rat snake

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Related to Rat Snakes: black rat snake, Black snake

rat snake:

see black snakeblack snake,
name for several snakes, not all closely related, that are black in color. In the United States the name is applied chiefly to the black racer and to the black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta), both partly arboreal in their habits.
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Rat Snake


(Spilotes pullatus), a snake of the family Colubridae. Length, up to 3.6 m. It has bright yellow transverse stripes on a dark blue background. Distributed from southern Mexico through Central and South America to Argentina, the rat snake inhabits humid forests, thickets, mangrove thickets, and marshes. It can swim and climb trees. It feeds on reptiles, small mammals, and birds; it often crawls into settlements and attacks baby chicks, hence its other common name, chicken snake.

References in periodicals archive ?
We report observations of natural encounters by Japanese Tits with Jungle Crows and Japanese rat snakes.
Habitat use by black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta) in fragmented forests.
Dylan Davenport with an aesculapian rat snake of the kind breeding in the wild after escaping from Colwyn Bay' s Mountain Zoo Picture: RICHARD WILLIAMS
Individuals of three snake species, common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula), timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and rat snake (Elaphe obsolete) consumed four cotton rats, and one great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) preyed upon one of the 72 rats released.
In India, cobras and rat snakes are integral to suppressing pest populations - but the eradication of snakes in some Indian agricultural areas has caused populations of crop-damaging rodents such as rice rats and lesser mole rats to skyrocket.
The term rat snake actually refers to a number of different species, including corn snakes, black rat snakes and Baird's snakes.
Adult mortality was only observed in two studies using video surveillance to monitor songbirds--a thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) depredated one Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) female (Pietz and Granfors 2000) and rat snakes (Elaphe spp.
Phenotypic consequences of nest-site selection in black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta).
Rat snakes usually eat rodents, spiders and birds, which they suffocate and swallow whole.
Rat snakes are a diverse and widespread group who, as their name suggests, feed extensively on rodents in the wild.
On any given day during this annual migration--repeated in reverse between mid-March and mid-May--visitors can see venomous copperheads, timber rattlers, and cottonmouths, as well as nonvenomous king and rat snakes, yellowbellies, and green (a threatened species in Illinois), garter, earth, and ringneck snakes.