Rat snakes are medium to large constrictors that can be found through a great portion of the northern hemisphere. They feed primarily on rodents and birds and, with some species exceeding 10 feet, they can occupy top levels of some food chains. Many species make attractive and docile pets and one, the corn snake, is one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. Other species can be very skittish and sometimes aggressive but bites are seldom serious and no species of ratsnake is dangerous to humans. They were long thought to be completely nonvenomous, but recent studies have shown that at least some Old World species do possess small amounts of venom (amounts so small as to be negligible to humans).
Previously most ratsnakes were assigned to the genus Elaphe but many have been since renamed following mitochondrial DNA analysis performed in 2002. For the purpose of this article names will be harmonized with the TIGR Database. When searching for information on a particular species of ratsnake it might be useful to query the old name, Elaphe sp., as well as the new.
Reptile and amphibian expos, symposiums, zoo and museum exhibitions and other educational events are great
places to ask questions, get answers and network with other herp keepers. Upcoming Reptile and Amphibian Events:
Our gallery allows registered users to upload their favorite reptile and
amphibian photos to the topic galleries and personal photos to the member galleries. Photos can be used on our forums, classifieds,
and Connect, or shared with friends and family.
kingsnake.com's Connect is a beta project being developed to let the herp community stay in touch with
their friends and fellow hobbyists, keep each other up to date on legislative issues as they develop, and to build and strengthen
the herp community network. Registered users of kingsnake.com can use it to share photos, links, information, alerts, updates and more. log infind connections
Check out these reptile and amphibian submitted by staff, volunteers, and users of the kingsnake.com community.
Our system supports videos hosted on YouTube. If you have a favorite YouTube video, please submit it here.