Texas Rat Snake (Wild Things) – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

Texas Rat Snake (Wild Things) – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]


(music) ANDY GLUESENKAMP: Hi I’m
Andy Gluesenkamp, I’m the state herpetologist for
Texas Parks and Wildlife and today I’d like to talk to
you about the Texas Rat Snake. The Texas Rat Snake is the most
commonly encountered snake in Texas, and they occupy a
wide range of habitats. This snake is harmless, they
are completely non-venomous, they don’t attack people,
in fact they are major rodent predators. Hence the name “rat snake.” (rattles) Probably the best way to tell a
rat snake from a venomous snake in Texas is to look
at the head shape. Pit vipers, which includes
copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes, they tend to
have a very chunky head with steep sides to the face. Whereas if you look at the head
of a rat snake, the head tends to be more
rounded and less angular. This snake is in the process of
shedding, during that process we call them in the blue,
that individual will get an opaque color to its skin,
it’s eye’s become milky blue, it’s not sick or injured,
they just need a few days to find a quiet place to
hang out while they shed their old skin to reveal a
new fresh layer underneath! Rat snakes get a bad rap,
they are large snakes, they are frequently encountered,
they are not particularly friendly. But I’d like to point out that
their primary diet is mice, rats, and other rodents,
that’s pretty beneficial snake to have around. So three things to remember
about the Texas Rat Snake, they’re the most commonly
encountered snake in Texas, they’re completely harmless, and they’re beneficial. (music)

Randy Schultz

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3 thoughts on “Texas Rat Snake (Wild Things) – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

  1. BlackCat2 says:

    And they come in my house sometimes. 😛 Both times to water sources which was interesting. Once was my kitchen sink and the other time was the bath tub. They are definitely aggressive but that being said it is easy enough to avoid being bitten and I never have.

    I like having them around and if they should come in my house again I will just do like I did the others times – put them back outside. 🙂

    – Heidi

  2. Glenn Krejci says:

    it would have been helpful to give more identifying factors, different possible colors, shape of tail etc…   do they bite?

  3. Jacob Pena says:

    Almost ran over one of these about 20 min ago here at work. I got out picked it up and put him in the woods. He did put up a very impressive show with his mouth open and striking. He bit me just a little, after I picked him up and he didn't think I was a threat he was really nice except for that musk smell. lol I have years of experience with snakes and I know of all the local poisonous snakes in the area, so don't go picking up snakes unless you know exactly what your doing. He was only 3 feet, nothing compared to my pythons. You see a snake in the wild, don't kill it!! They eat of the rodents.

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