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Trans-Pecos Rat Snake

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Is the Trans-Pecos Rat Snake right for you?

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.

Diet:
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.

Breeding:
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.