A ~ C ~ S~N~A~K~E~S

Snake Breeders Based in Leicestershire, England, UK      

BLACK RAT SNAKE CARE GUIDE

Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus

Introduction

The Black Rat Snake is a moderate to large sized snake which is a member of the largest family of snakes, colubrids. They are a semi arboreal species who will hunt and even mate in trees but generally sleep on the ground.  They are constrictors and active mainly at dawn and dusk (crepuscular).  Also known as Black Chicken Snake and Black Pilot Snake.

Experience Level Beginner to Intermediate
Temperament

Our Black Ratsnakes are generally placid however a couple of them take on the more defensive characteristics of the sub-species pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri (Texas ratsnake) by displaying the defensive-S position, often with their mouth wide open.

Hatchlings are often a bit nippy but can normally be tamed easily.

Captive Variants

Wild Type, Albino cinnamon, Albino Lemon Cowsucker, Albino Leucistic, Albino White Sided, Amelanistic T+, Amelanistic T-, Calico, Brindle, Calico Cowsucker, Caramel Albino, Cinnamon, Grape Albino, Hypomelanistic, Lavender, Lavender Albino, Lemon Cowsucker, Leucistic, Rusty, Ultra Black, White Sided

(Some of these may be alternative names for the same variant)

Expected Adult Length 120 to 180cm
Recommended Housing

Vivarium or plastic tubs

We prefer to use tubs as we found them to be much better to keep clean.

Other requirements:

-Suitably large water bowl for them to drink and bathe

-A minimum of 2 hides (1 in the cool end and 1 in the warm end)

-Climbing branches are advantageous but not essential

Temperature Range 22C (72F) to 28C (82F)
Recommended Heating

Viv - Guarded Ceramic heater or heat mat

Tub - Heat mat

Whichever method is used, the temperature should be controlled by a suitable thermostat and monitored using a digital thermometer

Origin Eastern & Central United States and Canada
Natural Environment

Agricultural/farm land, woodlands, urban areas or around swamps, rivers and lakes. Well adapted to climbing trees in search of birds nests.

Recommended Substrate

We prefer to use Aspen.

Natural Diet Bats, Birds & their eggs, Frogs, Hares, Insects, Lizards, Moles, Rabbits, Reptile Eggs, Rodents, Squirrels and Weasels
Primary Captive Diet Rodents
Recommended linkswww.ratsnakefoundation.org

This care guide has been written by us at AC Snakes for your information and guidance.
 
It will be updated and expanded as regularly as we are able, however it should not be used as your only source of care information.
 
Prior to purchasing any animal it is strongly recommended that you research extensively to ensure that you can provide the correct care for your pet.
 
Last updated May 2012

Website and all images copyright A C Snakes | www.acsnakes.co.uk | Created and maintained by Adam & Charlotte Wilford