There are many kinds of rat snakes. One, of which is the Black Rat snake. The black Rat snake is a non-venomous snake that can grow up to eight feet in length. The adults are mostly black, with white bellies, and have white or gray showing between their scales. The young, or juvenile, usually are brown or gray with dark colored splotches on their backs.
Black Rat snakes are very common in the southeast. They are also called the Common Rat Snake for they are more likely to be found than any of the other rat snakes. They live in fields, swamps, marshes, thick brush, and other woodlands where they hunt prey and hide from predators. Black Rat snakes are great climbers and are often found in trees, woodpecker holes, and birdhouses. They feed mostly on small animals such as mice, frogs, rabbits, squirrels and will also eat bird eggs, and other snakes. The Black Rat snake is a constrictor, which means they will wrap around, constrict, and suffocate their prey.
Black Rat snakes have many predators, such as foxes, raccoons, large birds, cars, and even people. People kill black rat snakes because of their fear in snakes, especially since the black rat snake can grow extremely large. Some times they are killed for being mistaken as other, venomous snakes. It has been know to curl up in striking position, and shake its tail, much like the venomous rattlesnake.
Black Rat snakes are non-aggressive, harmless snakes. Their bites are not very common and usually only happen when they are threatened, provoked, or handled improperly. Though they are not venomous, they can, however, deliver a painful bite. These snakes are very beneficial to the environment because they eat rats and mice which carry diseases, destroy crops, and ruin homes. Without snakes such as the Black Rat snake, many places would be otherwise overrun with such rodents. These snakes are truly amazing creatures that serve an important role in the balancing of the Eco System.