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Latin name: Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri
This individual is an adult male. He’s about 3’ in length and eating live and frozen thawed adult mice.
Feeding schedule: 1 item offered every 7 days.
Temperament: Texas Rat Snakes are quick, active and curious but can also be quite shy. Though quick and flighty when first handled, they tame down nicely with frequent handling. A scared Texas rat snake will sometimes employ open mouth gaping and venting (producing a foul smelling liquid from the vent) as a defense.
Habitat and lifestyle: Texas Rat snakes are native to Texas as their name suggests but their range also spreads into Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. They live in a wide variety of habitats including open grassland, rocky shrub land and forests.
Being opportunistic predators, they will hunt for chipmunks, mice, rats, lizards, frogs, small birds and even seek out eggs to eat. In Texas they’re known to enter hen houses in search of chicken eggs.
Size and lifespan: They rarely reach lengths past 5' and stay relatively light-bodied, making them a very manageable size, especially for new snake owners. They typically live up to 15 years in human care.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: Wide range 20%-50%. light misting can be done 1x daily but is not required.
Tank size: 10-20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 40+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Standard rectangle-allow for good floor space but some climbing structures as well. Make sure it has a secure sliding door/doors. Sit-atop screen lids for glass tanks are not recommended for these guys, they are great escape artists!
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for snakes living in glass tanks. Use only a dimmable heat bulb for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommended for all reptiles for overall welfare.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 2"deep or deeper. Provide lots of hiding places and some low climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking.
Handling: Texas Rat Snakes tolerate gentle handling well and can be handled several times per week. Just watch for signs of stress and try to limit sessions to 30-45 minutes.
When not to handle: After the snake has eaten, give them 2-3 days to digest their food before handling them again. When you first bring the snake home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Feeding frequency: every 4-5 days for babies, 1x per week for juveniles and adults. Prey item should be as wide as the widest part of the snake's body.