Gray rat snake Facts

Gray rat snake Facts
Gray rat snake is a species of non-venomous snake that belongs to the colubrid family. It can be found in the southeastern and central parts of the USA and Canada. Gray rat snake inhabits forests, marshes, scrublands and areas between the fields and forests. It can be also found near the farms and in the urban areas. Habitat destruction and intentional or accidental killing of snakes led to drastic reduction in the number of gray rat snakes in the wild. Canadian population of gray rat snakes is listed as endangered.
Interesting Gray rat snake Facts:
Gray rat snake can reach 3 to 6 feet in length (in the rare cases up to 8 feet).
Gray rat snake has grey body, white throat and chin and pale-colored belly. Dark grey or black blotches can be seen on dorsal and ventral sides of the body.
Gray rat snake is also known as "oak snake" because of the specific markings that resemble the bark of the oak tree.
Gray rat snake is an excellent climber that spends most of its life on the trees. During the warmest part of the day, it likes to sunbathe on the branches exposed to direct sunlight.
Gray rat snake likes to hide inside the hollow trees and crevices of rocks.
Diet of gray rat snake is based on small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs and eggs.
Gray rat snake is ecologically important species of snake because of its ability to keep the number of mice, rats and voles under control.
Gray rat snake belongs to the group of constrictors. It wraps the body around victim and squeezes it until death (victims die out of suffocation).
Gray rat snake does not produce venom. When it is faced with danger, it starts to vibrate its tail and produce rattling sound that resembles the sound of venomous rattlesnakes. This sound keeps most predators on a safe distance.
Natural enemies of young gray rat snakes are hawks, egrets and foxes. Raccoons eat eggs of gray rat snakes.
Group of up to 100 gray rat snakes gather in the communal underground burrow called hibernacula during the winter and hibernates until spring.
Mating season of gray rat snakes takes place from April to July.
Females lay eggs once every two or three years. Size of the clutch varies from 5 to 27 eggs. Most females produce 14 eggs per season. Females lay eggs in the rotting vegetation, forest debris or hollow logs during the summer. 12 inches long snakes emerge from eggs during September. Young snakes look like miniature version of adults. They need to fend for themselves from the moment of birth.
Gray rat snakes reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years.
Gray rat snake can survive from 15 to 20 years in the wild.

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