Great Plains Ratsnake in exhibit

Great Plains Ratsnake

Scientific Name
Pantherophis emoryi
Central North America
Shrublands, forests, rocky areas, and grasslands
Estimated Wild Population
Great plains ratsnake in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Great Plains ratsnakes grow up to five feet long, are either light gray or brownish-gray, and are covered in dark brown blotches bordered with black. A dark brown stripe starts at the bridge of their nose and travels down their neck, crossing overtop their eyelids like a mask. These snakes sport a spearhead-shaped marking on their head, and their belly is white with bold, squarish black markings.

Did You Know?

As a defense mechanism, Great Plains ratsnakes rapidly vibrate their tail in leaf litter to produce a sound very similar to the telltale sound created by rattlesnakes.

Their diet mostly consists of rodents; however, they will occasionally eat birds, lizards, amphibians, and even other snakes.

They are primarily nocturnal and oviparous, laying clutches of as many as 25 eggs in the late spring.

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