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Snake (Yellow Rat)

Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata
Snake (Yellow Rat)

Range

They are found in the Southern Atlantic states along the coast from North Carolina to Florida. The rat snake's niche in the Northeastern U.S. is filled by the black rat snake.

Habitat

They live in coastal hardwood and upland forests, cypress swamps, scrub pine habitats and human habitats like: farms, citrus groves, barns and out buildings.

Body Traits

 They start out grayish with darker splotches down their back. As they age, they turn yellow with 4 dark stripes running down the back for the length of their body. As adults, they average about 5 feet long, but can reach more than 8 feet. Their belly scales angle up giving them traction for excellent climbing skills.

Habits

They are constrictors, squeezing their prey to death before eating them. They are active day and night, though more nocturnal in summer months. They can move very fast and be aggressive if threatened lifting the front of their body off the ground to strike. Because they are rodent eaters, they are a beneficial snake to have in barns. They can climb trees and rafters in barns.

Diet

They eat rodents, lizards, insects, birds and eggs.

Predators

They are preyed upon by hawks.

Reproduction

Females lays up to 20 eggs in a clutch.

Snake (Yellow Rat)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Elaphe
Species: E. obsoleta quadrivittata

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