Eastern Ratsnake Pantherophis alleghaniensis (Holbrook, 1836)  Synonyms: Black Rat Snake, Pantherophis obsoleta.

Status:

The harmless and generally docile Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) is one of our most common and frequently encountered snakes. Maryland's largest snake species, it may reach an impressive size. Adults average 4.5 to 5.5 ft. in length (the rangewide record is 101 inches)(Conant & Collins, 1998). Eastern Ratsnakes may be found in virtually any non-urbanized habitat, including hardwood forests and edge habitats, agricultural areas, uplands and wetlands, and most other wooded habitats, provided there is a consistent rodent population. Ratsnakes are able climbers, and individuals may frequently be seen ascending tree in search of bird nests, or natural cavities to rest in (Tennant, 2003; Maryland DNR site). Eastern Ratsnake is found commonly throughout the state.

Relationships:

The Eastern Ratsnake is an excellent climber that preys upon small mammals, birds, and bird eggs. It is perhaps the most likely snake species to raid a nest box without a protective "baffle."

There are 172 records in the project database.

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An Eastern Ratsnake in Worcester Co., Maryland (10/6/2012). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/26/2015). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (4/22/2018). Photo by Jakob Cackowski. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Caroline Co., Maryland (8/21/2005). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/20/2013). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Howard Co., Maryland (5/4/2014). Photo by Nancy Magnusson. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Howard Co., Maryland (5/28/2011). Photo by Nancy Magnusson. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Baltimore Co., Maryland (6/4/2017). Photo by Keith Eric Costley. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake eating a Green Frog in Caroline Co., Maryland (5/19/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A juvenile Eastern Ratsnake in Allegany Co., Maryland (7/24/2010). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Baltimore Co., Maryland (5/1/2013). Photo by Benjamin DeHaven. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Howard Co., Maryland (7/22/2017). Photo by Kevin Heffernan. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (3/28/2017). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Calvert Co., Maryland (5/22/2003). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Howard Co., Maryland (10/24/2017). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Frederick Co., Maryland (12/16/2017). Photo by Robert Warren. (MBP list)

A juvenile Eastern Ratsnake in Montgomery Co., Maryland (6/28/2015). Photo by Bonnie Bell. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake and a Pileated Woodpecker declare a truce in Howard Co., Maryland (5/19/2015). Photo by Howard Patterson. (MBP list)

An Eastern Ratsnake in Howard Co., Maryland (6/22/2017). Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)


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