Baird’s Rat Snake

The Baird’s Rat Snake, Pantherophis bairdi or Elaphe bairdi, is a species of non-venomous rat snake native to the western Texas in the United States and Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas in northern Mexico.

This snake is capable of growing from 25 to 55 inches in length. It is typically an orange-yellow in color, but can be lighter to a bright yellow, or darker to a salmon color. They have four stripes which go from neck to tail. Their underside is generally gray to yellow, darkening near the tail.

The primary food source of Baird’s Rat Snake is rodents, though they will eat birds if they can catch them. Juvenile snakes often eat lizards. They are typically more pleasantly tempered than other rat snake species. They are oviparous, laying a clutch of up to 10 eggs that takes about 3 months to hatch. They prefer semi-arid, rocky habitats.

The epithet bairdi is in honor of renown American zoologist Spencer Fullerton Baird.

Photo by LA Dawson