Trans-Pecos rat snake, Bogertophis subocularis

The Trans-Pecos rat snake (Bogertophis subocularis) belongs to the Colubridae family. It can be found in Mexico in the state of Chihuahua, but can also be found in The United States in New Mexico and Texas. Its habitat consists mainly of desert flats, brushy slopes and the rocky areas of the Chihuahua Desert. This non-venomous snake is known to be unaggressive by nature. It is rarely a danger to humans unless provoked or feels threatened.

The Trans-Pecos rat snake is considered a medium to large snake comparatively. Full grown, male snakes can measure up to 18 inches longer than females. The average adult male grows up to 5 feet, where female rat snakes range between 3.5 and 4.5 feet.

The Trans-Pecos rat snake may be light yellow, orange-yellow or even a light shade of olive. The rat snake may have up to 40 “H” shaped markings running along its spine, giving the appearance of lateral stripes along its sides. Its large, steel colored eyes are set aside its head suggesting a nocturnal nature.

The Trans-Pecos rat snake feeds on small mammals, bats, birds and lizards. The snake strikes, holds on and coils around its victim using constriction to kill its prey.

The Trans-Pecos is rarely seen during the day. It is possible the snake may be spotted on a warm summer evening, but only during breeding season. During spring and early summer mating begins and shortly after the snake may lay between three and seven eggs. The young are between 11-14 inches and appear paler in color than adults.

Image Caption: Trans-Pecos rat snake. Credit: Dawson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)