rat snake

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Related to rat snake: black rat 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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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