Western Rat Snake Pantherophis obsoletus - Threatened

Description: 48 - 72 inches. Western Rat Snakes are almost completely black as adults, but may have faint blotches. The color around the blotches may be red, orange, or yellowish in color. The belly is generally light colored with a dark checkered pattern. Some Western Rat Snakes may have a red colored belly as well. Young Western Rat Snakes are light colored with dark blotches, and have silver colored eyes.

Similar Species: Young Western Fox Snakes are very similar in appearance to young Western Rat Snakes, but have brown or copper colored eyes and blotches that are less jagged in appearance.

Comments: Great climbers. This harmless species of snake is great to have around the home has they feed frequently on rodents. Restricted to only a couple sites in southeast Minnesota - please report sightings!

Distribution Map
Distribution of the Western Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

This map is generated from data provided by the Bell Museum of Natural History and HerpMapper.org. Please help us keep it up-to-date by submitting your amphibian and reptile observations.

Phenology of Western Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)