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Rat Snake - Everglades

 
Alternative Name
Everglades Ratsnake Scientific Name: Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni

Basic Info

One of the largest Rat Snakes found in North America, the Everglades Rat Snake averages between 36 and 72 inches in length, although they can reach up to 90 inches (though this is NOT the norm). When young, the Everglades Rat Snake has dark gray blotches on a lighter background on the dorsal surface, and light and dark gray checks on the undersides. As the snakes mature, the color changes from gray to orange or orange-red. They have four stripes and sometimes blotches. These markings are usually quite close in color to the background and cannot be seen. In captivity, a hypomelanistic variety is bred. This variety is usually solid bright orange. Purebred Everglades Rat Snakes have red tongues and red eyes with black pupils and the blotches and stripes almost dissappear completely by maturity.

Health

Everglades Rat Snakes should be kept in an enclosure of at least 20-gallons. The cage should be kept at a temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with a basking area in the mid to high 80s. At night the temperature should be between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The enclosure should include a large, shallow water dish for soaking, drinking, and defecating. This water bowl should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. They should also have a hiding box and climbing limb. Good substrates for the Everglades Rat Snake's enclosure include newspaper, paper bags, paper towels, artificial grass, and aspen shavings. Breeding Everglades Rat Snakes reach sexual maturity at about two or three years of age. In captivity, they usually breed in the spring and summer. Although hibernation is not necessary, they may be easier to breed if they hibernate for two or three months at between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit before breeding is attempted. The Everglades Rat Snake usually lays one or two clutches containing between 6 and 30 eggs per year. The eggs will hatch after about 60 days of incubation at between 82 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rat Snake - Everglades picture
Habitat

Found in wetland prairies, subtropical forests, swamps, and pine forests

Behavior

The Everglades Rat Snake is a moderately sized animal found in North America. Their size, coloration and non-aggressive nature all compile to make this snake one of the most commonly kept and bred snakes in the United States. Found primarily in everglades, the Everglades Rat Snake can also be found in wetland prairies, subtropical forests, swamps, and pine forests. Like other Rat Snakes, they are neither nocturnal nor diurnal but rather are active when the temperature suits them. Primarily terrestrial animals, the Everglades Rat Snake can also be found very high up in trees. Reclusive animals, the Everglades Rat Snake spends most of its time hiding under rocks and boards at ground level and under bark, inside knot holes or inside palm fronds in trees. In the wild, the Everglades Rat Snake feeds on rodents, frogs, lizards, birds, and bird eggs. In captivity, the Everglades Rat Snake is a docile animal. They are usually easy to handle once they become used to their surroundings.

Origin

Florida

History

Everglades Rat Snakes can be found in the Everglades of Florida. They range from Lake Okeechobee to the tip of Florida and the upper keys. Because they are docile and easy to keep and breed, the Everglades Rat Snake is often kept in captivity.

Common Foods

rodents, frogs, lizards, birds, and bird eggs

Related feeds
Dog Cat Horse Birds Fish Snake Turtle Tortoise Salamander and Newts