Gray Rat Snake

Scientific Name: Elaphe Obsoleta Spiloides

Gray Rat Snake

Share this Post

The Gray Rat Snake is from the colubrinae subfamily in the Elaphe genus, which includes, corn snakes, fox snakes and rat snakes. There are five races or subspecies of the Elaphe obsoleta with Gray Rat Snake being one of them. The other four species include Everglades, Black, Yellow, Texas and Black rat snakes. Adult Gray Rat Snakes range from 39 to 72 inches with the tallest record-breaking snake being 84.5 inches. They do not go through any extreme changes in their skin markings and colors. They retain their light gray crowns, which have dark stripes though some have intergrades of yellow gray and black gray skins.

Gray Rat Snakes Are Beautiful Creatures

Gray Rat Snake

Facts About Gray Rat Snakes

Geographic Location

These snakes are commonly found in Southeastern US and they inhabit many rural and urban environs. They are found along the Mississippi River, western to northern Tennessee, in western and southern GA and in most parts of Alabama.


Gray Rat Snakes find any environment within their range that has many rodents and escape options to be suitable habitats for them. They are scent hunters and while the adults feed on birds, birds eggs and rodents, juveniles and neonates prefer lizards and frogs.


They are agile climbers and are comfortable whether on the ground or on tree tops. They climb hardwood forest trees, cypress stands, sheds and barns near human habitations. They also love areas along the streams and fields that are lined with trees.


Gray Rat Snakes breed from the month of April to July. Their females lay eggs around mid-summer, which number between 5 to 27 eggs in one clutch. The eggs hatch in September and the hatchlings range between 10 to 12 inches.


They are mostly docile though they tend to be aggressive when nervous or threatened. They are common in captivity and should be kept in enclosures that have hiding spots, with a branch for climbing. The enclosures should be long enough to accommodate the snake’s length.

Gray Rat Snake
Snakes can’t bite food so they have to swallow it whole.