: The black rat snake is a highly adaptable feeder, rodents comprise the majority of the diet while birds are readily taken when available.  

A member of the large Rat snake family that includes Corn snakes, yellow rat snakes and grey rat snakes.

 Females deposit one clutch of eggs per year, generally in late spring to early summer.  Each clutch contains an average of 12 elongated eggs.   Incubation is generally 60-70 days.  Young rat snakes begin to feed almost immediately on young mice and small lizards.  

Status in Wild: Declining numbers primarily due to loss of suitable habitat, although this species is not threatened at this time. 

The Black rat snake is one species that can adapt to the presence of human habitation.  The rat snake family in general is extremely adaptable when it comes to modification of their primary habitat. 

This snake will often seek out agricultural areas where rodents can be found. The educated farmer is very aware of how important this snake can be when it comes to helping with the control of rodents.  Virtually no other native snake is as capable of a climber as the rat snake family.  They can seek out rodents in virtually any part of a barn or other agricultural structure.  

The young of this species can be very highly colored compared to the adults.  The bright coloration of young snakes often causes confusion with native copperheads as the patterns of young rat snakes can contain red and or rust colorations that fade with time.   The killing of young rat snakes of all species by uninformed people can have the unintended consequences of large increases in rodent populations.

 

This species is no longer displayed at RainForest Adventures

 

 

 

RainForest Adventures zoo, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN