Texas Rat Snake

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Is the Texas Rat Snake right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Texas Ratsnake, Chicken Snake, Lindheimer

Scientific name: Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri

The basics:
The Texas Ratsnake is found throughout Texas, southeastern Louisiana, southwestern Mississippi, south-central Kansas and south-central Oklahoma. Their common habitat is farmland, wooded areas, swampland, wetlands, and suburban areas where rodents can also be found.

Appearance / health:
A relatively large snake that grows to about 6 feet in length, the Texas Ratsnake has a light gray body color with brown saddle-shaped markings on the back. As they mature, the body color changes to shades of yellow, orange, or light brown, with slightly faded markings. The top of the head shows an arrowhead-shaped patterning that becomes grayish black in adults. Various morphs and phases have been developed through captive breeding.

Behavior / temperament:
Although non-venomous, the Texas Ratsnake is not recommended for beginners because they are known to be temperamental and quick to defend themselves. They raise their heads, coil up, shake their tails and strike out in anger. In captivity, they are known to live up to 25 years.

Texas Ratsnakes are best kept in woodland-type enclosures provided with climbing branches, hiding places, and a water dish. Day temp: 75-90F; night temp: 60-70F

Fresh water should be provided daily, and the enclosure should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

The primary diet of the Texas Ratsnake is small mammals, especially mice and rats. They may also feed on birds, chickens, and their eggs and nestlings.

Texas Ratsnakes are egg-layers, depositing clutches of 6-20 eggs under fallen leaves, in a hollow tree or stump, or other safe hiding places.


voracious appetite, beautiful snake


nippers, vicious bitters, beginners, snakeproof room, strong powerful snake, Cage aggression


Texas leucistic ratsnake, free roaming time

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