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Black Ratsnake

Scotophis alleghaniesis

ON EXHIBIT:  Cove Forest in River Journey, Classroom, Outreach and Encounter Animal

Black Ratsnake

Black ratsnakes help control rodent populations and are often considered welcome and very beneficial residents around farms. They are very good climbers and are able to scale limbless trees by using their belly scutes (scales) and their muscles.

 In Minnesota, black ratsnakes are given the status of a species of Special Concern. IUCN lists this species as one of Least Concern with a stable population.

Fan Photo

Black Ratsnake
Photo by Tennessee Aquarium

About This Animal

SIZE: 42-72 inches (106-183 cm) but may reach 96 inches (244 cm) and may attain a diameter of 1 ½ inches (3.8 cm)

RANGE: New England to Georgia, west to North Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, through Oklahoma, Southern Wisconsin and parts of Canada.

HABITAT: Wooded areas, fields, marshes, forests, rocky hillsides, coastal plains, farmlands and around homes.

DIET: Small mammals as well as birds, eggs, lizards, frogs and other snakes.