Species group: Corn and Rat Snakes
Other common names: Subocs
Scientific name: Bogertophis subocularis
The Trans-Pecos rat snake is a small (0.8-1.2 m), non-venomous rat snake native to the Chihuahuan Desert, that extends northward into Texas.
The Trans-Pecos rat snake's habitat consists of desert flats and brushy slopes, and rocky outcrops where they nest and feed on small vertebrates. A nocturnal species, it is uncommon and rarely-seen in the wild, save on warm summer nights during the breeding season. Nicknamed "subocs" by enthusiasts, they are not aggressive when approached, and are easily raised in captivity.
Appearance / health:
Males are larger than females as adults. Adult females reach between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet in length where as males grow up to 5 feet or more as recorded for this snake.
The primary diet of the Trans-Pecos rat snake is small mammals, especially mice and rats. They may also feed on birds, chickens, and their eggs and nestlings.
Their breeding season runs through May and June, while egg-laying begins in July and ends by September. At nearly three months, their incubation period is lengthy for a snake, at the end of which a clutch of anywhere from three to 11 snakes of 28-33 cm hatch. As they are born during winter, the hatchlings may remain hidden underground for several months before venturing outside.
docile temperament, excellent first time, ease, captivity
Something Different for Ratsnake Fans
I favor the “oddities” of their group, and so was drawn to this rule-breaking ratsnake early on. When I first discovered the Trans-Pecos ratsnake in my youth (through a chapter in the legendary book “Sakes, the Keeper and the Kept” entitled “The Search for Subocularis”), the little-studied desert dweller was rarely seen even in zoos(although not especially rare, it escapes the heat of its desert home by remaining underground throughout the day, and often hunting there even at night). Today, 20+ captive-produced color variations are available!
The beautiful, mild-mannered Trans-Pecos ratsnake is a great choice for novices, yet interesting enough for advanced keepers. Most that I've kept have adjusted to handling in time. Their care follows that of other ratsnakes, but they are more susceptible than most to skin infections if kept in damp surroundings. Trans-Pecos rats also prefer to shelter below ground – a cave of PVC pipe half-buried in aspen will be appreciated. They appear to feed heavily upon lizards in the wild, but do fine on rodent-based diets. Hatchlings may need to be offered lizard-scented pinkies at first, but soon change their ways..
From findiviglio Jan 23 2016 6:03PM