Trans-Pecos Rat Snake

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Species group:

Other common names: Subocs

Scientific name: Bogertophis subocularis

The basics:
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.

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