Texas rat snake title.gif (10241 bytes)

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texas rat1.jpg (22931 bytes)  Iberia Parish, La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

texas rat2.jpg (102726 bytes)   Iberia Parish, La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

texas rat3albino.jpg (16660 bytes)    Leucistic individual -- NOT LOUISIANA NATIVE.  Photo: KJ Lodrigue, Jr.

The Texas rat snake, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri, is very common throughout most of the state.  Like most rat snakes, they are found in most habitats ranging from remote wooded or swampy areas, to farming and suburban areas.

Texas rat snakes average around 4 to 5 feet, but 6 ft.+ "giants" still turn up fairly frequently in some areas.  The pattern is that of a blotched snake.   The colors, on the other hand, vary greatly from one area to another, and sometimes within the same area.  The photo of the light phase is an individual from near New Iberia.  The close-up shows the characteristic orange tongue.  The other photo is of a nice leucistic Texas rat snake.  For a rather nondescript snake (solid white with usually dark eyes), they are very attractive snakes.

Texas rat snakes are large, powerful constrictors that consume rodents like a kid would candy!  It is not uncommon for several mice to be constricted at one time by a Texas Rat while another is currently being eaten. Becareful not to let captive animals become overly obese!

Although they are hardy in captivity and breed well, caution must be exercised with these snakes.  Texas rat snakes have a reputation for being one of the nastiest of the rat snakes.  I'm not trying to scare anyone off.  True, many are very irritable and can inflict painful bites that can cause minor bleeding, but most of them also calm down in captivity.


Please send comments and/or questions to kj@kingsnake.kingsnake.com

State Checklist | Herping in LA | Links | Authors | State Maps