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Black Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

Reported By:
Rob Hunter
Time:
April 3rd, 2011 - 02:00 PM
State:
Tennessee
County:
Cheatham
Age:
Sub-Adult
Sex:
Unknown
Method:
Visual Encounter

Notes

Mark's Creek, Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail

I did not specify subspecies because, as far as I can see, the location is right on the border between the ranges of the Gray and the Black rat snakes. Indeed, individuals I've encountered in this part of Middle TN tend to retain a fairly strong pattern well into adulthood, perhaps indicating that "intergrading" is being observed? Anyone who knows more about this than I do, please feel free to comment! I like to be precise as possible with my ID's.

This snake was just under 3' in length. Despite the heat of the day (~82 degF)this snake was on the move, sighted as it crossed the paved trail. This snake did not rear up or strike, but simply froze into the characteristic body-kinking position when approached.

Photographs