Black Rat Snake, Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta

(Also called Pantherophis obsoleta)
Colubridae or Colubrid Family


Large snake to 5 feet long or more. Adult is black, with a faint edging of white on the scales. Underside is white near the chin and mottled further back. Juveniles are mottled throughout. South of us there are gray and yellow subspecies.

This is a constrictor snake, crushing its prey. Climbs well and eats birds, bird eggs, squirrels, and ground-dwelling rodents.

Considered the largest snake in Virginia. Native throughout the eastern US north into New England.

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