The Texas rat snake (Pantherophis obsoleta lindheimeri) is a subspecies of rat snake, a non-venomous colubrid snake found in America.
As their name suggests these snakes are mainly found within the country of Texas, but their range extends into Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
The Texas rat snake intergrades with different subspecies of rat snakes such as the black rat snake, hence the species exact range borders are impossible to ascertain.
These creatures are generalists when it comes to habitat, they are located in a wide variety of habitats from swamps or swampy areas, to forests or forests, stream valleys, grasslands, rocky canyons.
They’re even found in urban areas like Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston, The existence of oak trees, and also many probably rodents are the single most important factor affecting their occurrence at any habitat.
The Texas rat snake has been a long, slender medium to big snake effective at reaching lengths of 4 to 5 ft (121 to 152 cm). Their character is rather competitive, and it’ll shield themselves biting and smearing their attacker with a foul smelling musk in their cloaca.
Occasionally they’ll vibrate their tails attempting to mimic a rattlesnake sound. On average those rat snakes will soon hit between 10 and 15 decades old more than 20 decades but some specimens may live.
The species varies considerably both in colour and patterning throughout extensive their range. Texas rat snakes have a yellowish or tan upper body, coated from head to tail with brown into olive-green, irregular blotching.
In some specimens is possible to locate some orange or orange red speckling. At the northern portions of their range, they are usually darker, although individuals be coloured and will have more yellow.
For example, a few specimens found in Sabine County are blackish with some white spots, which reflects the intergrade with all the black rat snake. Their stomach is usually gray in color or solid white.
To readily distinguish the Texas rat snake from the rat snakes we need to look for their head as they are the only species having a strong gray mind.
In addition, there are some remarkable colour variants within the wild such as large orange, albinos, hypomelanistic and leucistic. These morphs are consumed in captivity and eventually become rather well known.
Up till early 2000’s both Old and New World rat snakes were classified in exactly the exact same genus, Elaphe.
But in nowadays American rat snakes are considered a lot more closely related to king snakes like the California kingsnake compared to Old World rat snake species.
The species epithet lindheimeri was granted to honor Jacob Lindheimer Ferdinand that a German-American naturalist, who had been the very first to amass a Texas rat snake specimen at New Braunfels, Texas.
What do Texas rat snake eat?
Texas rat snakes possess quite a voracious appetite consumption mainly rodents, birds and squirrels.
Mature specimens feed largely on rats and mice but may not have any problem taking down birds and their eggs. As for snakes, they eat pinkies , soft-bodied pests or frogs.
These snakes are extremely agile climbers, also effective at accomplishing bird nests found in trees along with other high spots very easily. They are very flexible and capable of swimming with ease looking for prey.
Even the Texas rat snake would be a non-venomous snake, they subdue and kill their prey by constriction, squeezing it before it expires. Even the Texas rat snake like other snakes species will be discovered around fish houses hunting rodents, chicken whites or eggs that leads them to be occasionally referred to as the poultry snake.
Like all snakes, they all play an important role in their ecosystem by keeping the rodent population in a very low level. This makes these snakes quite welcome on farms because they help control the rodent population.
Like other rat snakes, they also use their sight and the Jacobson’s organ inside their mouth to find prey.
The Texas rat snake breeds in the spring, shortly after emerging from their winter hibernation. They are.
The eggs are put at a moist and secluded place like for example tree hollows or even below a stone. The eggs have been left unattended till they hatch in September or even August.
The hatchlings are approximately 12 to 18 inches and are somewhat lighter in color than the adult snakes, but they have an equally competitive behavior.
The Texas rat snake hasn’t yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List. When mistaken with additional venomous snakes like copperheads but because of the shortage of knowledge and fear of snakes, Texas rat snakes are even victims of persecution.
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