Brought to Sharon Audubon Center: September 1998
History: Rizzo was found in Sharon and brought to our center for care. He had been hit by a car and was suffering from minor injuries. Because Black Rat Snakes are rare in this area, it is suspected that Rizzo was taken from another location and dropped off/lost in town.
Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta)
Did You Know? The non-venomous Black Rat Snake is known to shake its tail in leaves and underbrush to mimic the sound of a rattle snake in order to frighten away potential predators.
Description: Black Rat Snakes are almost completely black except for a white chin. Hatchlings have a pale grey background with black blotches along the back.
Life Span: 20 - 25 years
Size: One of the largest snakes in North America, these snakes have been known to grow to 8 feet in length.
Diet: They eat mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and eggs.
Habitat: The Black Rat Snake lives in rocky, wooded hillsides, forests, fields, marshes, and farmlands, and sometimes den in cavities in hollow trees.
Range: The Black Rat Snake is the most widely distributed common rat snake with a range throughout eastern North America from southeastern Minnesota to northern Louisiana to the East Coast.